Akin Gump today announced that Neal R. Marder has joined the firm in Los Angeles as a partner, adding significant depth to its West Coast litigation team. Mr. Marder, whose practice focuses on class and mass actions, bet-the-company litigation, and complex business and commercial litigation, comes to Akin Gump from Winston & Strawn, where he helped launch that firm’s Los Angeles office and chaired its national consumer class actions practice.
Mr. Marder has a lengthy track record of successful trial work representing corporate directors and officers as well as public and private companies in matters involving complex business disputes and consumer torts, securities fraud, white collar, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), intellectual property, antitrust, unfair competition and breach of fiduciary duty claims. Trying cases at both the federal and state court level, he has also conducted internal investigations for clients being investigated by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Beyond his extensive work in California with clients from San Diego to Los Angeles to the Bay Area, Mr. Marder also maintains an extensive cross-border practice representing and litigating against foreign companies, auditors and individuals in securities fraud, shareholder derivative and other litigation.
“Neal not only enhances the services we offer to our clients in California and across the country, but also adds to the growing cross-border work we do on behalf of those with business dealings in Asia,” said Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “His experience and proven ability to deliver great results will augment our strong West Coast litigation team, and I am delighted to welcome him to Akin Gump.”
Added Stephen M. Baldini, head of Akin Gump’s litigation practice: “We are tapping Neal for his extensive experience as a highly successful trial lawyer and consumer class action litigator and because we believe he will help grow and solidify our litigation practice on the West Coast. His practice adds significantly to our current strengths, and that, coupled with his excellent track record and leadership skills, will help us continue to enhance our global litigation practice.”
Among Mr. Marder’s recent trial wins was a 2015 case in which he obtained a unanimous $42.5 million jury verdict, including $30 million in punitive damages, on behalf of a California-based distributor of home comfort products in a federal lawsuit against a Chinese manufacturer of air conditioners and household appliances. After a nearly three-week trial, the jury found the defendants intentionally interfered with the plaintiff’s contractual relations and prospective economic advantage. The win led the “Top Plaintiff Cases” section of Daily Journal’s “Verdicts & Settlements” report, ranked 45 on the “Top 100 Verdicts of 2015” and was listed as the top verdict in Business Law in The Recorder’s California’s “Million Dollar Verdicts.”
Also last year, Mr. Marder defeated a motion for class certification in a high-profile RICO and consumer fraud action against a company engaged in the online sale of nutritional supplements, as well as several of the company’s current and former officers and directors. The plaintiffs alleged primarily that the defendant was a pyramid scheme and made false and misleading statements about its products. Mr. Marder defeated class certification, avoiding a trial with alleged potential damages exceeding $150 million, and plaintiffs ultimately agreed to stipulate to voluntarily dismiss the case, with prejudice, in its entirety.
“Akin Gump’s litigation team is one of the strongest in the country, with a global platform to match, and I am very excited to be a part of it,” said Mr. Marder. “Along with its cross-border practice, which complements exceedingly well the work I do on behalf of international clients, I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed. I look forward to working with my many new colleagues across the firm and helping Akin Gump grow its West Coast litigation practice.”
Mr. Marder is a frequent writer and presenter on an array of issues germane to his practice. He also serves as a board member of Bet Tzedek, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, comprehensive legal services for low-income individuals and families in Los Angeles.
Mr. Marder received his J.D., cum laude, from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where he was elected to Order of the Coif, and his B.S., cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles.
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