Thomas E. Shirley - Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Thomas E. Shirley

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2008
Phone: 617-248-5145

Tom Shirley is the chair of the firm’s Labor, Employment & Benefits Group.  He represents clients in all areas of labor and employment law.  An experienced litigator, Mr. Shirley also works with clients to help insure compliance with applicable federal and state laws and minimize their exposure to employment-related claims and disputes. 

Mr. Shirley is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, PLC - Which Lawyer and named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer. 

Practice Focus

Employment Litigation:
  all aspects of employment litigation, including non-compete and fiduciary duty claims, wage and hour claims, employment discrimination and sexual harassment, wrongful termination, defamation and ERISA.

Employment Counseling & Compliance:  full range of applicable state and federal employment law issues. 

Executive Employment:  employment agreements, compensation and benefit matters, non-competition and fiduciary duty advice and litigation. 

Labor Matters:  collective bargaining, labor arbitration, union organizing, work stoppages and unfair labor practice claims.

Representative Engagements

· Led appellate team in overturning civil rights award against city official before US Supreme Court.
· Successfully defended major consulting firm in jury trial involving discrimination/wrongful denial of partnership claims brought by senior consultant.
· Obtained favorable defense settlement in major False Claims Act litigation.
· Successfully compelled arbitration of wage and hour lawsuit.
· Frequently represent both individuals and employers in non-compete litigation.
· Successfully represented national accounting firm in multi claim litigation brought by two former partners.
· Won summary judgment for investment management firm in litigation with former portfolio manager and new employer.  
· Regularly negotiate senior executive employment agreements on behalf of both senior executives and their employers.

Publications and Presentations

· “Hot Topics in Employment Law 2011,” Renaissance Alliance Group Annual Meeting, October 2011.
· “Case Study:  Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright,” co-author, Employment Law360, February 2011. · “Massachusetts Employment 2010 Legislative Update,” National Public Employer Labor Relations Association, Braintree, MA, October 2010. 
·  Regular client alerts, presentations, and training.

Professional and Community Involvement

Mr. Shirley is a member of the Labor and Employment Section and Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, the Labor Law Section of the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association.  He joined the firm in 1983; partner in Labor, Employment & Benefits Group since 1988; Chair since 1999.

He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Brooks School.

University of VirginiaJ.D. 1980University of VirginiaBA 1977

Case History

Daley et al v. Raytheon — Obtained summary judgement for Raytheon and won affirmance on appeal in a class action ERISA suit based on plaintiffs'' claim that they were improperly denied early retirement benfits. 
Douglass v. Ernst and Young — Sucessfully represeented E&Y in federal court jury trial against multi-million dollar claims brought by former female senior consulant that she had been denied partnerhip because of her gender and in vilation of her rights under the FMLA.  
Gailinas v. Avaya, et al — Obtained defense verdict in jury trial on behalf of Avaya and an Israeli defendant involving multiple claims by a terminated senior executive for wronful termination, breach of contract, defamation,  etc.
Hindin v. Agilent Technologies — Obtained favorable defence settlement in major False Claims Act litigation involving plaintiff''s claim that he had been improperly terminated for protected whisteblowing relating to allegedly unsafe medical products.  
scott-harris v. city of fall river, et al — Represented former mayor of Fall River beginning at appellate stage in case in which a former city employee prevailed on race discrimination claims against him at trial.  Prevailed before US Supreme Court on theory that he enjoyed immunity from suit as a municipal official in unanimous decision.

Office Location

Two International Place
Boston, MA 02110
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law - Management of the Boston Metro Area
Thomas E. Shirley has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!

Practice Areas

Employment Law - Individuals
Employment Law - Management
Labor Law - Management
Litigation - Labor and Employment

Other Information

Gender: Male