Nicholas J. Ellis

Senior Counsel


Nicholas Ellis is a senior counsel and litigator with Foley & Lardner LLP. Mr. Ellis’ practice focuses on the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), supply chain disputes, warranty claims, contract law and business tort law. Mr. Ellis also routinely counsels clients on commercial contract issues. He is a member of the Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice and the Automotive Industry Team.

Mr. Ellis has experience litigating disputes in state and federal courts, ranging from complex commercial litigation to simple breach of contract actions. Mr. Ellis also has experience litigating disputes in various arbitration forums, including the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution (SCAI).

Representative Experience

Example matters with which Mr. Ellis has assisted clients include:

  • Litigating claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contractual confidentiality provisions.
  • Counseling clients in connection with commercial agreements, including negotiation of terms and conditions between suppliers and customers.
  • Litigating warranty disputes at all levels of the automotive supply chain, including defending a Tier 1 supplier against claims for tens of millions of dollars by its OEM customer.
  • Defending an automotive supplier against claims for consignee liability by a shipping company seeking to recover millions of dollars of expedited shipping costs incurred by a failed sub-supplier.
  • Defeating efforts to obtain injunctive relief that would otherwise have required the client to relinquish a multi-million dollar setoff taken against a financially troubled supplier.
  • Obtaining injunctive relief and appointment of receivers in concurrent proceedings across multiple forums in Michigan and Ohio.


Mr. Ellis received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School (cum laude, 2009) and his undergraduate degree, with honors, in political science and criminal justice from Michigan State University (2006). Prior to joining Foley, he served as a volunteer attorney for the Michigan State Appellate Defender Office and as an intern for the Honorable George Caram Steeh of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Admissions and Professional Memberships

Mr. Ellis is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Michigan. He is a member of the Michigan Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association.


  • “Warranty Dispute Litigation: Five Critical Issues,” Michigan Bar Journal, January 2017
  • “Weathering the (Winter) Storm,” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, March 2016
  • “Lessons That Manufacturers Can Learn From Automotive Recall Issues,” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, September 2015
  • “Buying Someone Else’s Headache – Top Five Supply Chain Pitfalls to Consider When Expanding Through Acquisition,” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, April 2015
  • “Class Action Lawsuits – Risks and Mitigation Strategies for Component Manufacturers,” Manufacturing Industry Advisor, January 2015
  • “Tug-Of War: Attorney-Client Privilege vs. Deposition,” Law360, October 2014
  • “Protecting Competitive Business Interests Through Non-Compete Clauses,” The Michigan Business Law Journal, Summer 2010