Thomas J. Nolan




Los Angeles

T: +1.213.687.5250

F: 1.213.621.5250


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Tom Nolan is chair of Skadden’s West Coast litigation practice and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading trial attorneys. Mr. Nolan is a former federal prosecutor and served as chief of fraud and special prosecutions in the Los Angeles United States Attorney’s Office. He has been a member of the defense bar since 1979.

Mr. Nolan’s extensive trial experience includes representing corporations and individuals, including directors and officers, in both complex civil and criminal litigation in state and federal courts. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in matters involving antitrust and intellectual property issues, as well as in class action lawsuits and litigation involving a wide variety of contract disputes, unfair business practices and consumer fraud. Mr. Nolan also has represented clients in criminal and SEC enforcement matters and in internal investigations involving FCPA allegations, securities fraud, money laundering, RICO, health care fraud and insider trading violations. He has obtained jury verdicts of more than $1 billion for his clients and defeated claims exceeding $2 billion dollars asserted against his clients.

Mr. Nolan is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a fellow of the Academy of Trial Lawyers (admission limited to 500 trial attorneys in the United States). He has served as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. Additionally, Mr. Nolan has served as an adjunct professor of law teaching trial advocacy at Loyola University School of Law at Los Angeles, which has honored him with the Champion of Justice Award for excellence in trial advocacy. He is a frequent lecturer on trial advocacy issues at seminars sponsored by the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and Federal Bar Association. He also was named “Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year” by the California Bar Association for his representation of tenants against a slumlord, which resulted in a record-breaking settlement mid-trial. In 2015, Mr. Nolan was awarded the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Excellence in Advocacy Award, which honors a trial lawyer whose case successes have resulted from expert legal skills, unique trial strategy and courtroom teamwork, and who also gives back to the community.

Mr. Nolan has been selected for inclusion in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and he is one of only 21 attorneys listed in the top tier of national trial attorneys by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, which also ranks him in its top tier for general commercial litigation. He has been named “Litigator of the Week” by The Am Law Litigation Daily for his trial success in limiting damages awarded in the “Barbie v. Bratz” doll-war case and also has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Mr. Nolan has been profiled as one of the “Top 100” most influential lawyers in California and as one of the “Top 30 Securities Litigators” in California by the Daily Journal. He was named Best Lawyers’ 2015 “Los Angeles Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year” and in Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

Representative matters in which Mr. Nolan has been involved include:

  • Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in defense of hundreds of individual and class action lawsuits arising from allegations of economic loss from alleged incidents of unintended acceleration complaints;
  • Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America in a nationwide class action in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California;
  • HCP in a very favorable settlement in the Ventas v. HCP punitive damages litigation;
  • Litton Industries in a high-profile monopoly antitrust lawsuit against Honeywell, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California;
  • MGA Entertainment, Inc. in its protracted litigation against Mattel Inc. over the Bratz line of dolls in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California;
  • Peter Morton in securing a unanimous jury verdict awarding zero damages in a case alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and invasion of privacy;
  • the founders of Skype Technologies S.A., with a consortium of private equity and venture capital firms led by Silver Lake, in the $2.8 billion acquisition of Skype from eBay Inc.;
  • Tyco International Ltd. in a litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York brought by holders of $2.7 billion of notes issued by Tyco;
  • Univision Communications Inc. in its $13.7 billion going-private leveraged buyout by Broadcasting Media Partners Inc.; and
  • WorldCom, as lead trial counsel, in securing a settlement on the eve of jury selection in one of the largest securities class action cases in history.

Bar Admissions



J.D., Loyola University, 1975

B.B.A., Loyola University, 1971


Lead Counsel to Court-Appointed Receiver, U.S. District Court (1985-1989)

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, U.S. Department of Justice (1975-1979)


Fellow, American Bar Association, Sections on Litigation, Antitrust and Criminal Law (1998-Present)

Member, Board of Directors, Federal Bar Association

Member, Advisory Board, Board of Governors, Institute for Corporate Counsel

Member, Board of Directors, Public Counsel

Member, Board of Directors, Uncommon Good

Member, Board of Regents, Loyola Marymount University