Picture of James J. (“Jay”) Varellas III

James J. (“Jay”) Varellas, III

Of Counsel
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Toll Free: 877-634-1519
Phone: 859-252-4473
Fax: 859-252-4476

249 West Short Street Suite 201
Lexington, Kentucky 40507

James J. (“Jay”) Varellas, III, has joined Varellas & Varellas, of counsel, after practicing as an attorney at law firms in New York City and San Francisco. Jay has spent much of his legal career litigating large-scale class actions and other complex litigation disputes around the country. While an attorney practicing in New York, he was part of the trial team that tried a multi-billion-dollar class action to a jury verdict in a four-month trial in federal court. He also has trial experience involving claims of bad-faith denial of insurance claims. Over his career, Jay has litigated numerous class actions and other large-scale complex litigation disputes around the country and he has appellate experience before a number of appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also provided advice regarding mergers and acquisitions, advised major law firms on ethics and conflict-of-interest issues and represented non-profits in a variety of contexts.

Prior to joining Varellas & Varellas, Jay was an attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York and Fenwick & West LLP in San Francisco. Immediately after graduating from law school, Jay completed a federal clerkship with Chief Judge Jennifer B. Coffman of the Eastern and Western District Districts of Kentucky. Jay is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), where he served as an articles editor on the Berkeley Journal of International Law.

Prior to receiving his law degree at Berkeley, Jay completed a master’s degree at the University of Sussex as a Fulbright Scholar in the United Kingdom, and he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky. While at the University of Kentucky, he was selected as a Truman Scholar and a Gaines Fellow. After graduating from UK, Jay also worked as a policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Transportation and as a research fellow in the U.S. Senate.

Jay brings to the firm diverse experience in some of the largest recent cases in the United States. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Jay is dedicated to fighting for the rights of individuals who have been injured or wronged by other individuals or corporations.


J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall)
Law Journal: Berkeley Journal of International Law, Articles Editor
Activities: American Constitution Society, Co-President
Activities: Student Advisory Committee on Faculty Appointments, Chair
Activities: East Bay Community Law Center, Legal Intern
Activities: East Bay Workers’ Rights Clinic, First-Year Student Volunteer

M.A., University of Sussex
Honors: J. William Fulbright Scholarship, United States Department of State

B.A., University of Kentucky
summa cum laude
Majors: History and International Development Studies
Honors: Harry S. Truman Scholarship for Public Service
Honors: Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion
Honors: Gaines Fellowship in the Humanities
Honors: Raymond F. Betts Fellowship
Honors: Honors Program Crystal Award
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
Activities: UK Presidential Search Committee, Student Representative
Activities: UK Student Government Association, Senator-at-Large

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice Kentucky
New York
United States Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
U.S. District Courts, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
U.S. District Courts, Central and Northern Districts of California
Professional & Bar Association Memberships

Kentucky Bar Association

The State Bar of California

New York State Bar Association

Gaines Center for the Humanities, University of Kentucky, Board Member

British Fulbright Scholars Association

Truman Scholars Association

Million Dollar Advocates Forum
American Association for Justice
2015 Top 100 Lawyer
Top 40 Under 40
American Bar Association
Kentucky Justice Association
The National Trial Lawyers
Super Lawyers
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