Nicholas M. DePalma

Depalma Nicholas

Nick DePalma is a first-chair trial attorney representing clients in disputes involving commercial contracts, government contracts, false advertising claims, real estate disputes, and trust and estate issues. He has significant experience in both commercial litigation and arbitration—securing verdicts, judgments, injunctions, arbitral awards, and settlements for both commercial and pro bono criminal defendants. He has also represented companies defending against enforcement proceedings and lawsuits brought by federal agencies. Before joining Venable, Nick spent seven years as a commercial litigator at an international law firm, during which he defended foreign sovereigns and financial institutions in courts across the country.


Representative Matters

Government Contracts Litigation

  • Defeated $8 million suit by satellite bandwidth supplier against prime contractor over a contract to supply satellite bandwidth for use by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (PACOM) through an IT Schedule 70 Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity prime contract with the U.S. government. Secured a complete victory on all claims and fee shifting in excess of $1.5 million (Hawaii Pacific Teleport, LP v. Peraton Government Communications, Inc.) (International Court of Arbitration No. 24178/MK) (confirmation proceedings D. Hawaii 2020)
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction for a large defense contractor under the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act regarding trade secrets shared during a teaming agreement involving the receiving party’s failure to firewall employees with knowledge. (E.D. Va.)
  • Secured summary judgment of $4,367,121.68 on behalf of a lender against a defense contractor guarantor. (PFF, LLC v. Benjamin Worrell) (E.D. Va.)
  • Secured a $360,000 verdict as counsel in a trial involving employee raiding and breach of fiduciary duty, with regard to government contractor employees. (Overlook Systems Technologies v. Lortie) (Fairfax Cir.)
  • Obtained and collected a $584,013 judgment against a subcontractor related to weapons supply and static security in Afghanistan. (Aegis Defense Services, LLC v. Integrated Systems) (E.D. Va.)
  • Defended a foreign sovereign in a lawsuit brought by a U.S. contractor related to military support. (UNC Lear Services, Inc. v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) (W.D. Tex.)
  • Prosecuted claims against a U.S. contractor on behalf of a foreign sovereign on claims related to the largest ice-skating rink in Kuwait; obtained $482,419 judgment. (Touristic Enterprises Co. v. PRC Commercial Refrigeration) (D. N.J.)
  • Opposed a motion to confirm an arbitral award arising out of the construction of military barracks in Kenya. (Trax Const. Ltd. v. Dyncorp) (E.D. Va.)
  • Secured a confidential settlement on behalf of a subcontractor in a contract dispute
  • Secured a confidential settlement for a service-disabled veteran-owned small business against a competitor in a trade secret case. (Fairfax Cir.)
  • Secured a confidential settlement against a competitor in a trade secret case. (Fairfax Cir.)
  • Lead counsel in business conspiracy case involving allegations of a breached teaming agreement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and violation of restrictive covenants. (Fairfax Cir.)

Contract and Business Disputes

  • Lead counsel for licensor in software licensing dispute concerning the scope of license over software products (ongoing)
  • International coordinating counsel for software company in connection with contract disputes for claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic (ongoing)
  • Served as trial counsel for a creditor in lawsuits involving large parcels of land in Northern Virginia; defeated the preliminary injunction actions brought by a junior creditor and the land owner. (Fairfax Cir.)
  • Defended a biotechnology company against an action brought by a patent holder under a license agreement. (American Arbitration Association)
  • Defended a wind technology company against an action brought by a former vice president. (Roy v. Catch the Wind LTC) (Prince William County Cir.)
  • Represented a foreign diplomat in an action brought by a former employee. (Al-Bundak v. Hariri) (E.D. Va.)
  • Represented a clothing manufacturer in lawsuits against competitors. (CustomInk, LLC v. OOShirts, Inc.) (CustomInk, LLC v. ShirtMagic) (E.D. Va.)
  • Represented creditor before the Supreme Court of Virginia. Won reversal of trial court decision attempting to reduce a confessed judgment. (Catjen LLC v. Hunter Mill West, L.C.) (Record No. 171067)
  • Secured summary judgment for the plaintiff creditor in the amount of $4,734,857.96. (Catjen LLC v. Hunter Mill West, L.C.) (E.D. Va.)

Lanham Act False Advertising Cases

  • Obtained a preliminary injunction against a poultry company for advertising related to antibiotic use. (Sanderson Farms v. Tyson Foods, Inc.) (D. Md.)
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction against a competitor for its promotional campaign targeting retailers and distributors, concerning an anticipated regulatory action. (Reckitt Benckiser v. Motomco Ltd) (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company against a competitor for advertising related to a generic drug. (Intendis, Inc. v. River’s Edge Pharmaceuticals) (D. Md.)
  • Obtained dismissal of a Lanham Act claim in a dispute between military contractors, involving the disposal of unexploded ordnance off the coast of Hawaii. (U.S. Demil v. ARA Group) (E.D. Va.)

Shareholder Disputes

  • Obtained summary judgment of $637,867 for an executive in a stock options case and successfully defended the judgment before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. (E.D. Va.)
  • Obtained dismissal of all counts and an award of attorney's fees in a $6 million shareholder lawsuit for fraudulent inducement. (Murayama v. NISC) (Fairfax Cir.)
  • Secured a confidential settlement for an executive in arbitration involving an ownership dispute. (American Arbitration Association)
  • Defeated all claims against an executive in arbitration related to an earn-out agreement that arose from of the sale of a foreign telecommunications company. (American Arbitration Association)

Financial Services Litigation

  • Defended a financial institution against claims related to a mortgage loan; obtained complete dismissal of all claims. (Uzoma v. Barclays) (D. Md.)
  • Defended a financial institution against a putative class action related to a mortgage loan; obtained summary judgment. (Vincent v. Barclays) (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Defended a mortgage loan originator in an action brought by certificate holders for breach of representations and warranties in a residential mortgage-backed security trust; obtained dismissal of millions in claims for failure to comply with conditions precedent. (MASTR Asset Backed Securities Trust 2006-HE3 v. EquiFirst)
  • Defended a financial institution against a putative class action alleging violations of California's Penal Code and Invasion of Privacy Act based on the recording of phone calls; obtained voluntary dismissal after moving for summary judgment. (O'Malley v. Aurora Loan Services) (C.D. Cal.)

Trust and Estates Litigation

  • Defeated motion for temporary injunction to remove administrator (Fairfax Cir. 2020)
  • Served as lead counsel for a trustee and executor in an action for an accounting. (Fairfax Cir.)
  • Served as lead counsel for a trust and its trustees in an action for accounting by the purported beneficiary. (Loudoun Cir.)
  • Represented a personal representative in an undue influence case involving a bequest of $20,000,000 to the University of Maryland. (Md. Cir.)

Employee Mobility Litigation

  • Lead counsel in case against former employee charged with violating a nondisclosure agreement and tortiously interfering with a government contract. (E.D. Va.)
  • Secured a preliminary injunction against a former executive in a noncompetition and misappropriation of trade secrets case on behalf of the largest shipping company in the United States. (Norfolk Cir.)
  • Represented a mobile phone forensics company in an action to enforce a noncompetition covenant against a former employee. (Fairfax Cir.)




  • J.D. William & Mary School of Law 2006
    • Graduated First in Class
    • Order of the Coif
    • Order of Barristers
  • B.A. with distinction George Mason University 2003

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, Fairfax Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Master, George Mason American Inn of Court


  • Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, Virginia, 2021