John McBrine, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo

John A. McBrine

Partner / Boston


John A. McBrine is a partner in Nutter’s Private Client Department and a member of the Nonprofit and Social Impact practice group. Families and individuals rely on John to help them achieve a broad range of estate planning goals, from preparing basic estate plans to developing and implementing strategies to minimize estate and gift tax consequences of wealth transfers across generations. Mindful of the unique needs of each client, he takes a practical approach to crafting a flexible estate plan that meets those needs. John attempts to gain a deep understanding of his clients’ values and goals, as well as sensitive family issues, in helping them plan for the future. He routinely acts as a trustee of private trusts and as part of clients’ trusted advisor teams. Fiduciaries seek John’s counsel in all aspects of estate and trust administration, including before probate courts, the IRS and state revenue authorities. Private foundations and public charities rely on John’s advice for formation, operation, grantmaking and tax compliance matters.

Representative Client Experience

Individuals and Families

  • Creating sophisticated estate plans for clients with complex asset profiles and difficult family dynamics
  • Administering large estates involving extensive post-mortem tax planning and probate court involvement
  • Serving as trustee of family trusts
  • Counseling clients in creating private foundations, donor-advised funds, charitable trusts and other charitable giving vehicles
  • Achieving non-judicial resolutions under Massachusetts Uniform Trust Code, including decanting, modifying and terminating trusts, and, when necessary, petitioning probate court for trust reformation
  • Representing clients in donations of valuable and complex assets to charitable organizations
  • Helping philanthropists engage and cultivate the next generation

Charitable Organizations

  • Counseling private foundations and public charities through their life cycles, from formation to modification and termination
  • Evaluating foundations’ impact investment programs, including mission-related and program-related investment strategies
  • Assisting private foundations and public charities in tax reporting and compliance
  • Reviewing grantmaking procedures for private foundations
  • Helping public charities build and evaluate successful planned giving programs
  • Acting as a private foundation director and officer

Prior to joining Nutter, John served as a law clerk for the Honorable Ronald R. Lagueux of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. During law school, John was a senior editor for the Boston College Law Review.

News & Insights



  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013-2015

Education & Admissions


Boston College Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, M.S.W.
Providence College, B.A., summa cum laude


  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
Back to Page