John F. Shea - Mackie Shea, PC

John F. Shea

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2008
Phone: 617-266-5700

John F. Shea has been practicing environmental and land use law for more than thirty years. He focuses on wetlands, water, wildlife and hazardous waste law, and is recognized as a master strategist in securing approvals for complex and controversial projects, developing environmental compliance plans for both pro-active and troubled companies, and successfully defending permits in administrative and court appeals.

Mr. Shea represents developers, businesses and high net worth individuals in permitting, siting, enforcement defense and litigation. The development projects he spearheads include residential subdivisions, subsidized housing, and hotels, as well as assisted living facilities, hospitals, colleges, and banks.  He has also handled permitting and litigation for docks, marinas, aquaculture farms, radio antennas, industrial plants, office parks, and retail complexes.  He is involved in Brownfields redevelopment projects as well. Mr. Shea represents public water suppliers and wastewater treatment facilities in permitting new sources, supervising compliance teams in enforcement cases, and developing water supply and watershed protection strategies. He is a member of the Massachusetts Water Works Association, the New England Water Works Association, and the Environmental Business Council Water Resources Committee.

Mr. Shea also represents potentially responsible parties in federal and state Superfund cases, and in related cost recovery and insurance claims. He supervised cleanups of neighborhoods, commercial and industrial properties, water supplies, and federal Superfund sites. He served as Common and Investigatory Counsel for litigant groups, and represented environmental engineering and remediation companies in contract negotiations and litigation. He was founding chair of the Boston Bar Association Hazardous Waste Committee, and was a member of the Massachusetts Pollution Liability Reinsurance Corporation.

Mr. Shea is the author of “Hazardous Waste Cleanup Law” in the Massachusetts Environmental Law treatise published by MCLE.Mr. Shea acts as a Hearing Officer to Boards of Health on site assignment applications by solid waste management facilities. He has conducted more than 30 public hearings on landfill expansions, processing and recycling facilities, and transfer stations. He was founding chair of the BBA Solid Waste Committee and the Recycling Task Force.  Mr. Shea is recognized as a leader in environmental law for his land use development and permitting practice by Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He was selected as the 2013 Boston Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America®. He is designated a Massachusetts and New England SuperLawyer by Boston Magazine and Thomson Reuters. He enjoys an AV rating for the highest levels of professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell.  Mr. Shea chairs panels and lectures widely to lawyers, engineers, and business groups. He is a member of ProVisors®, a national community of professionals who serve as senior-level trusted advisors and share the highest standards of integrity, performance and accountability.

From 1976 through 1981, Mr. Shea served as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force with responsibility for environmental compliance, litigation in federal and foreign courts, and environmental audits at military installations.Mr. Shea graduated cum laude from Holy Cross College, earned his J.D. from the University of Maine Law School, and received a Masters in Environmental Law, cum laude, from the Vermont Law School.  He is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and Maine, and in federal courts.  

Holy Cross CollegeB.Eng 1973University of MaineJ.D. 1976Vermont Law School
Boston Bar AssociationMaine Bar AssociationMassachusetts Water Works AssociationNew England Water Works AssociationProVisorsEnvironmental Business Council

Case History

Boston Duck Tours — Startup permitting counsel to cutting edge land and water tour business
In re John and Lynn Reichenbach — Adjudicatory hearing victory in appeal of this clients' $4 million home on the water in Dartmouth, MA
Town of Falmouth, Ma — Successful appeal/negatiated settlement of its groundwater discharge permit for the wastewater treatment plant.

Client Comments

"John Shea is best in his class. It was very easy to rank him on your survey with top marks. His knowledge, expertise, contacts and demeanor brings results for his clients."

-Bill Fitzgerald
Public Works Superintendent
City of Fairhaven

Office Location

20 Park Plaza, Suite 1118,
Boston, MA 02116
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2013 Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Law of the Boston Metro Area
John F. Shea has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!

Practice Areas

Environmental Law
Litigation - Environmental

Other Information

Gender: Male