James M. Nicholas - McDermott Will & Emery


James (Jim) Nicholas focuses his practice on federal and state labor and employment issues and litigation for life sciences, tech, private equity and portfolio companies. He is sought after to handle high-stakes matters relating to employee classification, wage and hour, leaves of absence, discrimination and harassment, wrongful termination and the enforcement of noncompetition and nondisclosure agreements, especially in Massachusetts and California.

Jim is an experienced litigator, frequently defending employers against wage and hour class actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws. He represents employers in cases involving claims of discrimination and harassment, breach of contract, defamation, noncompetition defense and enforcement, and shareholder disputes.

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  • Obtained dismissal of a nationwide wage and hour class action based on enforceability of arbitration agreements applicable to named class representatives*
  • Obtained summary judgement in favor of staffing agency involving claims by former executive for breach of contract and violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act*
  • Advised private equity and strategic buyers and sellers on labor and employment matters in transactions across industries such as technology, staffing, healthcare, logistics, robotics, biotech and pharmaceuticals*

*Matter handled prior to joining McDermott


  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Employment Law – Management, 2022 to 2023
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, “Rising Star,” 2005 to 2012 and 2016


  • Hingham Youth Football, Coach/Advisor
  • Hingham High School Football and Lacrosse Boosters, 2021 to 2022


University of Maryland, Baltimore, JD, Order of the Coif, 2002
State University of New York, Genesco, BA, 1999


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