People

Nicholas Howell specializes in complex litigation involving toxic and environmental torts, class actions, mass torts, and related matters. Nicholas litigates environmental citizen suits and permit challenges and disputes involving chemical exposure, groundwater contamination, air emissions, personal injury, stormwater, water rights, and property rights.  Nicholas has counseled and represented clients in litigation related to most of the major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, CERCLA, and others as well as many counterpart state laws.  Nicholas also frequently provides counsel on OSHA compliance and other process safety issues.  Nicholas combines this subject matter expertise with substantial courtroom experience, having tried multiple cases to verdict in federal and state courts and administrative agencies. 

Nicholas is a member of the firm’s nationally recognized Trial and Global Disputes, Toxic & Environmental Torts practice group, which was named as Practice Group of the Year in 2018.  Nicholas is a published author and frequent speaker on environmental and complex litigation issues. 

Before joining King & Spalding, Nicholas served as a law clerk to the Honorable J. Randal Hall of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia. He also worked as an Associate at a large international law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, focusing on environmental and complex commercial and business litigation. 

Nicholas is a state-wide officer in the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia.  He serves as the President of the University of Georgia School of Law Young Alumni Committee.  He also serves on the board of the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, Young Professionals Advisory Committee.  Nicholas is a member of the 2020 class of the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute and a graduate of the State Bar Young Lawyers Division Leadership Academy (2017).

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., University of Georgia School of Law, cum laude

B.A., Furman University, cum laude

Georgia

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia

Law Clerk, Honorable J. Randal Hall, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia

Atlanta Children's Shelter Young Professionals Advisory Committee, Board Member

Conservative Policy Leadership Institute, Class of 2020

Environmental Law Section, State Bar of Georgia, Treasurer

State Bar of Georgia

State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division Leadership Academy, Class of 2017

University of Georgia School of Law Young Alumni Committee, President

Matters

Successfully defended a large international medical device manufacturer and sterilizer against the State of Georgia in a lawsuit seeking a shutdown of its sterilization operations due to use of ethylene oxide.

Obtained defense verdict as second chair in a federal jury trial in the Northern District of Georgia involving allegations of violations of the Clean Water Act. This was the first NPDES stormwater citizen-suit tried to verdict in Georgia in almost a decade.

Successfully defeated class certification in a federal court class action involving more than 200 putative class members against an automotive parts manufacturer for claims of chemical exposure and property damage from groundwater.

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Matters

Successfully defended a large international medical device manufacturer and sterilizer against the State of Georgia in a lawsuit seeking a shutdown of its sterilization operations due to use of ethylene oxide.

Obtained defense verdict as second chair in a federal jury trial in the Northern District of Georgia involving allegations of violations of the Clean Water Act. This was the first NPDES stormwater citizen-suit tried to verdict in Georgia in almost a decade.

Successfully defeated class certification in a federal court class action involving more than 200 putative class members against an automotive parts manufacturer for claims of chemical exposure and property damage from groundwater.

Successfully defended an electric utility in appeal of Clean Water Act NPDES wastewater discharge permit for coal-fired power plant.

Successfully defended a manufacturer in a suit alleging environmental property damage claims related to vapor intrusion of volatile organic compounds.

Successfully defended national scrap metal recycler in disputes related to a large industrial fire and related state and local regulatory violations.

Obtained defense verdict as second chair in a federal bench trial in the Southern District of Florida in a lawsuit involving claims for injunctive relief and more than $1 million in damages.

Successfully defended two national grocery retail chains in federal district and appellate courts in a restrictive covenant property dispute involving claims for lost profits in excess of $70 million.

Represented Am Law 100 firm in dispute alleging claims for legal malpractice totaling over $100 million.

Insights

Energy Law Exchange

August 10, 2020
Environmental Tort Class Actions

Newsletter

August 3, 2020
Energy Newsletter - August 2020

View all

Matters

Successfully defended a large international medical device manufacturer and sterilizer against the State of Georgia in a lawsuit seeking a shutdown of its sterilization operations due to use of ethylene oxide.

Obtained defense verdict as second chair in a federal jury trial in the Northern District of Georgia involving allegations of violations of the Clean Water Act. This was the first NPDES stormwater citizen-suit tried to verdict in Georgia in almost a decade.

Successfully defeated class certification in a federal court class action involving more than 200 putative class members against an automotive parts manufacturer for claims of chemical exposure and property damage from groundwater.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Successfully defended a large international medical device manufacturer and sterilizer against the State of Georgia in a lawsuit seeking a shutdown of its sterilization operations due to use of ethylene oxide.

Obtained defense verdict as second chair in a federal jury trial in the Northern District of Georgia involving allegations of violations of the Clean Water Act. This was the first NPDES stormwater citizen-suit tried to verdict in Georgia in almost a decade.

Successfully defeated class certification in a federal court class action involving more than 200 putative class members against an automotive parts manufacturer for claims of chemical exposure and property damage from groundwater.

Successfully defended an electric utility in appeal of Clean Water Act NPDES wastewater discharge permit for coal-fired power plant.

Successfully defended a manufacturer in a suit alleging environmental property damage claims related to vapor intrusion of volatile organic compounds.

Successfully defended national scrap metal recycler in disputes related to a large industrial fire and related state and local regulatory violations.

Obtained defense verdict as second chair in a federal bench trial in the Southern District of Florida in a lawsuit involving claims for injunctive relief and more than $1 million in damages.

Successfully defended two national grocery retail chains in federal district and appellate courts in a restrictive covenant property dispute involving claims for lost profits in excess of $70 million.

Represented Am Law 100 firm in dispute alleging claims for legal malpractice totaling over $100 million.

Insights

Energy Law Exchange

August 10, 2020
Environmental Tort Class Actions

Newsletter

August 3, 2020
Energy Newsletter - August 2020

View all

Credentials

J.D., University of Georgia School of Law, cum laude

B.A., Furman University, cum laude

Georgia

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia

Law Clerk, Honorable J. Randal Hall, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia

Atlanta Children's Shelter Young Professionals Advisory Committee, Board Member

Conservative Policy Leadership Institute, Class of 2020

Environmental Law Section, State Bar of Georgia, Treasurer

State Bar of Georgia

State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division Leadership Academy, Class of 2017

University of Georgia School of Law Young Alumni Committee, President