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Keker, Van Nest & Peters Elevates Nic Marais and Ben Rothstein to Partner

Press Release

Keker, Van Nest & Peters is pleased to announce that the firm has elevated associates Nic Marais and Ben Rothstein to its partnership effective January 1, 2020.

“Nic and Ben stand out for their exemplary commitment not only to their practice but also to the core values of our firm,” said Managing Partner Steven K. Taylor. “They are both high-caliber litigators with track records of success, and we are fortunate to have them as part of our team as they continue to build their careers.”

Nic Marais specializes in white-collar criminal defense and high-stakes civil disputes. He has litigated a wide variety of complex cases in federal and state courts. Last year, during a nine-week trial, he defended Sushovan Hussain, former chief financial officer of British software company Autonomy, against federal criminal charges related to Autonomy’s 2011 $11 billion acquisition by Hewlett-Packard. He successfully defended Electronic Arts in a right-of-publicity lawsuit related to its Madden NFL franchise, scoring a series of wins in district court and defeating repeated attempts to certify a class of former NFL players. More recently, he has defended Coinbase in a putative class action alleging insider trading in connection with the launch of a new digital currency.

Mr. Marais earned his J.D. from Yale Law School where he was a Coker Fellow, a Knight Fellow, and won the Thomas Swan Barristers’ Union Mock Trial Competition for “Best Presentation of a Case on Final Trial.” He grew up in South Africa, graduated with distinction from the University of Cape Town, and is fluent in Afrikaans. Before joining the firm, Mr. Marais worked for nine years in prime-time radio broadcasting, reaching 1.3 million listeners and anchoring one of the most successful morning shows in South African history. He interviewed hundreds of guests, ranging from global leaders and Nobel laureates to internationally acclaimed athletes, authors, singers and movie stars.

Ben Rothstein focuses his practice on trade secret cases and other complex civil and criminal matters. He currently represents Genentech in its federal trade secret theft lawsuit alleging that former Genentech scientists stole proprietary information to help a foreign company develop biosimilar versions of Genentech medicines. Mr. Rothstein's recent criminal matters include defending a San Francisco city employee facing state bribery and money laundering charges and securing a dismissal of call counts before trial. Mr. Rothstein also maintains an extensive pro bono practice in the fields of immigration and prisoner civil rights. In 2018, Mr. Rothstein won a landmark verdict in which a federal jury awarded our client, a male inmate at San Quentin State Prison who had been coerced into sexual acts by a female prison staff member, more than $65,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

Mr. Rothstein earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and senior editor of the Columbia Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Rothstein clerked for Hon. Barry Ted Moskowitz for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

About Keker, Van Nest & Peters

For 40 years, Keker, Van Nest & Peters has litigated complex, high-stakes civil and criminal cases throughout the nation. The firm takes the cases where companies, products, and careers are riding on the result. Its clients are high-profile individuals, as well as some of the world’s most successful companies, including Google, Arista Networks, Electronic Arts, Lyft, T-Mobile USA, Genentech, Public Storage, Comcast Cable Communications, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The firm’s areas of expertise include intellectual property, professional liability, class actions, general contract and commercial litigation, antitrust, white collar, and appellate.