Loren Kieve - Kieve Law Offices

Loren Kieve

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013
Phone: 415-364-0060

Loren Kieve has a demonstrated record of success in resolving challenging, high stakes disputes.  He has represented and advised major U.S. and foreign companies and individuals in a broad variety of trials, appeals and settlements, including securities, insurance coverage, construction, environmental, derivative, financial services, commodities trading, antitrust, contract, RICO, insurance sales practices, products liability, defamation, personal injury, employment, discrimination, real estate, mine disaster, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other commercial cases. 

His cases regularly involve complex foreign parties and issues, major government contract matters, including civil and criminal false claims act cases, and formal and informal administrative proceedings and other inquiries. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in nationwide class actions, and arbitrated both international and domestic cases. 

He has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of commercial litigation and his firm has been selected as one of the Best Law Firms in America. For the fourteenth year in a row, San Francisco Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine have named him as one of the top “Super Lawyers” in commercial litigation in the Bay Area.

He received the AI Sector Performance Award as “United States Financial Services Litigator of the Year 2015.” Corporate LiveWire’s 2015 Legal Awards named him Business Trial Lawyer of the year for California. He has also been named by Corporate America Legal Elite 2015 as “Best in Complex Product Liability – California.” He is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. He has been given the highest peer-review “AV® Preeminent” rating in both legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale Hubbell for over 25 years. He is rated a “10” (the highest available rating) by Avvo. He is Lead Counsel rated in Civil Litigation. When he practiced in Washington, The Washingtonian magazine listed him among the city's leading lawyers.  

Prior Associations

Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges LLC, 2002 - 2008

Principal Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, Manager of Legal Department and Head of the Department’s Litigation and Claims Group, Bechtel Group, Inc., Feb. 2000 - March 2002

Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton, 1987 - 2000

Associate, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, 1974 - 1987

Law  clerk to Hon. Oliver Seth, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 1973 - 74

Law  clerk to Hon. Edmund L. Palmieri, United States District Judge (S.D.N.Y.), sitting by designation on the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico and on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1973, 1974 (simultaneously with the clerkship for Judge Seth)

Bar Admissions

The District of Columbia
New York
New Mexico
U.S. Supreme Court
Nine federal circuit courts
Ten federal district courts

Professional Activities

American Bar Foundation: Sustaining Life Fellow

American Bar Association:

   Member, Coordinating Committee on Civil Justice Reform, 1990-93
   Founding Member, Standing Committee on Gun Violence, 1993-94
   Member, Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements, 2008-2011
   California State Bar Delegate to the House of Delegates, 2009-2017
   Liaison to the Standing Committee on Governmental Affairs, 2009-2010
   Member, Task Force on Federal Pleading Standards, 2010-12
   Member, Commission on Immigration, 2011-13      
   Member, House of Delegates “Select Committee,” 2012-13  

ABA Litigation Section (selected positions):
   Vice-chair, Environmental Law Committee, 1988-89      
   Co-chair, Federal Procedure Committee, 1989-92
   D.C. Circuit Member, Task Force on District Court Advisory Groups under the CJRA, 1991
   Co-chair, Task Force on the Justice System, 1994-95
   Chair, Federal Initiatives Task Force, 1995-96 
   Nominating Committee, 1996-97, 1998-99,  2005-2006 ·       
   Council Member, 1996-99
   Liaison, Federal Judicial Conference, 1996-99
   Liaison, Civil Rules Advisory Committee of the Federal Judicial Conference, 2000-01 
   Federal Practice Task Force, 2002-2011 (co-chair, 2002-2009)
   Co-chair, Working Group on U.S.-Canada Cross-Border Class Actions, 2008-11   
   Representative to the Civil Rules Advisory Comm. on restyling the Fed. R. Civ. P., 2002-2005 
   Co-chair, Special Committee on the Future of Civil Litigation, 2009-2010
   Co-chair, Task Force on Attorney-Client Privilege, 2010-2012

California State Bar: 

   Member, Governance in the Public Interest Task Force, 2010-2011
   Member, Task Force on Admissions Regulation Reform, 2012-2014  
   California State Bar Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, 2009-2017

Other Professional Associations: 

Member, District of Columbia Federal Court Advisory Committee under the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 (Chair, Trial Practice Subcommittee), 1992-94 
Member, District of Columbia Circuit Judicial Conference, 1998
Honorary Member, COMBAR, the Commercial Bar Association, London, U.K., 1999-present Founding Member, American Constitution Society (Northern California Chapter), 2004-present Member, Transition Team, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, 2010-11
Member, Diversity Law Institute, 2012-present
Member, The Trial Law Institute, 2012-present  

Other Affiliations and Awards:

Trustee, Chair (1997-2001, 2007-2011, 2011-2013) and Executive Committee member (1997-2011), Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development (“IAIA”), Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1994-present (U.S. Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation).  The IAIA is one of three congressionally chartered institutions of higher learning (along with Howard and Gallaudet Universities) and oversees four- and two-year degree programs for Native Americans and Alaska Natives as well as the Museum of Contemporary Native American Art.  During Mr. Kieve’s first tenure as Chair the IAIA built and moved onto its new campus. During his second tenure as Chair, the IAIA constructed four new major campus construction projects and greatly expanded its curriculum. In his third (current) position as chair, the IAIA is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and has a major new fundraising campaign. He was reappointed in April 2015 by President Obama to another term ending in 2020.

Member, National Advisory Board (and Chair, Development Subcommittee), Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (“CCSRE”), Stanford University, 2001-present.  CCSRE is the umbrella organization for Stanford’s African and African-American, Chicano/a, Native-American and Asian-American Studies Programs, as well as its interdisciplinary undergraduate major in and graduate research center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

Stanford University “Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame” Inductee, 2012.

“Living the Dream” award, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area, 2011.       

Member and audit and nominating committee member, National Board of Directors, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 2007-present. 

Member, director (2004-present) and co-chair (2005-2007), Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area, San Francisco, California, 2003-present.

Sustaining contributor and participant, Center for International Security and Cooperation (“CISAC”), Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, 2004-present. 
Director, executive committee member and co-manager, Flint Industries, Inc., and The Flintco Companies, Inc. (Native-owned U.S., Canadian and South American oilfield services and construction companies), Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1985-2012      

Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in the East.

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (registered member)

Additional Information


Mr. Kieve has written hundreds of legal briefs on a broad range of issues at all levels, including before the U.S. Supreme Court.  He has been a primary author or major contributor to a large number of ABA and Litigation Section standards, position papers and analyses, including:

·         ABA Civil Trial Practice Standards (1998)

·         ABA Guidelines for Litigation Conduct (1998)

·         ABA Discovery Practice Standards (1999) (primary editor)

·         Ethical Issues: 40 Solutions for Litigators (ABA Section of Litigation) (2005) (contributing author)

·         ABA Policy on Expert Witness Reports (2006) (adopted on Dec. 1, 2010 as amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26)

·         ABA Policy on Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Material (2006) (now codified as part of Federal Rule of Evidence 502)

·         ABA Standards for Final Pretrial Submissions and Orders (2008) (primary editor)

·         Litigators on Experts (ABA Section of Litigation) (2010) (contributing author)

·         Rantings of a Partner, and Pushback from the Associate (ABA Section of Litigation) (2011) (contributing author)

·         ABA Protocol on Court-to-Court Communications in Canada-U.S. Cross-Border Class Actions (co-chair) (2011)

·         ABA Notice Protocol: Coordinating Notice(s) to the Classes in Multijurisdictional Class Proceedings (co-chair) (2011)

Stanford UniversityAB 1969University of OxfordBA 1971University of New MexicoJ.D. 1972University of OxfordMA 1975
Institute of American Indian ArtsCenter for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity - Stanford UniversityState Bar of California

Case History

FDIC Litigation —  Mr. Kieve represents the Trustee of a bank holding company in litigation against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation arising out of the FDIC’s takeover of the holding company’s subsidiary bank and the transfer of $127 million from the holding company to the subsidiary bank prior to the FDIC’s takeover.
Parmalat Litigation

He represented Dr. Enrico Bondi, the Italian extraordinary commissioner for Parmalat S.p.A., in the U.S. courts against Deloitte and Grant Thornton for accounting malpractice and other claims arising out of the $14 billion bankruptcy of the company, the largest in European history and referred to as the “Enron of Europe.”

He also represented Dr. Bondi in two separate U.S. suits against Citigroup and Bank of America for fraud and other claims arising out of the company’s bankruptcy.

General Electric

Mr. Kieve defended GE Energy in a multimillion dollar suit by Calpine seeking to avoid paying the termination fees for canceling a turbine purchase agreement.

He represented GE Commercial Aviation Services in suits against an aircraft conversion company for breach of contract and fraud in connection with the conversion of aircraft from passenger to freighter configurations.

He represented GE Energy in a suit by the New York Power Authority over GE’s role in the construction of a power plant in New York City.  He also represented GE Energy in a  complex dispute over the fees it owed under a co-generation agreement during the nation’s 2000 electrical energy crisis.

Mobil Corporation and Mobil Oil Corporation

Exxon Valdez:  Mr. Kieve served as separate outside counsel advising Mobil, one of the minority shareholders in the pipeline, in the numerous suits, including the federal criminal investigation, in the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  All suits were settled on favorable terms or dismissed.

Mitchell v. Mobil Oil Co. / Raymond v. Mobil Oil Co. / Christopher v. Mobil Oil Co.:   He successfully represented the company in suits in multiple actions for changing its pension plan by modifying the discount rate that would apply to its “lump sum” option (versus an annuity), but allowing employees to retire under the previous rate. 

Insurance Litigation and Arbitrations:  Mr. Kieve represented Mobil in federal court litigation over the coverage for the claims in the Mitchell/Raymond/Christopher cases, as well as in two U.K. arbitrations over the meaning and wrongful termination of two of the company’s multi-million dollar insurance policies.

Other matters:   Loren regularly advised Mobil and Mobil Oil on a broad range of issues.

Arbitration Experience

Mr. Kieve has been an arbitrator or counsel in a variety of domestic and international arbitrations, including ones involving the management of a major luxury resort;  the development of a petrochemical plant; and the construction of an LNG facility.

Office Location

Five Funston Avenue, Suite A
San Francisco, CA 94129
United States

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation

Other Information

Race: American Indian
Gender: Male