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Keker & Van Nest Adding Elliot Peters as Name Partner

The Daily Journal


      From Left: John Keker, Bob Van Nest, Elliot Peters

The San Francisco litigation boutique Keker & Van Nest LLP is preparing to add Elliot R. Peters as a name partner in recognition of his years of outstanding service for the firm.

Partners John Keker & Robert A. Van Nest informed the Daily Journal that Peters’ elevation will be effective Jan. 1. The new name of the San Francisco firm will be Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP.

“I am incredible excited and thrilled and honored,” Peters said. “I’ve been at this firm for 25 years, and I don’t ever want to work anywhere else.”

Van Nest said he and his partner wanted to recognize Peters’ numerous contributions, including a large book of business he built over the years thanks to his record as a litigator.

“Elliot for many years has been a major player within the partnership and in the legal community outside the firm as well,” Van Nest said, noting that Peters is already a member of the firm’s management committee. “He’s trusted by his partners, he is trusted by many clients, and he has been a big factor in our success as a firm.”

Van Nest added that Peters has a big following among clients, particularly in the white-collar defense and legal malpractice groups.

Prior to joining Keker & Van Nest in 1991, Peters worked in the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, which is the same district where he clerked for Judge Whitman Knapp. He received his law degree from New York University School of Law in 1985.

As a partner at Keker & Van Nest, Peters said he litigated cases for the firm’s white-collar, legal malpractice, and intellectual property practices. He described himself as a generalist litigator, nothing that he’s tried civil cases covering trade secrets, legal malpractice suits, major arbitrations and patent disputes.

He added that he’s also litigated many criminal cases and represented a variety of clients, including Lance Armstrong, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and Persian rug dealers, among others.

Keker, who has worked with Peters in several court cases, said Peters also regularly represents Attorney’s Liability Assurance Society Inc., which provides malpractice insurance to law firms.

“Elliot has been an important force within the firm … and increasingly over the years, recognized as one of the top lawyers in the country,” Keker said.

Steven Taylor, managing partner of the firm, said that in addition to his accomplishments in the courtroom, Peters is well-regarded by other attorneys as a warm and considerate person, and that staff members broke out into spontaneous cheers when they learned about his promotion.

 Taylor noted that while Keker and Van Nest are very much active in the firm and have no plans to retire soon, the promotion of a younger attorney to name partner also signals the firm’s gradual shift to prepare for continued steady leadership in the future.