Gina Nicholls represents public agency clients and investor-owned utilities. She has litigation, regulatory, and transactional experience. Her practice focuses on water rights, California public agencies, and limitations imposed by the state constitution on water-related rates, fees, and charges. She has been named a Super Lawyers Southern California Rising Star since 2016 by Los Angeles magazine.

Prior to joining Nossaman, Gina practiced complex litigation at a large international law firm. She also worked as an attorney in the office of general counsel of a federally funded research laboratory and institute of higher education. Before attending law school, Gina worked as a consulting environmental engineer and served in the United States Navy.



San Lorenzo Valley Water District.  General counsel to the San Lorenzo Valley Water District on all aspects of its operations involving the provision of drinking water and wastewater collection in Santa Cruz County.

Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency.  Representing Fox Canyon in the development and implementation of draft groundwater sustainability plans in multiple basins throughout Ventura County and related litigation, including the first comprehensive adjudication of groundwater rights under SGMA.

Imperial Irrigation District.  Assisting with the District’s defense to a writ of mandate brought by agricultural water users to challenge the District’s water distribution plan.

City of Ontario.  Advising the City on ongoing basis in connection with a wide range of water-related legal issues including regional water and sewer system management and proceedings seeking to amend the Chino basin judgment. 

Goleta Water District.  Assisted with a water rights lawsuit brought by the District in Santa Barbara Superior Court against a private water user. 

California Water Association.  Assisted with the preparation of a template joint powers agreement for use in streamlining the formation of Joint Powers Authorities to serve as groundwater sustainability agencies under SGMA.  Assisted with preparing public comment letters to state agencies including the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board. 

Proposition 218.  Provided legal advice to several public agency clients regarding potential changes to water or sewer fees and charges.


Speaking Engagements


Honors & Recognitions

Selected to the Southern California Rising Stars list, 2016-2020

Selected for the California Water Education Foundation's Water Leaders Program, 2017




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