Mr. Nichols has over 30 years of experience as a construction and commercial law and litigation specialist, and is co-chair of Rutan’s Construction Law Group. He represents prime and specialty contractors, manufacturers and suppliers, institutional and private owners, developers, builders, design professionals, lenders, insurers, distributors, and others in business and construction law matters. Mr. Nichols has assisted clients in negotiating and drafting a wide array of construction and commercial agreements, and has extensive experience and an impeccable record as a courtroom trial lawyer, including matters involving large infrastructure projects, transit and highway projects, commercial structures, power plant construction and financing arrangements, public facility development and construction, manufacturing and other facilities. Mr. Nichols is also a member of Rutan’s Executive Committee.
Mr. Nichols has extensive experience in state, federal and appellate courts, arbitration and mediation proceedings, and also serves as an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association's large complex case panel of arbitrators.
Most recently, Mr. Nichols was selected as one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers chosen by the Daily Journal, and has also been voted by OC Metro as one of their “Top 25.” He achieved these honors for his exemplary courtroom victories, extensive construction law transactional experience, numerous large awards, and significant settlements including several large awards against the California Department of Transportation, among others.
Representative Cases and Matters
- Prosecution of delay and extra work claims by a national prime contracting firm arising from construction of a medical research facility.
- Negotiating and drafting complex construction agreements and related documentation for a California hydrogen gas production facility.
- Prosecution of contract claims by an international automotive racing team under a sponsorship agreement.
- Prosecution of differing site conditions claims, productivity claims, and time extension requests by a national heavy engineering prime contracting firm against a state highway agency.
- Prosecution of contract claims by an international prime contracting firm in connection with the design and installation of a voice and data communications system for a state university campus.
- Defense of claims against a national banking institution/construction lender arising from the development of an office complex in Southern California.
- Prosecution of cost and impact claims by a prime contracting firm arising from design and construction of multiple power generating facilities throughout California.
- Defense of a national engineering firm in connection with unfair competition and trade secret claims brought by a competitor.
Areas of Expertise
- Construction Law and Litigation
- Business and Commercial Litigation
- The Need For P3 - Public Private Partnerships Can Help Bridge America's Infrastructure Gap, DBIA Newsletter, Spring 2013