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Nicholaus W. Norvell is an attorney in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Special Districts and Municipal Law practice groups. Nick’s practice involves general counsel and special counsel services, advising clients on the full range of issues they encounter, including the Brown Act, Public Records Act, Political Reform Act, public contracting, governance policies, real estate, and other matters. Nick regularly works with agency directors, executives, and staff members to achieve their agency’s unique objectives while maintaining compliance with California’s complex and ever-evolving legislative and regulatory requirements.

Nick serves as general counsel to South Bay Irrigation District and interim general counsel to the East County Advanced Water Purification Joint Powers Authority, which is implementing a $900 million program to produce 30% of East San Diego County’s drinking water by purifying recycled water. Nick also serves as assistant general counsel to San Diego Community Power, a seven-member community choice aggregation joint powers agency, as well as a number of water and wastewater agencies in San Diego and Riverside counties.

Nick has extensive experience working with clients to negotiate complex interagency water and wastewater agreements and advising clients regarding the establishment and implementation of joint powers agreements, complex public records matters, and utility billing and payment issues (including Senate Bill 998, the Water Shutoff Protection Act). Prior to joining BB&K, Nick worked as a municipal and special district law attorney in Sacramento, and served as the assistant city attorney for the City of Pittsburg.

Outside his practice, Nick serves as chair of BB&K’s Firm Culture Subcommittee, part of the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Nick is a member of the California Lawyers Association’s Public Law Executive Committee, where he serves as co-vice chair of publications. Nick is also a member of the California Special District Association’s Legal Advisory Working Group and California Association of Sanitation Agencies’ Attorneys Committee.

Nick graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law and served as the editor-in-chief of the San Diego Law Review. During law school, Nick worked as a law clerk at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in Washington, D.C. and as a judicial extern to the Honorable Thomas J. Whelan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Nick grew up in Lemon Grove and is a third-generation San Diegan. Before attending law school, Nick worked as staff for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving in both the Washington, D.C. and San Diego offices, and he is grateful to have a legal career dedicated to serving the public. In his spare time, Nick enjoys cycling, film and science fiction.

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Municipal Law, "One to Watch", 2022–2024
  • Top 40 Under 40, San Diego Daily Transcript, 2020
  • Top Lawyer in State, Local & Municipal Law, Sacramento Magazine, 2016
Thought Leadership
  • "AB 1234 - Practical Ethical Issues for County Counsels, Conflicts of Interest, 1090 Liability," County Counsels’ Association of California Spring Land Use Study Section Conference, May 5, 2022
  • "Understanding Public Service Ethics Laws and Principles (AB 1234)," League of California Cities Planning Commissioners Academy, Mar. 16, 2022
  • "2020 Legal and Legislative Update," CSDA Special District Leadership Academy Conference, California Special Districts Association, Sept. 28, 2021
  • "New State Assistance Program for Unpaid Water and Wastewater Bills Due to COVID-19," California Special Districts Association Annual Conference , Aug. 31, 2021
  • "2020 Legal and Legislative Update," CSDA Special District Leadership Academy Conference, California Special Districts Association, Apr. 13, 2021
  • "CEQA: Handling the PRA and Administrative Record," California Lawyers Association's Open Meetings and Open Records Conference, May 31, 2019

Education & Admissions

University of San Diego School of Law
J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
Wesleyan University
B.A., government, with honors
Bar Admissions



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