Litigation Law Firm and Patent Litigation Lawyers

Thomas Whitelaw & Kolegraff is one of the nation’s premier law firms located in Orange County emphasizing in high-stakes intellectual property, complex business and real estate litigation. As a top corporate litigation law firm With a growing bench of nationally-recognized attorneys, we provide exceptional legal and trial experience. We focus our practice in litigation and patent law.

Thomas Whitelaw is known for winning high-stakes litigation–whether it’s a $102 million settlement for a real estate owner, a $33 million judgment for a shopping center operator, or a multi-million dollar settlement in a patent suit for a global entertainment giant. We deliver extraordinary results.

From multinational leaders to mid-sized pioneers, clients come to us for creative litigation strategies and in-court experience. But equally as important, they come to us for the extraordinary value our boutique firm offers. With a breakthrough model for providing legal services, Thomas Whitelaw offers the combination of personal attention from “inner circle” A-list lawyers and alternative billing arrangements designed to align our clients’ and our firm’s interests. We do this by providing clients an array of billing choices including project fees, fixed fees, success fees, highly competitive hourly rates, or other alternative billing arrangements. In addition, we work to keep expenses low and teams appropriately staffed for each matter.

Contact Thomas Whitelaw & Kolegraff LLP today if you need legal assistance with any of the following:

Business & Commercial Law

  • Intellectual Property
  • Complex Business
  • Real Estate and Construction
  • Environmental and Construction
  • Corporate

A general counsel of a large client recently commented, “You all put more into than just doing your jobs. Everyone poured their hearts into the cause. Throughout the trial I continually observed that the other side lacked a genuine team. We had the advantage because of the people we had on our side.” Call Thomas Whitelaw & Kolegraff LLP today at 949-679-6400 to arrange your consultation.

Attorney Joseph E. Thomas

Joseph Thomas is the managing partner and co-founder of Thomas Whitelaw. A rare breed of trial lawyer, Mr. Thomas consistently achieves both unprecedented courtroom successes as well as rapid out-of-court settlements. Time and again, he has led his team of preeminent litigators in winning high-stakes national cases, and is recognized by general counsels at Fortune 500 companies around the country for creating a “Go-To” litigation firm, a distinction awarded by Corporate Counsel magazine to Thomas Whitelaw in both 2007 and 2008.

Bar Admissions:

  • Supreme Court of the United States of America
  • State Bar of California
  • United States District Courts
    • All Federal District Courts within the State of California
    • Eastern District of Virginia
    • Eastern District of Texas
    • Southern District of New York
    • District of Connecticut


  • JD, magna cum laude, 1981, Pepperdine Law School
  • BA, magna cum laude, 1977, Lehigh University

Professional Memberships and Achievements:

  • Mr. Thomas was a judicial extern to the Honorable Terry S. Hatter, District Court Judge for the Central District of California. He was named a Top IP Lawyer for 2015 and is a member of Seven Figure Lawyers

Attorney James M. Whitelaw

James M. Whitelaw possesses both a strong legal and engineering background that is an important asset to the firm and its clients. Mr. Whitelaw’s extensive trial and litigation experience with diverse matters has distinguished him as a talented litigator with a winning track record.

Bar Admissions:

  • State Bar of California
  • United States Federal Courts
    • Central District of California
    • Eastern District of California
    • Northern District of California
    • Southern District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit


  • JD, Loyola Law School with high honors
  • BS in Aerospace Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, cum laude
    • Honorary member in the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society

Professional Memberships and Achievements:

  • Mr. Whitelaw is an active member in several professional organizations. In addition to his memberships in the Intellectual Property Law Sections of the State Bar of California and American Bar Association, Mr. Whitelaw was an Advisory Committee Member in Loyola Law School’s Special IP Focus Series Program.

Attorney William J. Kolegraff

Bill Kolegraff is a seasoned patent attorney registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and a former business executive who managed a sizable intellectual property portfolio for many years. Mr. Kolegraff’s litigation skills are informed by his extensive patent licensing, negotiation, and business experience. He has successfully litigated complex patent cases in several District Court venues, as well as at the ITC.

Bar Admissions:

  • State Bar of California
  • United States District Courts
    • All California District Courts
    • Eastern District of Virginia
  • Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Federal Circuits


  • JD from the University of San Diego Law School (Order of the Coif, member 1996, and Law Review)
  • BS in electrical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, graduating magna cum laude, with an emphasis in digital design and software development

Office Locations

Irvine Office
18101 Von Karman Ave.
Suite 230
Irvine, CA 92612
San Francisco Office
Three Embarcadero Center
Suite 1350
San Francisco, CA 94111

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