Practical, creative, and tough, Fred Norton is both an accomplished trial lawyer and a business oriented adviser. He focuses on complex civil litigation, including antitrust, intellectual property, and government investigations.
Fred began his career at the preeminent national law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, where he was a partner from 2006 to 2012. He then joined SolarCity as the company’s Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Litigation, and continued in that role at Tesla after Tesla acquired SolarCity in 2016. In June 2017, Fred returned to private practice and founded The Norton Law Firm.
In the courtroom, Fred has established a track record of significant successes at every stage of litigation, on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, including a $1.3 billion jury verdict for plaintiff Oracle against rival SAP and a complete defense win for American Express in a nationwide class action seeking over $500 million for breach of contract, fraud, and unfair business practices. At the same time, he knows what it takes to make a trial win stick, and to turn around a trial court defeat: he has represented clients on appeal in the United States Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeals, and the state courts of appeals in California, New York, and Arizona.
Not every case will go to trial; not every case should. Cases are won when clients achieve their practical goals – a lawsuit may be defanged more easily than defeated outright, and the client equally happy with either result. Every case, however, requires an in-depth appreciation of the client’s overarching objectives, thorough preparation, a relentless focus on the strategy that secures those objectives – and a sound understanding of what will be decisive if the case nonetheless must be tried.
Fred is able to provide precisely that as a result of his combination of extensive courtroom experience and the perspective gained managing litigation and investigations at SolarCity and Tesla, multi-billion dollar, publicly traded companies with thousands of employees and customers. Whatever the case, whatever the stakes, Fred is able to identify the strategy, the law, and the facts that will get our client the best result at the earliest practical stage of litigation – whether that stage is before any complaint is ever filed, or even after judgment has been entered.
Fred Norton is one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with. He is an outstanding advocate and a first-rate legal mind, but what particularly stands out to me is his judgment, which is unfailing.
- Michael Jacobs Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP
Fred Norton is simply the best lawyer I have ever worked with. He is strategic, creative, practical and brilliant. Just as important, in my opinion, he is someone you would be happy to be sitting next to during a long layover. You won’t find anyone better.
- Seth Weissman, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, SolarCity Corp
Fred Norton is the strongest and smartest litigator I’ve ever worked with – he is strategic, and has an amazing ability to gain trust and work collaboratively with all parties to resolve matters effectively and efficiently.
- Phuong Phillips, Chief Legal Officer, Zynga
We have recognized Fred’s and Bree’s abilities since their days at large law firms. Now that they have opened their own firm, Fred’s strategic thinking, incisive analysis, and superb writing have already been put to good use on Oracle’s behalf. Fred and Bree are a formidable combination, and we are pleased that they both will be personally involved in all aspects of our matters.
- Deborah K. Miller, Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Oracle
Fred Norton and Nate Walker obtained a fantastic outcome for us—a recovery that far exceeded our expectations. I endorse them both.
- Howard Herman, Senior V.P. and General Counsel, Central National Gottesman, and Assistant Secretary of Spicers Paper, Inc. and Kelly Paper Company
NYU School of Law, JD 1999
University of Dayton, BA History, 1993
United States District Court, Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California
United States Court of Federal Claims
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, the Hon. M. Blane Michael
Honors and Awards
Northern California Super Lawyer, 2011, 2012, 2018-2020