Headquartered in San Francisco, Keker & Van Nest is perhaps best known for handling major intellectual property disputes for some of the country's leading names in technology. The firm also has a reputation for unleashing experienced trial attorneys skilled in everything from white collar criminal defense to commercial litigation.
Founded in 1978, Keker & Van Nest is a sixty five attorney firm with a California base and an international reach. According to the firm, Keker & Van Nest attorneys pride themselves on handling “make or break” cases with finesse—even when those cases end up in the courtroom—because their legal team has a strategic courtroom mindset in addition to “book smarts.”
KVN specializes in intellectual property, professional liability (particularly law and accounting firms), consumer and class action suits, general contract and commercial litigation, antitrust law, white collar crime and appellate cases. The American Lawyer has singled out Keker & Van Nest for its high-stakes litigation work, Benchmark Litigation recognized Keker as a leading appellate firm in its circuit, and The American Lawyer named the firm the “Litigation Boutique of the Year.” U.S. News rates the firm's white collar criminal defense and intellectual property litigation practices as national tier one. The firm's clients range from individuals to worldwide corporate kings like Genentech Inc., Comcast Cable Communications, HTC, Intel, Medtronic, and the McKesson Corporation.
Battling for the Tech Giants
In 2016, the firm represented Google in the “smartphone trail of the century” when Oracle Corporation brought forward a $6 billion charge in patent and copyright infringement against Google. Keker & Van Nest was able to get six of the seven patent infringement claims as ruled invalid even before the trail began. Complete victory was achieved when the firm successfully argued that Oracle’s Java API patents were merely starting points, as opposed to wholly finished programs, resulting in Google prevailing in a unanimous victory and zero in damage charges.
Protecting Patents, Athletes, and Attorneys
Representative Keker & Van Nest cases have included representing the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – the premier international semiconductor foundry – against a Chinese company TSMC claimed had stolen its technology. Eighteen million pages of documents and 266 days of deposition later, the Chinese companied settled for more than $300 million. In another case, Keker & Van Nest attorneys persuaded an appellate judge that the U.S. government had violated Major League Baseball players’ Fourth Amendment rights when authorities seized urine samples and drug testing records in a steroid investigation. As lead counsel for HTC, the firm took on Apple, the goliath of all tech goliaths, in a patent infringement case after Apple accused their client of violating ten Apple patents.
In the professional liability arena, the firm has made a name taking on high-profile defendants in its own field, like Mississippi attorney Dickie Scruggs who had made a fortune in asbestos and tobacco litigation. Scruggs hired firm founder John Keker when he faced criminal charges for allegedly false insurance claims after Hurricane Katrina. The firm has also worked with Bill Lerach—the attorney who recovered billions for shareholders after Enron's collapse—when his law firm came under criminal investigation.
633 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) (415) 391-5400
Managing Partner: Steven K. Taylor
Hiring Partner: Rachael E. Meny
1st year: $180,000
Summer Associate Offers:
4 out of 4 (2Ls) (2015)
San Francisco, CA
Consumer & Class Actions
Contract & Commercial
White Collar Criminal