Nick Spear
Associate
Los Angeles Office Phone: (310) 789-3108 Email Download vCard Print Bio to PDF
Education

The University of Chicago Law School (J.D., High Honors, Order of the Coif, 2014)

UCLA (B.A., Political Science, cum laude, College Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, 2009)

Judicial Clerkship

Law Clerk to the Honorable Andrew D. Hurwitz, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Law Clerk to the Honorable Philip S. Gutierrez, United States District Court for the Central District of California

Nick Spear
Associate

Nick Spear litigates high-stakes and high-profile matters across the United States, representing plaintiffs and defendants alike and regularly facing-off against industry titans. Spear is a true litigator – he has tried cases in federal courts, state courts, and arbitrations across a variety of legal areas including false claims, insurance, securities, real property, breach of contract, personal injury, and employment matters. Spear’s cases have been covered by the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, and numerous industry publications.

Named a Rising Star of the Plaintiffs Bar by National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers, as well as a  Litigation Trailblazer by National Law Journal (ALM) and a Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star (Thomson Reuters) in 2021, Spear plays a central role in the cases he litigates, regularly leading deposition efforts that elicit critical information to the outcome of his case, writing persuasive motions and briefs, and winning crucial arguments in court. Spear frequently argues, and succeeds, against lawyers with decades more experience, including successfully opposing a demurrer argued by a former United States Attorney.

Landmark Litigation

In State of California  v. Cellco Partnership, Spear served as co-lead counsel to some of the largest government entities in California—including the University of California system, the California State University System, and the County of Los Angeles—in a ground-breaking California False Claims Act lawsuit against the major wireless carriers. The carriers were alleged to have fraudulently overbilled their government customers for wireless services by failing to provide contractually required “lowest cost available” service. Spear played a central role in the matter and led efforts to pursue the offensive case against AT&T. In total, the four telecommunications giants—AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile—agreed pay $175 million to the government plaintiffs in California and Nevada, including over $50 million from AT&T alone (net settlement after fees and expenses not yet determined). These record-setting settlements are among the largest of their kind in California. Read more about the case in the Los Angeles Times’ coverage.

Spear is also at the forefront of protecting policyholders from improper insurance charges by many of the nation’s largest insurers, including Voya, Lincoln Life, North American, Genworth, Phoenix, and John Hancock. In Helen Hanks v. Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Spear represents a certified class of insurance policyholders against Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company over allegations that Voya improperly raised policyholders’ cost-of-insurance charges, resulting in millions of dollars in damages. And in 37 Besen Parkway LLC v. John Hancock Life Insurance Co, Spear helped secure a $91.25 million all-cash, non-reversionary settlement for insurance policy owners against John Hancock Life Insurance Co over allegations that Hancock breached the life insurance contracts of the class (before fees and expenses). Read more about that case here (subscription required).

Community Leadership

Spear is also actively involved in the community. He is an officer on the Executive Committee of the Barristers/Young Attorneys section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, which represents the interests of thousands of early-career attorneys across Los Angeles county. Spear will serve as the section’s Vice President during the 2021-2022 term.

Spear is also on the Advisory Board of the Western Center on Law and Poverty where he has helped raise thousands of dollars to support Western Center’s mission to protect California’s most vulnerable citizens. Spear has also spent more than a decade as a staff member for the American Legion’s California Boys’ State program, one of the nation’s premier governmental education programs for high school students, and currently serves as one of the program’s Legal and Elections counselors. Spear also sits on the Board of Directors of the American Legion California Boys State Foundation.

Before joining the firm, Spear served as law clerk to the Honorable Andrew D. Hurwitz of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to the Honorable Philip S. Gutierrez of United States District Court for the Central District of California. Spear earned his JD from University of Chicago Law School where he graduated order of the coif and with high honors, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA, where he graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Honors and Distinctions
  • Litigation Trailblazer, National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers (2021, ALM)
  • Rising Star of the Plaintiffs Bar, National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers (2021, ALM)
  • Southern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers (2021, 2022 Thomson Reuters)
  • Comments Editor, The University of Chicago Law Review
  • Order of the Coif, University of Chicago Law School
  • Kirkland & Ellis Scholar, University of Chicago Law School
  • The Ann Watson Barber Outstanding Service Award, University of Chicago Law School
  • The Thomas R. Mulroy Prize for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy and Oral Argument, University of Chicago Law School
  • Phi Beta Kappa, UCLA
Publications

Taking Leases, Comment, 80 U. Chi. L. Rev. 2005 (2013)

Admissions
  • State Bar of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California