Attorneys Charles M. Waters

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shareholder | Boston, MA

Charles is an experienced trial attorney with a significant business litigation practice, including complex disputes involving private investment funds including hedge, private equity and venture capital funds. He handles cases involving corporate governance disputes, securities fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, business torts, unfair and deceptive trade practices, trade secrets, non-competition agreements, corporate freeze-outs, and other commercial disputes.

He has successfully tried many multi-million dollar cases in Massachusetts state and federal courts, arbitration proceedings and administrative hearings, including several “Top Ten” Trial Awards in Massachusetts. He has also successfully briefed and argued cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court. Prestigious Chambers USA  has listed Charles as a top commercial litigator in Boston, and Law and Politics Magazine has named Charles a “New England Super Lawyer” in the area of business litigation since 2005. He co-chairs the firm’s Commercial Litigation Group.

Key Cases

  • Won a $700,000 settlement in December 2018 on behalf of a client against a Registered Investment Advisor.
  • Prevailed in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in a precedent-setting case interpreting for the first time the Massachusetts Corporate Dissolution Statute (G.L. c. 156D § 14.30) (a/k/a the "Deadlock Statute") (Koshy v. Sachdev, 477 Mass. 759 (2017)). Read the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article, "Shareholder's Bid to Dissolve Co. Can Proceed."
  • Lead trial counsel in obtaining a final judgment of $1.9 million after a two week jury trial in the Business Litigation Session in Boston, Massachusetts against Nationwide Securities, LLC (a broker-dealer) and its employee for committing unfair and deceptive business practices in violation of Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute (G.L. c. 93A) in which the trial court (Billings, J.) found, in awarding over $700,000 in attorney's fees, that the "experience, reputation, and ability of the [Sheehan Phinney attorneys] who tried the case. . .are top-drawer."
  • Won arbitration award in a June 2017 American Arbitration Assocation hearing in Boston representing a former general partner of a Boston private equity firm for monies owed to him pursuant to his interest in a limited partnership investment fund.
  • Negotiated a $1.45 million settlement in February 2018 for client who was defrauded by registered representative and national broker-dealer.
  • Prevailed in a week-long JAMS arbitration hearing for $1.2 million representing founder of venture capital firm in a dispute concerning the breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing regarding his separation agreement.
  • Represented the founder and minority shareholder of a Boston-based independent brokerage firm for breach of fiduciary duty claims against the company and majority shareholder that resulted in a settlement of $5.25 million for the client in July 2015.
  • Won dismissal of multi-million dollar claims brought by Bankruptcy Trustee seeking to hold clients responsible for debtor’s liabilities pursuant to theories of alter ego and reverse veil-piercing (In re: Raymond, 2015 WL 1810961 (BK.D. Mass., Apr. 17, 2015)).
  • Successfully opposed multiple summary judgment motions that led to settlement valued at $1.8 million in a case involving complex claims of fraud, civil conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty and G.L. c. 93 against a Boston-based private money lender, national life insurance company and its agent, a mortgage broker and law firm.
  • As featured in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, won a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision (Passatempo v. McMenimen et als., 461 Mass. 279(2012)) in which the SJC affirmed client’s multi-million dollar trial award against a life insurance agent and, in a matter of first impression, reversed the dismissal of the life insurance company.
  • As reported nationally in The National Law Journal and locally in The Boston Herald, won a high-profile trial challenging the accounting involved in a $5 million guardianship estate.
  • Represented a prominent New England liberal arts college in a will contest action pertaining to the multi-million dollar charitable subscription made to the school by an alumni, and which resulted in the distribution of a $7 million subscription to the college in a settlement.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of the purchaser and redeveloper of the NECCO Building in Kendall Square, Cambridge against a $40 million claim that a de facto partnership arose from the manner in which parties interacted, and which judgment was upheld on appeal (DSF Investors LLC v. The Lyme Timber Company, Inc. et al., 67 Mass. App. Ct. 110 (2006)).


  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Associations
  • Admitted pro hac vice in various states around the country

Civic Involvement (Past and Present)

  • Trustee and Chairman, Affordable Housing Trust
  • Member, Conservation Commission
  • Alumni Fund Committee, Class Agent, and Reunion Committee, St. John's Preparatory School
  • Mentor, Citizen School Mock Trial Program
  • Mentor, Citizen School 8th Grade Academy
  • Mentor, Boston Bar Association's Law Day Lawyers in the Classroom
  • Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association and MCLE as a panelist to speak on topics involving business litigation and trial advocacy
  • Member, Business Law Section Council, Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Represent attorneys pro bono before the Board of Bar Overseers


  • Chambers USA, Commercial Litigation
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyer®, Business Litigation
  • Multiple Massachusetts Lawyer's Weekly Top Ten Verdict Awards in Massachusetts
  • Authored chapters in Lexis Nexis' Massachusetts Pretrial Practice Guide