Sheehan Phinney Earns Top Rankings by Chambers USA for 2021

(5/26/2021, Manchester, NH) – Sheehan Phinney has once again received the highest rankings in New Hampshire for 2021 by Chambers USA, a prestigious directory of the country’s top law firms. Sheehan Phinney is also ranked Band 1 (highest ranking) in the state for Corporate/Commercial (including Tax and Bankruptcy), Environment, Healthcare, Labor & Employment, Intellectual Property and Real Estate (including Land Use).

In addition, 26 Sheehan Phinney attorneys were recognized as among the nation’s top lawyers in their respective fields:

Christopher Candon
James LaMontagne

Joseph DiBrigida
Colleen Lyons

Thomas Burack
Robert Cheney
Robert Lucic
Lynn Preston

Andrew Eills
Jason Gregoire
Katherine Hanna

Intellectual Property
Peter Nieves
Douglas Verge

Labor & Employment
Elizabeth Bailey
David McGrath
James Reidy

Litigation: General Commercial
Christopher Cole
Peter Cowan
James Harris
James Shirley

Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations
Michael Ramsdell

Real Estate
Susan Manchester
Margaret Probish
Kenneth Viscarello

Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use
Susan Manchester

Peter Beach

Chambers USA comments


What the team is known for
Distinguished for its high-quality offering for regional, state and national clients. Regularly handles complex matters across the full spectrum of business law, including midmarket M&A, bankruptcy, debt financing and fund formation matters. Calls upon wider resources in its tax, employment and intellectual property practices to offer a full service in corporate transactional work.

“Any time we need another attorney in a different field they are equally helpful, prepared and knowledgeable about the subject in question,” reports an interviewee, adding: “There is no way our experience with the firm could have been any better.”

“The team is top notch,” comments an impressed client, explaining: “They are great listeners, they understand our needs and make recommendations rather than trying to tell us what to do.”

Notable practitioners
Colleen Lyons acts on a range of big-ticket transactions, including acquisitions arising from regulated industries such as telecommunications and energy. She is also noted for her corporate governance expertise. “She absolutely knows her business, is very dedicated and on time with all the materials. She’s the perfect counselor to have at our disposal and we couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Joseph DiBrigida is a go-to attorney for a broad roster of clients, advising on corporate governance concerns and high-value transactions. “His understanding of both the technical and human aspects of negotiation is stupendous.”

Bankruptcy and Restructuring

What the team is known for
Well-regarded team with notable expertise in the full range of bankruptcy matters. Frequently sought out to advise on Chapter 11 proceedings, restructurings and bankruptcy-related litigation. Acts for a broad range of clients, including creditors, debtors and trustees.

Sources say: “It is the strongest practice in the New Hampshire area.”

Notable practitioners
Christopher Candon maintains a broad bankruptcy practice, which includes notable strength in creditors’ rights as well as wider transactional capabilities. “He is the go-to lawyer for bankruptcy in New Hampshire. Chris is always calm and very analytical, which makes him extremely effective.” “He is very capable, has a great demeanor and is wonderfully calm.”

Jim LaMontagne leads the firm’s bankruptcy, restructuring and creditors’ rights group. He is a popular choice for clients seeking advice on Chapter 11 proceedings, out-of-court restructurings and distressed transactions. “He is certainly a leader in the area.”


What the team is known for
Preeminent team of highly regarded practitioners with a wealth of expertise in appearing before energy and environmental agencies at both state and federal levels. Particularly noted for its deep knowledge of redevelopment, permitting and cleanup matters, with significant recent experience in Superfund issues. Offers additional strengths in areas such as air and water quality and shoreland protection.

Notable practitioners
Lynn Preston acts for a varied client base in a range of environmental matters, including advising on compliance and transactional issues. She also handles litigation and regulatory enforcement, alongside her role as chair of the firm’s environmental and energy group. “She is exceptional and her background as a scientist is the perfect melding of two careers.”

Robert Cheney handles a range of complex regulatory proceedings. He is particularly noted for his knowledge of environmental permitting. “His long history and experience is a strong suit.”

Robert Lucic is a highly experienced litigator with notable expertise in environmental matters. He is adept at representing clients in trials, arbitrations and appeals, and is widely recognized for his Superfund work.

Thomas Burack is well known as a former Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. He advises clients on a host of environmental issues and has particular expertise appearing before state and federal regulatory agencies.


What the team is known for
Highly respected practice, noted for its work with clients on a comprehensive spread of healthcare matters. Known for its representation of hospitals, healthcare facilities and nursing homes. Strong bench of regulatory experts with experience in fraud and abuse investigations, compliance and licensing concerns. Also noted for its strength in privacy mandates.

An impressed client says: “They are superb all around.”

Another notes: “We get the personal attention of a small firm but with national expertise.”

Notable practitioners
Andrew Eills is well regarded for his extensive experience in healthcare matters. He advises clients on transactions, corporate governance and regulatory issues. “He is efficient, provides great follow-through and continues to keep an eye out for our organization.”

Jason Gregoire acts for a range of providers on complex regulatory mandates, including those involving HIPAA and Stark Law concerns. He is also noted for his handling of litigation such as reimbursement disputes. “He is terrific.”

Katherine Hanna offers expert counsel to hospitals and other providers facing a range of issues, including reimbursement concerns, staff credentialing and external investigations.

Intellectual Property

What the team is known for
Notable IP practice with experience advising a range of clients, including startups and small businesses as well as large corporations and education institutions. Sought out for its advice on trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, as well as for patent prosecution.

“It is an excellent team,” comments an interviewee, adding: “They treat us like their best clients; all our expectations are exceeded.”

Notable practitioners
Douglas Verge acts for clients in a wide range of complex IP matters, including those involving trademarks. His experience extends to data privacy issues and disputes involving copyrights, as well as transactional mandates. “He is a trusted adviser and a pleasure to work with.”

Peter Nieves is held in high regard by interviewees for his patent capabilities, which see him head the firm’s IP, technology and patent law groups. He advises on both prosecution and litigation involving a range of domestic and cross-border assets. He is also noted for his handling of trademark matters. “He is a very good lawyer and very competent.”

Labor & Employment

What the team is known for
Recommended for its representation of clients across New England in labor and employment law, with considerable experience working in both an advisory capacity on compliance matters and in defending clients in the courtroom. Expertise covers areas such as employment discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful discharge, alongside strengths in compensation and employee benefits issues. Also well versed in immigration law issues.

One client reports: “Everyone that I have worked with at this firm has been excellent to work with and very responsive to our needs.”

Another says: “Their strengths include timely response, knowledge, advice and a friendly approach.”

Notable practitioners
David McGrath draws on a strong background in civil litigation to advise on complex employment disputes. He is particularly noted for his noncompete expertise and strength as a mediator. “He has a very nice reputation.”

Elizabeth Bailey maintains a strong labor law practice, while also offering broader strength across a range of employment disputes. Her broad client base includes municipal entities. “She is pragmatic, collaborative and works very hard on behalf of her client.”  “She is my first go-to when I need a referral or if there is a conflict.”

James Reidy offers expert counsel to a broad employer client base, handling matters such as contract design and policy development as part of his practice. “His guidance, direction and responsiveness have been a great partnership for us.” “He is extremely knowledgeable and always available. His strengths include his ability to understand our company’s risk tolerance and his sense of humor to ease tense situations. Jim gives the whole picture, advice, possible outcomes and helps us decide a course of action.” “He is the perfect blend of practical knowledge coupled with professional expertise.”


What the team is known for
Highly respected commercial litigation practice in New Hampshire which also maintains a strong reputation for its skills in mediation and arbitration matters. Offers considerable expertise in a wide array of business litigation and appeals, with strengths in areas including patent disputes, intellectual property matters and antitrust issues. Acts for individuals and organizations in industries including education, insurance and construction.

A client comments: “They work well together and bring professionalism as well as fully vetted thought processes to the table.”

Notable practitioners
Christopher Cole offers extensive experience in trade secrets disputes, while also handling matters such as partnership and shareholder litigation. “He is very dedicated and determined to win cases.”

James (JP) Harris is held in high regard for his expertise in disputes involving data privacy and security concerns. His broad civil litigation practice also includes defamation claims, professional negligence actions and noncompete disputes, as well as providing expert counsel on e-discovery actions.

James Shirley continues to advise on complex insurance disputes, as well as serving as general counsel to the firm. He has a longstanding civil disputes practice, which includes state and federal trials involving professional liability, breach of contract and real estate disputes, among others.

Michael Ramsdell maintains an impressive civil and white-collar criminal litigation practice, which includes advising on securities regulatory enforcement proceedings. He attracts a broad regional and international client base with his longstanding contentious experience.

Peter Cowan is well versed in a wide range of civil disputes, offering particular strength in acting for design professionals in construction litigation as well as handling shareholder actions and IP suits.

Real Estate

What the team is known for
An acknowledged market leader in complex real estate mandates, with noted expertise in acquisitions, lease negotiations and bond financing. Represents a broad range of landlords, tenants and developers, alongside niche strengths acting for assisted living facilities, condominium and affordable housing developers on transactional, financing and zoning matters.

One client says: “They are standout in the real estate area and they are all top-level attorneys.”

Another comments: “They are always prepared, courteous and willing to tell you the legal situation regardless of whether it is good or bad news.”

A source notes: “They are very professional and experienced in all legal areas.”

Notable practitioners
Kenneth Viscarello is well versed in affordable housing, where he represents both for-profit and nonprofit developers on matters such as project financing, acquisitions and permitting concerns. “He has been a real source of strength through some very difficult times.”

Margaret Probish acts a broad client base on matters such as commercial leasing, affordable housing development and public finance. “She is a calming, professional lawyer with good insight and attention to detail.” “Margaret is always prepared, respectful, calm and ready with the next step.”

Susan Manchester is a strong choice of counsel for developers, lenders, landlord and tenants, handling matters such as housing projects, land use approvals, leasing and financing. Her practice includes notable condominium law expertise. “She is top of the market in New Hampshire.” “She is excellent and a top-class attorney.” “She has the perfect blend of practical knowledge and professional expertise.”

About the Firm

Sheehan Phinney is a full-service business law firm representing local, national and international clients with innovative approaches and practical solutions. Founded in 1937, Sheehan Phinney has grown to over 60 attorneys with four offices throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts and is known for professional excellence, practical counsel and commitment to both its clients and the communities it serves. Sheehan Phinney is the exclusive member in New Hampshire of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of premier independent law firms.