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Bruce Barnett

Bruce Barnett

Of Counsel

Bruce Barnett concentrates his practice on resolving complex business disputes for clients in state and federal courts and in arbitration, as well as on assisting the firm's clients with bankruptcy and regulatory matters.

Bruce has represented clients in a wide range of lawsuits involving breach of contract, business torts, securities fraud, and reinsurance coverage. He represents lenders and commercial mortgage-backed securities pools in litigation, bankruptcy, work-out, foreclosure, and secured-transaction enforcement matters.

Bruce also regularly represents real estate developers and owners in litigation over real estate development, construction, and operation, including land use, zoning, and affordable housing issues. He also represents title insurance companies on coverage disputes and, in other matters, their insureds on resolving covered title issues and adverse claims. He has served as special town counsel for Massachusetts municipalities in land use and zoning disputes.

On the regulatory side, Bruce has represented a thoroughbred race track and simulcasting center and a gaming license applicant before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.  He has also represented clients in proceedings before the Massachusetts Departments of Environmental Protection and of Telecommunication and Energy and before the Office of Health Policy of the Department of Industrial Accidents.

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


Representative Matters


  • After a nine-day federal court bench trial in a "high stakes, winner-takes-all, quintessentially complex commercial case," defeated $14 million lender-liability claim that a borrower had brought against our lender clients and obtained a $17.5 million full recourse judgment on our client’s counterclaim against the borrow and guarantors of loan based on violations of carve-outs to nonrecourse liability under the loan documents. The matter was resolved after the entry of judgment, when the borrower and guarantors dropped their appeal and paid $17.25 million.
  • Representation of the majority partner in a development joint in a lawsuit by the minority partner to seeking to enjoin the development.  Obtained judgment against the plaintiff’s claims after a two week trial and prevailed on counterclaims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty resulting in an eight figure damages judgment in favor of client. 
  • Representation of investor joint venture partners in successful action to reform the waterfall provisions in three limited liability company agreements based on the doctrine of mistake. Obtained the first reformation award in Delaware’s history based on unilateral mistake after a trial in Delaware Chancery Court,. Favorable trial court judgment was upheld on appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court. 
  • Representation of a ground tenant/real estate developer in dispute with a landlord over rent calculations and the landlord’s responsibility for environmental remediation costs.
  • Representation of a mutual fund manager accused of market timing in connection with an SEC enforcement action, a state administrative proceeding, and numerous class action and derivative lawsuits in an MDL.
  • Representation of a thoroughbred racetrack in litigation brought by a competitor seeking an injunction to shut down our client based on the competitor’s interpretation of regulating statutes. Defeated the injunction, after which the case was dismissed.
  • Representation of a special servicer of CMBS pools in connection with many defaulted loans on commercial property, including foreclosure on numerous properties.
  • Representation of Jamaica Public Service Company (the former state-owned utility of the Government of Jamaica) in a New York state-court dispute concerning reinsurance coverage for a boiler explosion causing $90 million in damage.
  • Representation of consumer electronics manufacturers in a licensing dispute with a developer of intellectual property.
  • Representation of a Massachusetts town in litigation against a real estate developer to vindicate the town’s right of first refusal triggered by the sale for development of recreational land that had been enrolled in and received the tax benefits of the Commonwealth’s Chapter 61B program.


  • Representation of a secured lender in a Chapter 11 reorganization of a borrower who had ignored corporate forms between itself and its manager and its principal, which led to a substantive consolidation of bankruptcy estates.
  • Representation of a secured lender and surety in a liquidating Chapter 11 reorganization of a major construction company.


  • Representation of a racing and simulcasting licensee and gaming license applicant before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
  • Representation of a licensee of roadside billboards in a permit dispute with the Massachusetts Outdoor Advertising Board.
  • Representation of a power-plant owner in a challenge to the constitutionality and application of the Massachusetts “Filthy Five” air emissions regulations.
  • Representation of a manufacturer of dental amalgam separators in a state rulemaking proceeding to develop regulations to require dentists to use separators.
  • Representation of a coalition of providers and consumers of distributed electric generation systems in proceedings regarding model interconnection tariffs.
  • J.D., Yale University 2000
    Articles Editor for the Yale Law & Policy Review
    Co-founder of the Lawyering Ethics Project
  • B.A., Yale University 1994
    Phi Beta Kappa, with distinction in Political Science
    summa cum laude

Clerk Experience

  • Honorable Robert N. Chatigny, United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Civic and Charitable

  • President, Friends of the Needham Public Library

Memberships And Affiliations

Bruce is a member of the Boston Bar Association and its Litigation Section.  He is also a member of the American Bar Association and its Litigation Section.