Katherine Hertel

Katherine (“Kate”) Hertel, an experienced first-chair trial lawyer based in Los Angeles, focuses her practice on complex business litigation, white collar criminal defense, and internal investigations. Ms. Hertel represents companies and individuals across a broad range of industries, most notably the high-tech, financial services, health care, legal, and entertainment industries. She has extensive experience representing clients in high-profile matters, and in implementing media and communications strategies to address the unique circumstances in such cases.  Ms. Hertel has prosecutorial and in-house litigation experience and was previously a partner at the global law firm of Alston & Bird and a senior associate at Jones Day.

An aggressive advocate, Ms. Hertel has successfully tried a variety of civil and criminal cases to verdict in both federal and state court. She has also obtained favorable results for numerous clients through arbitration and mediation. Outside of active litigation, Ms. Hertel regularly provides counseling on pre-litigation matters to enable many clients to successfully resolve disputes and avoid litigation altogether.

On the civil side, Ms. Hertel has assisted numerous clients litigate and win their most challenging business, contract, and commercial disputes. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide array of matters, including business frauds, licensing disputes, unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty, professional liability, shareholder and partnership disputes, intellectual property infringement (patent, trademark, and copyright), trade secret misappropriation, defamation, privacy violations, class action suits, employment cases, breach of warranty, and interference with prospective economic advantage, among many other complex business torts and contract claims.

On the criminal and government enforcement side, Ms. Hertel has both prosecuted and defended individuals charged with federal and/or state crimes in pretrial, trial, and post-trial settings. Her experience includes the successful defense of clients against a broad range of allegations, including investment fraud, accounting fraud, tax fraud/tax evasion, insider trading, wire and mail fraud, intellectual property theft, cybercrime, health care fraud, submission of false claims, off-label drug promotion, commercial bribery, embezzlement, money laundering, bank fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering. Ms. Hertel has also successfully defended numerous white-collar clients against general criminal allegations.

On the investigations side, Ms. Hertel has managed multi-year, multi-target grand jury investigations involving dozens of witnesses, subjects, and targets, and has worked closely with prosecuting and investigating agencies to resolve the investigations, in many instances avoiding indictment. Ms. Hertel also regularly conducts internal investigations at the request of corporations, boards of directors, audit committees, and special committees.

Ms. Hertel was born and raised in Southern California where she currently resides. She spent the bulk of her legal career at two Tier 1 national law firms, Jones Day and Alston & Bird LLP, including as an associate and partner. Her experience as a litigation partner at a global law firm, combined with her work as a prosecutor and subsequently as head of west coast litigation at a Fortune 10 company, has provided Ms. Hertel with the unique ability to analyze and understand all sides of a legal dispute – from the perspectives of the litigator, the business client, and the government.


  • State of California
  • All U.S. District Courts in California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • University of California, San Diego


  • Email: [email protected]
  • Direct dial: (213) 279-9600  (LA office)
  • Direct dial: (415) 881-3196 (SF office)


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