Keola R. Whittaker


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  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, JD, cum laude, 2007
  • Reed College, MA, Liberal Studies, 2004
  • Whitman College, BA, Political Philosophy, 2001
  • California
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Business Law Fellow, American Bar Association Business Law Section, 2015-2017

Board Member, OutRight Action International

Member, National LGBT Bar Association

Member, National Hispanic Bar Association

Keola R. Whittaker practices in the areas of complex commercial disputes and financial services litigation, representing business clients in a variety of commercial litigation matters. He has significant experience defending financial service and other large companies in state and federal courts, including in shareholder class action lawsuits. Keola has also successfully litigated disputes arising out of commercial agreements, including claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, and fraud. In addition, Keola has experience representing companies in environmental litigation and regulatory matters that include complex environmental, land use, and natural resource issues. 

In recent matters, Keola has represented a large telecommunications company in breach of contract disputes and regulatory matters relating to telecommunication facilities. Keola has also successfully defended a snack food company in trademark litigation against one of Mexico’s largest corporations.

Keola regularly monitors developments in Delaware corporate law and corporate governance issues and has published several articles on shareholder lawsuits relating to corporate mergers and acquisitions. 

Before joining McGuireWoods LLP, Keola practiced law at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York.  During the 2008 financial crisis, Keola defended a number of large financial institutions in regulatory matters and litigation relating to corporate mergers and acquisitions. 

Keola is an active participant in community affairs and pro bono activities, and has volunteered for The Trevor Project, Equality California, Lambda Legal, Immigration Equality, and currently serves on the board of OutRight Action International.  Keola was recently awarded with the Business Law Fellowship by the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section and serves on the Section’s Business and Corporate Litigation Committee.  

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Represented a private equity firm in a trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery relating to a failed corporate merger.

Successfully defended a snack food company in a trademark and trade dress dispute with its largest competitor.

Provided pre-litigation advice to a large entertainment studio in several trademark and copyright matters.

Defended several large financial institutions in federal securities lawsuits and government investigations relating to the financial crisis of 2008.

Represented an internet media company in a fraud and breach of contract action relating to the sale of one of its subsidiary companies.

Named to "40 Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40," National LGBT Bar Association, 2014

Co-author, "Will Trulia Drive “Merger Tax” Suits Out of Delaware?," Legal Backgrounder, Washington Legal Foundation, April 2016
Author, "Soul Men Ruling Latest to Demonstrate Courts’ Shift To Transformative Use Test In Publicity Rights Cases," Entertainment Law & Finance, December 2013
Author, Trademark Dilution in a Global Age, 27 U. Pa. Int’l 90, 2007