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Sarah Kelly, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo

Sarah P. Kelly

Chair, Litigation Department / Boston

Overview

Sarah P. Kelly chairs Nutter’s Litigation Department and is a partner in the firm’s Business Litigation and Construction Litigation practice groups. Clients across a variety of industries turn to Sarah for her experience handling commercial contract disputes, insurance coverage issues, and real estate and construction litigation. As a business litigation attorney, she has significant courtroom experience, including lengthy jury and bench trials and arbitrations. Sarah also has wide-ranging experience defending clients in toxic tort litigation.

In addition to her commercial litigation experience, Sarah conducts internal investigations on behalf of her clients. In that capacity, she works to solve internal company problems before litigation ensues. She quickly identifies and isolates problems, and then she takes steps to resolve them, with the intent of limiting any resulting litigation.

Notable Experience and Client Impact

  • Represented a global manufacturer of packaging and specialty paper solutions in month-long construction arbitration.
  • Represented a hospital in high-profile multidistrict litigation involving a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak, including related bankruptcy work and criminal investigation.
  • Represented a state university in investigation by the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General and related internal investigation.
  • Served as national coordinating counsel for a technical paper company in mass tort litigation.
  • Defended a client against suit by a major European luxury hotel and secured defense verdict after month-long trial.
  • Represented a condominium association in multimillion dollar construction litigation after significant construction project failures.
  • Defended a high-level executive of a local technology and market research company in an SEC investigation.
  • Defended a managing director of a private equity firm against breach of fiduciary duty claims.

Sarah is a dedicated member of the Boston Bar community, and she is actively involved in pro bono and charitable initiatives. Sarah is on the Board of Directors of the Volunteer Lawyers Project, an organization devoted to obtaining access to justice for all of the people of Greater Boston. Sarah is frequently quoted in the media about high-profile government investigations, including The New York Times, WGBH, and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, among others.

Experience

Experience

  • Representing client in civil and criminal cases related to construction project

    Sarah Kelly was part of the Nutter team that represented many engineers involved with civil and criminal litigation arising from a major Boston construction project.

  • Defense verdict in U.S. District Court

    Sarah Kelly was part of a team that secured a defense verdict for its client after a four-week jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. A major European luxury hotel brought suit against Nutter’s client based on the client’s alleged connection to a significant fire at the hotel. The hotel claimed that the client was responsible for this fire because one of the client’s guests, a customer, negligently discarded a cigarette in her hotel room.

    After four years of discovery and motion practice, Nutter presented its case to a jury, demonstrating not only that its client was not negligent but that the hotel’s fire safety practices were inadequate. The trial lasted four weeks, while the jury deliberated for less than a day before rendering a verdict entirely in favor of Nutter’s client. 

  • Dismissal of litigation in both state and federal court

    Sarah Kelly has successfully represented a managing director of a private equity firm against breach of fiduciary duty claims. The claims, brought by various plaintiffs, have been litigated before both state and federal courts in California, and Nutter has successfully defended its client before all of them, including the Supreme Court of California. They arose out of the client’s position as an outside director of a California health-care company that eventually went bankrupt. The cases have all been resolved in the client’s favor, as a result of successful motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment.

  • Represented client in Massachusetts Inspector General investigation

    Sarah Kelly has been part of a team of Nutter attorneys that represented a state university in an internal investigation and a related investigation by the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General. The investigation has involved witness interviews, significant document analysis, and complex legal research. The investigation centers around issues concerning health care law and state government procurement regulations.

  • Represent executive in SEC proceedings

    Sarah Kelly represented an executive of a local technology and market research company in an SEC investigation. The SEC was investigating the company and a number of high-level executives in connection with the company’s practice of dating options. The client testified before the SEC, but after the testimony, the SEC determined not to bring formal charges against the client.

News & Insights

Publications

Honors

Honors

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2009-2017

Education & Admissions

Education

University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., with honors

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Industry Expertise

Sarah is frequently quoted in the media about high-profile government investigations, including The New York Times, WGBH, and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, among others.

Noteworthy

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2009-2017
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