Nancy Scott Degan

201 St. Charles Avenue
Suite 3600
New Orleans, Louisiana 70170
T: 504.566.5249
F: 504.636.3949

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Nancy Degan, office managing shareholder in the New Orleans and Mandeville offices, serves on Baker Donelson's Board of Directors and is a member of the Business Litigation Group. She has extensive experience helping businesses and business people resolve their disputes through negotiations, trials, arbitrations and appeals. She handles bank litigation, oil and gas disputes, shareholder actions and other securities litigation, and various business torts.

Ms. Degan served as chair of the 60,000 member American Bar Association Section of Litigation in 2015, and now chairs the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which reviews qualifications for presidential nominations to the Federal bench. She is the author of numerous articles and other works regarding commercial litigation, mineral law and evidence.

Representative Matters

  • Regularly represents banks in a variety of cases, including interest rate swap litigation, breach of contract and lender liability claims.
  • Successfully defended numerous companies in disputes with their shareholders.
  • Saved national bank over $25 million when a high-profile commercial real estate developer sought to rescind a $40 million interest rate swap and obtain lost profits associated with modifications to a hotel that the plaintiff contended were necessitated by the bank's refusal to extend a letter of credit. Court granted motion for summary judgment and affirmed in Fifth Circuit.
  • Obtained $3.5 million summary judgment in securities fraud case.
  • Obtained $2.7 million summary judgment for national oil and gas producer in breach of contract action.
  • Successfully represented international manufacturer of products supplied to energy companies.
  • Successfully represented an international hair care manufacturer and majority stockholder in breach of contract/unfair trade practices action brought by distributor.
  • Regularly represents mineral producers and lessees in royalty and legacy litigation.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Author – "We Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends," Litigation, The Journal of the ABA Section of Litigation (Winter 2015)
  • Author – "How To Wow," Litigation, The Journal of the ABA Section of Litigation (Summer 2015)
  • Author – "Ten Things I Like About Being a Lawyer," Litigation Journal (Spring 2015)
  • Author – "Opening Statement: Practical Advice from a Practical Lawyer," Litigation, The Journal of the ABA Section of Litigation (Fall 2014)
  • Featured – "Nancy Scott Degan: Leading the Section of Litigation," ABA Section of Litigation, Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter (Summer 2014)
  • Featured – "The Unflinching Advocate," Super Lawyers Magazine (Louisiana 2013)
  • Speaker – "Mineral Lease Royalty Claims: Pointers and Pitfalls," Women's Energy Network (January 31, 2013)
  • Featured – "Nancy Degan-Top Female Achiever," (July 2012) 
  • Co-author – Chapter on Royalty Payments and Remedies, Louisiana Mineral Law Treatise (2012)
  • Panelist – "Gulf Oil Spill Aftermath: Are ADR and Mass Disaster Litigation Like Oil and Water?" American Bar Association Annual Conference, Miami, Florida (April 15, 2011)
  • Featured – "Q & A With Baker Donelson's Nancy Scott Degan," Law360 (September 2010)
  • Speaker – Louisiana State University's 53rd and 57th Mineral Law Institute, "Royalty Claims: Mineral Code Demands and Remedies" (2006 and 2010)
  • ABA Section of Litigation Sound Advice Audio Library, "What They Didn't Teach You in Law School"  (February 2010)
  • Speaker – Tulane University School of Law, "Federal Class Action Fundamentals" (December 2009)
  • Co-author – "A Practical Guide to Commercial Damages in Louisiana," 44 Loyola Law Review 257 (Summer 1998)
  • Co-author – Louisiana Courtroom Evidence (1995), a comprehensive Louisiana evidence desk book published by Betterworths and Michie Publishing companies.

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Listed among top 10 attorneys in Louisiana by Louisiana Super Lawyers, 2010 – 2013, listed among top 25 female attorneys in the state since 2007; listed as among top 50 attorneys in Louisiana, 2014 – 2015; listed as among top 50 attorneys in New Orleans, 2014 – 2015 
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2003  
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2017 New Orleans Litigation - Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers since 2010
  • Named a Benchmark Litigation "Local Litigation Star" for Louisiana, 2014 – 2016 
  • Recognized as a Benchmark Litigation "Top 250 Women in Litigation" for Louisiana, 2015, 2016
  • 2006 "Leader in the Law," New Orleans CityBusiness magazine   
  • Recognized as a "Top Female Achiever" by New Orleans Magazine, 2012
  • Recognized as a "Top Lawyer" by New Orleans Magazine, 2010 – 2016
  • Member Loyola University College of Law Visiting Committee 
  • Adjunct Professor of Law – Loyola University Law School, 2002 – 2003 (Courts in a Federal System)
  • Recipient of the Firm-wide Pro Bono Award, 2015
  • Fellow – American Bar Foundation, Louisiana Bar Foundation
  • Named to New Orleans CityBusiness Women of the Year, 2008 and 2014  
  • President – Loyola Law Alumni Association (1990) and University of New Orleans International Alumni Association (2004)
  • Former Board Member – WWNO-FM (Public Radio) and Poydras Home


  • Louisiana, 1983 (all federal and state courts)
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1993


  • Loyola University, J.D., 1983, magna cum laude, Articles Editor, Loyola Law Review
  • University of New Orleans, B.A., 1979, cum laude, with honors in English