Attorney Ben Rottenborn

J. Benjamin Rottenborn


Ben represents clients in complex civil litigation matters, and government and corporate investigations.

Get To Know Ben

Ben leads the firm's Government and Special Investigations team. He has extensive experience representing clients in government investigations by federal and state agencies, complex civil litigation matters involving issues in fiduciary duty, private equity/venture capital, intellectual property, and the First Amendment.  Ben practices at both the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts around the country. As co-lead trial and appellate counsel in the Depp v. Heard case, Ben is no stranger to handling high-profile disputes under the brightest of spotlights.

Prior to joining Woods Rogers in 2012, Ben was a partner in the Chicago office of international law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. The Waynesboro, Virginia native graduated with highest distinction from the University of Virginia and earned his law degree at Stanford Law School, where he served as president of the Stanford Law and Policy Review. After graduating, Ben served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable David G. Campbell, U.S. District Judge for the District of Arizona.

Ben has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and is a frequent speaker regarding litigation practice and trying high profile cases in the digital age. He has been named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers Virginia.


First Amendment

  • Represented a prominent actress in a seven-week defamation trial and subsequent cross-appeals. 
  • Represented a sportswriter in an IP and defamation action regarding ownership of writer’s social media account.
  • Represented the owners of a large franchise business in a defamation action brought by former employee and business partner.
  • Represented an investment advisory firm in a dispute with a former affiliate relating to allegedly defamatory statements.
  • Represented a movie studio in asserting First Amendment defenses to federal statutory claims.
  • Counseled numerous clients regarding public statements to avoid potential liability for defamation.

Government Investigations, Internal Investigations, and White Collar Crime

  • Represented a government contractor in the defense of fraud claims brought under False Claims Act.

  • Represented a specialized government contractor in a DOJ investigation concerning federal environmental statutes

  • Represented a healthcare provider in federal criminal and civil investigations for Medicaid fraud.
  • Represented a business in a proceeding before State Corporation Commission relating to financial advisory services.
  • Represented a client in an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services and successfully resolved the matter with no action taken by government.
  • Represented a national higher ed services provider in a federal government investigation.
  • Represented a national manufacturing company in the investigation of and litigation arising from former executives’ alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Led an internal investigation of a national company into fraud, theft, and breach of fiduciary duty by high-ranking executives.

Emerging Growth and Private Equity

  • Represented a private equity firm in both litigation and international arbitration proceedings relating to the acquisition of international healthcare firm, resulting in substantial settlement payment to client.
  • Represented former investors in and directors of a tech startup in seven-week jury trial alleging breach of fiduciary duty and helped achieve directed verdict at the end of plaintiff’s case.
  • Represented a global private equity fund in breach of fiduciary duty litigation alleging misconduct by corporate subsidiary and successfully resisted plaintiff’s counsel’s repeated attempts to pierce the corporate veil to hold client liable for misconduct of which it was unaware.
  • Represented a startup e-commerce firm in a dispute with a merchant vendor and obtained pre-litigation payment for alleged breach of contract.
  • Represented a real estate private equity firm in a federal lawsuit seeking rescission of one of its assets; obtained early dismissal of case.

Intellectual Property

  • Represent film and television studios in copyright infringement actions.
  • Represented a national manufacturing company in patent and trademark litigation and obtained preliminary injunction forbidding intellectual property infringement and putting a stop to certain allegedly unlawful business practices by opposing company.
  • Represented a national healthcare manufacturing firm in litigation brought by patent troll; used an aggressive litigation strategy of filing a declaratory judgment action to leverage license agreement for nuisance value.

Class Action Defense

  • Represented numerous companies in successfully defending against class actions, putative class actions, and shareholder derivative lawsuits alleging violations of federal statutes including securities laws, ERISA, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Represented a national auto manufacturer in a product liability putative class action; obtained full summary judgment ruling.

Other Complex Litigation

  • Defended a California-based power plant in commercial litigation brought by neighboring chemical plant.
  • Represented Fortune 100 company in litigation over a $15 billion contested merger; helped achieve successful resolution that avoided potentially catastrophic consequences for client and its employees.
  • Represented the local franchisee of national business in a commercial dispute; obtained a settlement that was greater than the maximum that could have been awarded at trial.
  • Achieved early dismissal of federal antitrust claims against Roanoke-based business.
  • Represented a licensed private investigator prosecuted for alleged misconduct in performance of job duties and achieved acquittal at trial.

Corporate Counseling

  • Represented a public company in response to an unsolicited offer to purchase; counseled the board of directors in properly discharging its members’ fiduciary duties in considering and responding to offer.
  • Represented public companies in response to pre-suit demand letters from shareholders threatening derivative lawsuits.
  • Counsel boards of directors and executives of both private and public companies regarding fiduciary duty and securities matters.



Stanford University School of Law, J.D.

University of Virginia, B.A., with highest distinction


Virginia State Bar

Illinois State Bar

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois


  • Science Museum of Western Virginia

Matter results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Past results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future matter. Some material on this site may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions.

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