Business and Banking Law

Our business and banking legal team is a frequent choice to represent businesses and to handle transactions throughout Western Massachusetts because of our disciplined teamwork and imagination, the variety of skills and experience of all members of our team, and our commitment to put in the extra hours when needed to achieve a successful closing.

We never take on a matter for a client without first understanding the client’s business, strategic interest, and legal requirements.  Our lawyers have decades of experience in a range of practice areas, including business and financial transactions, contract law, real estate and zoning, general business counseling and representation, labor law, intellectual property, family business planning, health law, banking law, insolvency, licensing, and employment counseling.

Business and Financial Transactions

We have successfully provided legal representation to hundreds of businesses and banks in financing, mergers and acquisitions, sale, leasing, commercial contracts, and other transactions. These transactions cover almost every industry, from manufacturing to finance, hospitality, the performing arts, construction, energy, insurance, retail, automotive, education, medicine, transportation, food service, and many more. Because our deals often cross state lines, we lead teams of attorneys and also serve as local counsel in multistate transactions.  

Our business lawyers are strategic thinkers, and will guide you through what can often be a complex process. We like to be involved—on the front line or in the background—starting with the first discussion about a transaction, to help decipher complicated business laws and identify your options. By the time a deal closes, you will be confident that you have asked the right questions and explored all of the alternatives.   We have the sense of urgency and the resources to push a transaction, no matter how complex, to completion. 

Real Estate and Zoning

Business and financial transactions regularly involve real estate issues, which are handled by the lawyers and paralegals in the Real Estate Division of our Business and Banking Group. Because real estate matters frequently involve other practice areas, the integration of the Real Estate Division into our Business and Banking Group allows us to provide coverage of those other practice areas on an efficient and seamless basis. 

Click here to learn more about our Real Estate Division.

General Business Counseling and Representation

We do our best work when we are in regular contact with your company’s management and understand all your major successes, opportunities, and challenges.  We enjoy thinking through challenges that confront a business or institution, and providing practical, actionable advice. We are general counsel to businesses and institutions both large and small, and in a variety of industries and sectors.

 We support you in negotiating the terms of your relationships with customers, suppliers, service providers, investors, landlords, tenants, and other partners. We work closely with your accountants, insurance agents, financial advisors, and other professional advisors. 

Startup Counseling and Intellectual Property

For many entrepreneurs and new business owners, navigating through the legal issues surrounding a startup can be extremely challenging and expensive. Making the right choices early on can make a huge difference in the prospects of any young company. For that reason, our IP Group works very closely with our Business and Banking Group, which is very experienced in advising startup companies, entrepreneurs, and small and large companies and institutions about all of aspects of organizing a new business, starting with making the right choice among forms of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, other entities, and joint ventures. Our library of forms and teamwork between our two Groups provide young businesses with cost-effective solutions that transcend the traditional lines separating legal practice areas. We know of no more effective way to deal with startup companies’ legal needs, such as confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), business formation, employment issues, the relationships among founders and investors, assignment of intellectual property, noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements, and awards of incentives, such as restricted stock, stock options, and profits interests.

Family Business Planning

We especially enjoy working within the unique dynamic of a family business. For decades, our attorneys have focused on providing best-in-class service to our clients, while still putting families first, and we love helping clients who think the same way about family and business. A family business represents opportunities for business, tax, and estate planning that, if managed carefully, can take it to the next level. You will work with a seasoned business lawyer on the best strategies for bringing children and siblings into the company. We create structures when family relations are good to get businesses through future disagreements. We do this not by filling in blanks on a form, but by meeting with family members, listening closely, and building a practical plan for the long term.  

Health Law

The medical and dental practices we have represented range in size from a single shareholder to hundreds of partners or shareholders, and are located throughout the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, eastern New York, and beyond. We advise these businesses on compensation structures, supervision of junior professionals and staff, recruitment, real estate, and planning for retirement and other buyout situations, in addition to the everyday matters that all businesses face.  We have handled the formation, acquisition, sale, merger, and dissolution of professional practices, as well as the affiliation of many medical practices with hospital systems and other providers. Our lawyers are fluent in state licensure, oversight, and disciplinary processes.  Our health lawyers also work in industries that involve similar challenges, such as veterinary and other professional practices. Click here to learn more about our Health Law practice.

Not-for-Profit Entities

Nonprofits (also known as "not-for-profits") face most of the same issues as other businesses, plus a range of issues – and pitfalls – that are unique to nonprofit corporations. We regularly counsel nonprofit entities and currently serve as corporate counsel to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. We have organized many of the nonprofit corporations operating in Berkshire County.  Our team of business and banking lawyers can help you implement best practices for a healthy organization, while providing advice on potentially complex issues, such as the differences among the subsections of the Internal Revenue Code dealing with tax-exempt organizations, including Sections 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), and 501(c)(7); maintenance of tax-exempt status; executive compensation and the related issues of private inurement, excess-benefit transactions, and intermediate sanctions; unrelated business income (UBI or UBTI), including the distinction between advertising and sponsorship revenue; transactions and relationships between nonprofits and for-profit entities; and the special challenges of dealing with volunteer board members.

Insolvency and Distressed Businesses

When times are tough (and even when they’re not) we expect our clients to need to get in touch with us outside of business hours. We are available to offer business legal advice to you promptly, whenever the need arises, and will respond to you quickly, with honesty and empathy.

 Our team of business attorneys spans practice areas to cover the problems that arise when a business—or a supplier or customer of a business—is facing financial distress. Our experts in business, finance, employment, bankruptcy, and commercial litigation move quickly and aggressively in a crisis. We understand financial statements. We know the law on layoffs, distressed sales, and personal liability for business debts. Our clients count on us to help them navigate the dynamic between a troubled business and its creditors.    

Alcoholic Beverage and Other Licensing

We appear before town, city, and state boards throughout our region to obtain licenses for our clients. While the most common licenses in Massachusetts are for restaurants and the sale of alcoholic beverages, we also help clients with professional licenses (such as in the construction trades, personal services, health fields, and real estate) and licenses for car dealerships, hotels, and other businesses. We have developed approaches for clients with complex licensing needs, including some of the best-known cultural institutions in New England.

Employment Counseling

Our employment law group includes attorneys with experience at large, nationwide firms at which they counseled multi-national companies across a variety of industries, on all types of employment issues. For more information, visit our Employment Law for Businesses page.
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