Sheehan Phinney Earns Top Rankings by Chambers USA for 2018

(5/3/2018, Manchester, NH) – The firm of Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green PA has once again received the highest rankings in New Hampshire for 2018 by Chambers USA, a prestigious directory of the country’s top law firms. Sheehan Phinney is the only firm in New Hampshire to be ranked Band 1 (highest ranking) in the state for all areas, which include Corporate/Commercial (including Tax and Bankruptcy), Environment, Labor & Employment, Litigation and Real Estate (including Land Use).

In addition, 17 Sheehan Phinney attorneys were recognized as among the nation’s top lawyers in their respective fields:

Elizabeth A. Bailey – Labor & Employment

Peter T. Beach – Corporate/Commercial: Tax

Thomas S. Burack – Environment

Christopher M. Candon – Corporate/Commercial: Bankruptcy

Robert P. Cheney – Environment

Alan P. Cleveland – Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits & Compensation

Peter S. Cowan – Litigation: General Commercial

Joseph A. DiBrigida – Corporate/Commercial

Michael J. Drooff – Corporate/Commercial

Robert R. Lucic – Environment

Colleen Lyons – Corporate/Commercial

Susan A. Manchester – Real Estate; Land Use

David W. McGrath – Labor & Employment

James P. Reidy – Labor & Employment

Alan L. Reische – Corporate/Commercial

James Q. Shirley – Litigation: General Commercial

Kenneth A. Viscarello – Real Estate

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 mid-market 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.

Strengths Sources report: “The firm is top-notch and provides an excellent service. The quality of the attorneys is consistently outstanding.”

Clients appreciate the team’s “great advice and direction” and laud its “diverse experience in corporate legal matters.”

Work highlights Acted for Edison Partners in connection with its $10 million lead investment in bicycle-sharing company Zagster.

Advised Embryotech Laboratories on its $7.25 million sale to Hamilton Thorne.

Notable practitioners

Alan Reische earns impressive praise for his “excellent knowledge of securities law” and regularly advises clients on regulatory compliance. His broader practice includes strengths in cross-border transactional work and debt and equity financing matters.

Peter Beach is regarded as a leading authority on taxation matters, with broad expertise in corporate transactional work and wider local, state and international tax issues. Market sources cite his “very solutions-oriented approach” as a key strength.

Christopher Candon is called upon by a range of debtors, creditors and trustees to assist on complex bankruptcy and restructuring matters, with notable expertise in insolvency litigation. Interviewees characterize him as “intelligent, thoughtful and detailed,” praising his ability to “get good results for his clients.”

Michael Drooff focuses his practice on M&A work and equity finance transactions, with considerable expertise in venture capital investments and fund formation matters. He also offers broader expertise in employment law, intellectual property issues and taxation.

Joseph DiBrigida receives plaudits for is “very amiable style” with clients, which include family-owned business, large corporations and nonprofits. He offers particular expertise in acting for companies in the broadcast and telecommunications sectors.

Colleen Lyons offers solid strengths in a broad spectrum of corporate transactional work, with notable experience in the manufacturing, renewable energy and technology sectors. Sources describe her as “highly intelligent and very responsive to client needs” and commend her ability to “work on complex issues with short notice.”


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.

Strengths Clients say: “They are proactive in not only advising on the topic at issue, but also in spotting future trends and emerging issues.”

Sources add: “They are prompt, thorough and they communicate often and effectively.”

Work highlights Acted for Thomas & Betts in negotiations on remedial activity in connection with the Savage Well Superfund site.

Continued to advise the Hooksett Sewer Commission in its suit against Penta, seeking to recover costs incurred through the failure of a wastewater treatment facility.

Notable practitioners

Robert Cheney is esteemed for his broad environmental and energy practice, which focuses on permitting issues, regulatory compliance and governmental affairs. Clients describe him as “outstanding in his knowledge of environmental law” and commend his abilities as a “business adviser.”

Robert Lucic is head of the litigation practice group and manages environmental litigation and arbitration for a number of manufacturing companies and municipal governments. Clients say: “He is an excellent strategist and communicator.”

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 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.

Strengths One client notes: “It is a great team to work with. They’re very responsive, personable and really care about the client.”

Sources add: “The firm has a good amount of depth to cover all our needs.”

Notable practitioners

Alan Cleveland is highlighted for his particular expertise in ERISA-related issues, earning respect for his significant experience in public and private pension plans. He offers additional strengths in tax, investment and fiduciary matters.

James Reidy is hailed as “a standout attorney” by market sources, who laud his “very thorough, well-thought-out and timely responses to questions.” He chairs the employment practice at the firm and specializes in advising management clients on all manner of employment law matters.

Elizabeth Bailey handles a variety of employment matters, with particular expertise in employment litigation and assisting public sector clients on labor relations issues. Clients say: “She is very easy to work with, a clear communicator and very responsive.”

The “terrific” David McGrath focuses his practice on employment litigation, and also represents clients in arbitrations and mediations. His wide-ranging practice incorporates trade secret, discrimination, whistleblower and wrongful termination matters.


What the team is known for Considered a leading name for commercial litigation in New Hampshire, alongside an excellent 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.

Strengths Clients say the firm “enjoys an excellent reputation as one of the best full-service law firms in the state” and offer praise for its “exceptional litigation group.”

Interviewees further highlight the “seamless” integration between the firm’s litigation and business law practices.

Work highlights Secured a settlement for Rymes Heating Oils and Rymes Energy Holdings following an inquest by the Vermont Attorney General concerning alleged violations of Vermont oil and propane supplier statutes and consumer protection statutes.

Served as co-lead counsel to Dial Soap to successfully deny class certification in a multistate consumer labeling class action brought against Dial Complete.

Notable practitioners

Senior litigator James Shirley regularly advises clients on a broad range of litigation matters, including product liability disputes, insurance coverage issues and wider commercial litigation. Sources describe him as “very effective” and applaud his “very nice manner” with clients.

Peter Cowan is characterized as “an effective advocate” by fellow practitioners, who note his “effective and smart” representation of clients. He is proficient in a broad range of commercial litigation matters, with notable strengths in disputes concerning consumer protection, restrictive covenants and construction.

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 and affordable housing developers on transactional, financing and zoning matters.

Strengths Clients state: “They have been outstanding in helping us wade through regulatory hurdles smoothly.”

A source adds: “I continue to be impressed by the legal team, and the wealth of knowledge and experience they bring.”

Work highlights Retained by Bedford Lot Venture to handle the development of a hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire, including the negotiation of an air rights lease and a brownfields application.

Acted for the Southern New Hampshire University to secure the approval of two dormitory projects and to negotiate impact fees in connection with two academic buildings and dormitories.

Notable practitioners

The “terrific” Susan Manchester is one of the most accomplished figures in the real estate market, with sources hailing her “excellent legal knowledge” and revealing that “she’s at the top of everyone’s list.” Her highly rated practice includes excellent strengths in leasing, land use and wider transactional matters.

Kenneth Viscarello is described as a “top practitioner” in affordable housing matters by market sources, where he acts for both for-profit and not-for-profit development companies. He also handles a broad range of financing work, with interviewees praising his “expertise in complicated financing transactions.” He chairs the firm’s corporate department.

About Chambers USA

Each year Chambers USA researchers conduct thousands of interviews with attorneys and clients across the United States in order to rank attorneys based on their reputation in the market. The rankings are based on qualities such as technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence and commitment. For each firm referenced in the directory, Chambers USA: A Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers, provides detailed quotations from clients and peers, a list of practice strengths, an overview of recent work and a client listing. The guide is available on-line at

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.