Kirk Dillman is a principal in the Los Angeles office of McKool Smith. Kirk specializes in complex commercial litigation and trial practice, primarily in the areas of finance, securities, energy, real estate, trade secrets, partnership, and healthcare fraud. He joined the firm in 1998 after co-counseling in the successful prosecution of various securities actions arising out of the Orange County bankruptcy.

Kirk has successfully tried numerous complex commercial disputes in both federal and state courts and before arbitrators and arbitration panels around the country. His clients include major regional real estate developers, technology companies, religious and financial institutions, and high-net-worth individuals. He regularly prosecutes high-profile actions against many of the largest public companies in the world.

A recent matter involved serving as lead counsel to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in litigation concerning the sale of the Villa San Giuseppe, a former convent in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, to international pop star Katy Perry. Before the sale closed, two nuns who formerly resided at the convent, without authorization, attempted to transfer the property to Dana Hollister, a local businesswoman who wanted to turn the site into a boutique hotel. Kirk and the McKool Smith team successfully secured a preliminary injunction and motion for summary adjudication, clearing the way for the Archdiocese to move forward with the sale.

Prior to joining the firm, Kirk was a partner in Augustini, Wheeler & Dillman, a boutique litigation and trial practice firm in Los Angeles.


Representative Matters

  • Longstanding representation of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in a wide variety of commercial matters. Most recently, secured a preliminary injunction and motion for summary adjudication on behalf of the Archdiocese against a local businesswoman who wanted to turn the Villa San Giuseppe into a boutique hotel. With our help, the Archdiocese was able to instead complete a sale of the former convent site to pop star Katy Perry.
  • Prosecution of claims in state court on behalf of Cogent Systems, a publicly traded automated fingerprint identification system company, against Northrop Grumman for trade secret misappropriation in connection with a $250 million fingerprint identification contract in the UK.
  • Prosecution of an action in federal court against Capital One for misappropriation and partnership claims involving the development and implementation of data-mining technology.
  • Prosecution of numerous actions around the country on behalf of large U.S. financial institutions against Wall Street banks for securities fraud in connection with the purchase of more than $1 billion of Enron and Enron-related securities.
  • Prosecution of adversary proceedings on behalf of bond holders in the United Airlines bankruptcy concerning the value of airport terminals at LAX and a wide-body aircraft maintenance facility at SFO.
  • Prosecution of claims on behalf of bankruptcy trustee against approximately 220 partners of bankrupt national law firm.
  • Prosecution in conjunction with a team of top law firms around the country of whistleblower claims against Columbia/HCA Inc. arising out of one of the largest healthcare frauds in the history of the United States.
  • Defense of claims against developer for purported interest in major retail shopping center.
  • Defense of partnership dispute against developer of a high-rise condominium project.
  • Prosecution of fraud and contract claims against Maxtor on behalf of Stormedia in connection with a breach of a long-term supply contract.
  • Secured settlements of $415 million from Bank of America as bank agent, directors and officers of Fontainebleau, and others on behalf of lenders in connection with claims arising out of the financial collapse of the Fontainebleau Resort and Casino project in Las Vegas.


Rankings & Honors

  • Ranked as a leading lawyer in Commercial litigation for California in Chambers USA, 2021-2023
  • Recognized in the Lawdragon guide to the 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers, 2020-2023
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America for Litigation: Commercial, 2013-2024
  • Named by Super Lawyers, Southern California, 2007-2021


Community & Professional Activities

  • Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Laughlin E. Waters, United States District Court, Central District of California, 1983-85
  • Trustee and President, Center for Law in the Public Interest, 1999-2006
  • Trustee, Western Center of Law and Poverty, 2016-Present
  • Executive Committee and past-Chair, Litigation Section of Los Angeles County Bar, 2011-Present
  • Member, Chancery Club of Los Angeles, 2012-Present
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Fellows of American Bar Association

Media & Events



J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 1983

B.A., with highest honors, Philosophy, Reed College, 1979

Court Admissions

  • State of California

Bar Associations

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
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