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Keker & Van Nest Named One of Five Go-To Boutique Trial Firms


Clients seeking top-notch representation at trial don't always need a BigLaw firm's multiple foreign offices, overwhelming manpower and the accompanying price tag. Oftentimes, a more nimble, specialized firm can do the trick, and that’s where the growing boutique trial firm industry comes into play.

"If you don't need an army of 100 lawyers plowing through documents or massive motion practice, it can be very effective, and certainly it can be very cost-effective as well," Jon Lindsey, legal recruiting partner at Major Lindsey & Africa, said of boutique trial firms.

In addition, Lindsey said the boutique firms simply don't have the conflicts that BigLaw firms do. And though they might not have the name recognition that some of the bigger, older firms might, the lawyers who start up these boutiques typically have some pretty strong BigLaw credentials.

Here are some of the top trial-focused boutiques.

Keker & Van Nest

Keker & Van Nest founding partner John Keker is a Law360 Trial Ace and indisputably one of the best trial attorneys in the nation. So it's no surprise his firm prides itself on its deep bench of trial lawyers.

"Indeed, we have found our eagerness to try cases often helps them settle," the firm boasts on its website.

Fellow founding partner Robert Van Nest, on the other hand, is a giant in the realm of IP. Add a stable full of talented trial lawyers to the founding pair, and it's no wonder this 65-lawyer Bay Area boutique commands national respect.

The firm has defended high-profile clients like "Star Wars" filmmaker George Lucas, Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow, cyclist Lance Armstrong and Major League Baseball and its teams.