Attorneys John H. Perten

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shareholder | Boston, MA

John has a complex business practice and also has a background in litigation. He provides practical advice to clients in a wide variety of settings that are experienced during the day-to-day conduct of any business. He works tirelessly to close deals, minimize risk and avoid litigation through effective contract negotiation and selection of appropriate business structures. If litigation or arbitration is unavoidable, he calls upon his litigation background to skillfully navigate the legal process and has multiple victories to his credit.

A significant portion of John’s practice is devoted to entrepreneurial clients for whom he acts as an outside general counsel and business advisor in such diverse areas as formation of new business entities and divisions, developing employee policies and procedures, negotiating contracts and prosecuting or defending claims in litigation, arbitration or other forums. John’s overarching goal is to assist clients in avoiding claims and providing practical advice on how to do so. While John’s experience spans multiple industries, he has extensive background representing members of the construction industry for whom he has negotiated contracts, prosecuted and defended payment disputes, change order claims and lien claims. John’s construction expertise encompasses both the private and public sector. He has written multiple articles and presented several programs and seminars on topics of interest to the construction industry.

John is an adjunct faculty member at Babson College in Wellesley, MA, where he teaches business law to MBA candidates. He has also taught business law on the undergraduate level. He manages the popular LinkedIn group “Legal Updates for Business Movers & Shakers.”

Key Cases

  • Negotiated a $10 million contract for the construction of a new hotel and a $15 million dollar contract for brownstone renovation in downtown Boston.
  • Assisted multiple clients in forming new businesses, including drafting of organizational and internal governance documents.
  • Helped negotiate and close the sale of company that organizes and coordinates annual convention for comic fans.
  • Negotiated the involuntary dissolution of a partnership and the equitable allocation of partnership assets without need to resort to litigation.
  • Following a multi-day trial, prevailed in an action to set aside a deathbed conveyance of a family farm, thereby allowing the family to continue farming the land.
  • Won a $360,000 arbitration award against a site contractor who abandoned a job following the reduction of a payment requisition. The site contractor argued that the reduction was pretextual and motivated by desire to engage a different contractor.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in a contract dispute over the design and manufacture of a piece of machinery to be utilized in a clean room.
  • Successfully defended a multi-million-dollar arbitration between feuding partners of a national travel agency.
  • Brought an action for a determination that a 17-acre tract of land in the middle of a residential subdivision had been acquired by the developer through adverse possession. Court granted title company summary judgment, thereby saving millions of dollars in potential damages.
  • Overturned a decision of the Architectural Access Board that would have required the installation of an elevator and other handicap access modifications to a two-story dental office condominium building. Decision effectively saved the dentists’ livelihood, as the cost of compliance would have been prohibitive.


  • Admissions Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Federal and State Courts
  • State of New Hampshire - Federal and State Courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First and Third Circuits
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association
  • New Hampshire Bar Association

Civic Involvement

  • Board of Directors , Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston
  • Former Member, Construction Specifications Institute, CDT Certification
  • Former Director, Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley, Sudbury, MA
  • Former Chairman, Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Wayland, MA