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Kelsey Tavares


Kelsey's practice focuses on complex litigation and regulatory matters involving clients in the life sciences, food and beverage, consumer products, and hemp and CBD industries.

Kelsey is a member of DLA Piper's Product Liability and Mass Tort, Class Action Litigation, and FDA Regulatory practice groups. On the litigation side, she has represented clients from start-ups to multi-national corporations in litigation matters ranging from multi-district mass tort actions to consumer product class actions. On the regulatory side of her practice, she advises clients regarding risk management and compliance with federal, state, and local agency regulations (including regulations promulgated by the FDA, FTC, USDA, TTB, and CPSC). 

In addition to her litigation and regulatory practice, Kelsey is actively involved in pro bono and has experience with direct defense of aging services facilities. Kelsey is also a member of the DRI Young Lawyers Steering Committee and is a co-manager of Cultivate, a DLA Piper blog focused on the hemp and CBD industry.

Bar admissionsMassachusetts
CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of MassachusettsUnited States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit


Products Liability and Mass Tort Actions

  • Defended medical device companies in multi-district and mass tort actions involving allegedly defective implantable products;
  • Represented multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in connection with individual product liability actions initiated after a voluntary recall of a combination pharmaceutical and medical device product;
  • Monitored incidence of litigation involving ethylene oxide and advised on risk of liability to company on an ongoing basis; and
  • Advised leading wireless network operator on products liability risks associated with new ventures involving emerging technologies.

Regulatory Representation

  • Counseled companies on state and federal permit and registration issues (FDA, USDA, TTB, CPSC, and state and local agencies);
  • Conducted legal review of promotional activities, including labeling and marketing claims for various food, beverage, cosmetic, alcohol, and consumer products based on regulatory requirements (including FDA, TTB, FTC, USDA, CPSC, and state and local agencies);
  • Advised clients on agreements involving contract manufacturers and raw material suppliers (cGMP/ISO);
  • Coordinated regulatory advice from counsel in Canada, Europe, Asia, and Latin America for clients with regulated products in multiple ex-U.S. jurisdictions; 
  • Advised companies on product recall management, risk mitigation, and compliance; and
  • Conducted regulatory due diligence in transactions on behalf of clients in corporate transactions involving regulated products.

Class Actions and Complex Commercial Disputes

  • Defended multinational technology company specialized in consumer electronics, software and online services in connection with consumer class actions;
  • Represented foodservice distributor in connection with class action suit involving deceptive product labeling and advertising claims; 
  • Represented pro bono clients bringing class action lawsuit challenging deficincies in administration of SNAP Act entitlements; 
  • Represented clients in state and federal district and appellate courts in the context of real estate disputes involving purchase and sale agreements, commercial eviction actions, development agreements, and COVID-19-related litigation brought against commercial proprietors; and
  • Represented and advised companies in the context of private fund disputes, including in cases involving low-income housing tax credit syndication.
  • Represented former founder and CEO of tele-dentistry company in connection with retaliation suit brought against venture capital investors and directors; and 
  • Represented insurance company as national counsel on portfolio of aging services cases. 
  • J.D., Harvard Law School
  • B.A., University of North Carolina at Asheville


Kelsey is also a co-manager of Cultivate, a DLA Piper blog focused on the hemp and CBD industry.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • New to Food and Drug Law Planning Committee, Food and Drug Law Institute (2023)
  • DRI steering committee
  • Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program