Nick Boyle is co-chair of the firm’s Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets practice group and its Arbitration practice group. He handles a wide variety of litigation, with an emphasis on complex civil disputes with an international component. Nick’s experience spans federal and state courts around the United States; various arbitral fora, including AAA/ICDR, FINRA, JAMS, and ad hoc arbitrations; and, acting as coordinating counsel, courts around the world. In 2018 Nick was recognized by The National Law Journal as a “Trailblazer” for his pioneering legal strategy in global litigation over data theft by a client’s competitor. He was an American Lawyer “Litigator of the Week” finalist in December 2019 as a result of an appellate win for HSBC. Also in 2019, he was ranked by Benchmark Litigation and recognized as a D.C. Super Lawyer (2017-19). In 2016, Law360 featured Nick in its inaugural Trial Pros series, a Q&A highlighting his career as a trial attorney.
Nick has represented investment banks, a global private equity fund, inter-dealer brokers, movie studios, technology companies, and the leading commercial real estate data provider. His practice encompasses commercial disputes; copyright and trade secrets cases, particularly involving the Internet; securities actions, including several RMBS cases; employment disputes in the financial sector; and defense of antitrust and RICO claims. His client representations take him to New York and London on a regular basis, and have also involved depositions and other work in multiple other locations from Australia to Estonia.
Nick’s pro bono experience includes serving as lead counsel in a criminal appeal that resulted in the government entering a nolle prosequi despite having previously obtained a conviction on 11 counts against the defendant. Outside the firm he serves as a mentor in the Economic Club Scholars to Leaders program, and is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Nick grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and received his LL.B. with first class honors from London University’s King’s College in 1994, his LL.M. with high honors from Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, and an American LL.M. from Harvard Law School, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. After law school, Nick worked at Debevoise & Plimpton in London and New York, representing private equity funds and European telecommunications companies. Nick joined Williams & Connolly in 2001. He taught antitrust law as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center from 2005 to 2008, and has also lectured in civil liberties and constitutional law at the University of London. He is married to the NPR host and novelist Mary Louise Kelly, and they live in Washington, DC with their two sons.
Though all cases vary and none is predictive, Nick’s experience includes:
- In 2019, obtaining a $500 million judgment for CoStar Group, an international commercial real estate data firm, in copyright, CFAA and unfair competition litigation against a major U.S. competitor, and coordinating related copyright lawsuits against the competitor’s agents in The Philippines and India. The judgment is the largest in history for the infringement of copyrighted images. The developments in this case have been reported on by The Wall Street Journal, The American Lawyer, Bisnow, The Telegraph, The Business Journal, and Law360.
- In 2019, representing HSBC in a $508 million mortgage-backed securities suit in New York. In December 2017 a New York intermediate appellate court reversed the trial court and dismissed the claims against HSBC. Law360 reported that “the ruling marks the first time a case of its kind has been dismissed on this basis.” In 2019, following oral argument, the New York Court of Appeals affirmed, dismissing the half billion dollar action.
- In 2019, representing a global private equity firm as plaintiff in a $100 million contract case in Delaware Chancery Court. Law360 has reported on recent favorable case developments, including the Court’s ruling that the case should proceed to trial.
- Representing major motion picture studios in the landmark MGM v. Grokster copyright case against the providers of peer-to-peer file-sharing services, including Kazaa.
- Serving as lead defense counsel for an inter-dealer brokerage desk in a FINRA arbitration involving claims of illegal hiring and theft of confidential information. After merits hearings spread over three months, the Panel denied the multi-million dollar claims brought by the London-based brokerage claimant and granted 100% of the desk’s counterclaims. The favorable verdict was reported in The Financial Times, Forbes and Bloomberg.
- In 2015, acting as lead defense counsel for a global private equity firm in trade secrets litigation in New York over the hiring of a senior executive. After defendants filed two motions to dismiss, the case settled on favorable terms.
- Acting as co-lead counsel for NBA Hall of Fame Coach Larry Brown in his $50 million ad hoc arbitration against The New York Knicks, which was resolved after the merits hearing. The New York Post described Boyle as a “legal pit bull.”
- In 2017, representing CoStar Group in a copyright and unfair competition case in Los Angeles. The district court entered a permanent injunction, mandating the defendant’s use of a copyright filter, and requiring the payment of $10,000 per day, per photograph if further copyright infringement occurs. In addition, the defendant paid $10,000 per stolen real estate listing and $10,000 per infringed image.
- In 2016, representing a global bank in pending antitrust and Commodity Exchange Act lawsuits relating to U.S. Treasury auctions.
- In 2015, serving as lead defense counsel for a global private equity firm in a trade secrets case in Texas involving the acquisition of the largest marina in the United States.
- In 2016, representing CoStar Group as plaintiff in copyright litigation in Texas, which led to an injunction mandating the defendants’ use of a copyright filter, and an initial million dollar damages payment.
- Acting as lead counsel for a mortgage servicing company before the Delaware Supreme Court and Delaware Chancery Court. Boyle argued the appeal that led to the landmark Central Mortgage decision clarifying Delaware’s pleading standard.
- Defending Sprint-Nextel in a breach of contract action in Los Angeles brought by former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating and a group of investors seeking $200 million in connection with a mobile phone joint venture. After Sprint obtained sanctions twice against the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs dismissed their case with prejudice and made a payment to Sprint.
- Acting as co-lead plaintiff’s counsel in a 2011 AAA/ICDR arbitration between two global inter-dealer brokerages involving the misappropriation of U.S. Treasuries price data.
- Defending UBS in a New York breach of contract action involving a $100 million mortgage portfolio.
- In 2016, representing two bankers in a FINRA arbitration involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation and violation of restrictive covenants.
- Serving as shadow and witness counsel in a sixteen week jury trial in New Jersey in 2014 involving RICO, trade secrets, and unfair competition claims.
- Representing the non-settling plaintiff states in the ten week remedies trial in the landmark Microsoft antitrust case in federal District Court in Washington, D.C.
- Representing UBS in a dispute involving Goldman Sachs and PIMCO regarding a half-billion dollar sale of mortgage-backed securities.
- Defending the owner of a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer in a criminal case involving FDA felony charges.
- Defending an international energy company in a complex civil litigation in Delaware involving allegations of fraud and breaches of the securities laws in connection with the sale of a power plant.
- Representing a pioneering Internet telephony company in a patent infringement case in federal District Court in New Jersey against eBay and Skype.
Recognized by Benchmark Litigation, 2019
"Plaintiffs' Lawyers Trailblazer," The National Law Journal, 2018
Recognized as a Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in Washington, D.C. by Super Lawyers, 2017-2019
Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, 2018
"Trial Pros: Williams & Connolly's Nick Boyle," Law360, 2016