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Emily C. Shanahan


(617) 218-2058 | | vCard | PDFPrint Bio

Emily C. Shanahan

As a trusted advisor to mid-size and closely held businesses, Emily provides effective legal guidance to entrepreneurs and business owners. Her experience in a wide range of legal issues and across a broad array of industries allows Emily to deliver practical counsel on disputes that arise in the course of business. 

If litigation should become necessary, Emily’s meticulous preparation and analytical approach to her clients’ needs have proven to be effective in maximizing the chances of a favorable and early resolution of the dispute.  

Prior to joining our firm in 2007, Emily was a senior associate in the litigation department of Ropes & Gray LLP. Emily also served as a law clerk to Honorable Paul J. Barbadoro of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire.

Representative Experience

  • Emily successfully negotiated an agreement with the manufacturer of equipment that failed to perform as represented, resulting in the return of the entire purchase price to the client without the time or expense of a lawsuit.
  • Emily defeated a motion for summary judgment brought by the plaintiffs in a possible class action. The plaintiffs alleged that the client and others in its industry improperly treated them as independent contractors instead of employees, in violation of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law.  As a result of the denial of the plaintiffs’ motion, the plaintiffs would have to establish their entitlement to go forward as a class and prove their claims at trial.
  • Emily successfully opposed the dismissal of a client’s claims arising out of a bank’s mishandling of the proceeds from the client’s sale of stock to an employee stock option plan, which resulted in the client incurring an avoidable income tax liability.  By avoiding dismissal, the client was entitled to pursue at trial his surviving claims against the defendant bank. On the eve of the trial, Emily assisted with the negotiation of a settlement satisfactory to the client and his family.
  • Emily settled, on terms favorable to the clients, a lawsuit brought by a former executive against the trustees of a business trust and a number of family trusts who claimed that, under a phantom stock plan, he was entitled to a larger share of the proceeds from the sale of the business owned by the trusts. By negotiating the settlement early in the discovery phase, Emily was able to save the clients the time and expense of a trial.

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts Bar
  • United States District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • United States District Court, District of New Hampshire
  • United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


  • The Wellesley Club, Member
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association - Administration of Justice Steering Committee, Member



  • A.B., Economics (minor in Mathematics), summa cum laude, Bowdoin College, 1994, Phi Beta Kappa
  • J.D., magna cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center, 1999, Order of the Coif


"Closely Held Corp.'s Governing Documents Critical in Litigation", published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, October 31, 2011

"Becoming Your Clients' Trustee," sumnews, Spring 2011

"The Happy Trustee," Private Wealth Magazine, March / April 2011

Strictly Business, Except When It’s Not – Dealing With Disputes Within Family Businesses

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