Nicholas Dellefave is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., and Newport Beach offices, who focuses his practice on complex business litigation matters.

Mr. Dellefave's experience spans a broad range of substantive and legal issues, including commercial disputes, corporate shareholder and securities litigation, intellectual property infringement, federal False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) defense, class-action defense, oil and gas rights, defamation and First Amendment matters, real estate development issues, bankruptcy, and money judgment enforcement. His experience also includes challenges to the validity and constitutionality of state administrative regulations. Mr. Dellefave has represented clients in all phases of high-stakes state and federal litigation, effectively utilizing the tools of discovery and pre- and post-trial law and motion practice to secure favorable results and protect the interests of his clients. Mr. Dellefave's clients have included companies in the commercial real estate, healthcare, technology, energy, logistics and defense spaces, among other areas.

Mr. Dellefave maintains an active pro bono practice, providing legal guidance to low-income individuals and nonprofit organizations in both the National Capital Region and Southern California.

While in law school, Mr. Dellefave worked in the New York State Science and Technology Law Center, where he helped companies develop and implement commercialization strategies for emerging technologies. In this role, Mr. Dellefave drew from his engineering background and passion for technology to guide inventors and technology companies through protecting their intellectual property and obtaining regulatory approvals. Mr. Dellefave also interned for the Honorable David E. Peebles of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

Representative Experience

  • Prevailed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an appeal filed on behalf of firm client in complex business dispute involving the application of federal, state and foreign (Chinese) law
  • Obtained dismissal of a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit filed by a competitor against a nationwide event staffing company, and thereafter secured a $5.8 million attorneys’ fee award in the company’s favor upon a showing the case was prosecuted in bad faith
  • Secured a complete dismissal of a False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) case against a physician arising out of an alleged medical device kickback scheme
  • Successfully advocated for application of the "crime/fraud" exception to an opposing party’s attorney-client privilege, resulting in the disclosure of critical communications relating to a scheme to defraud a firm client
  • Obtained an award of substantial discovery sanctions for an opposing party's concealment of evidence and successfully defended the award on appeal
  • Obtained a judgment of nearly $1 million against the former general partner of a series of limited partnerships for obligations of the partnerships, which had been established as part of a fraudulent transfer scheme
  • Successfully represented a corporation in securities litigation arising from the ouster of the company's former CEO
  • Defended a corporation in a shareholder suit alleging breaches of duties owed to common stockholders in connection with the company's asset sale, ultimately securing summary judgment in the corporation’s favor
  • Served as second-chair trial counsel in a dispute between a hospital and an imaging equipment vendor over liability for electrical damage


  • Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • Syracuse University, B.S., Mechanical Engineering
  • Syracuse University, B.A., Economics
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • District of Columbia
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Journal of Science and Technology Law, Executive Editor, 2017-2018
Honors & Awards
  • Order of the Coif
  • Dean's List, Syracuse University College of Law, 2015-2018
  • Moot Court Honor Society, Syracuse University College of Law, 2016-2018
  • Order of Barristers, 2018
  • National Academy of Trial Lawyers Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Art and Science of Advocacy, 2018
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award, 2017-2018