Hogan Lovells lawyers depart to launch Boston white-collar firm

(Reuters) – Three Boston-based attorneys are leaving Hogan Lovells to open up a new law firm focused on white-collar criminal matters and complex civil litigation, according to William Kettlewell, one of the lawyers.

Kettlewell and fellow Hogan Lovells lawyers Elizabeth Pignatelli and Sara Silva are starting the new firm along with Kettlewell’s son Andrew Kettlewell, a prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

The new firm, called Silva, Kettlewell and Pignatelli, will open Jan. 2 and be based in downtown Boston, Kettlewell said Wednesday. The three Hogan Lovells lawyers officially leave the firm on Dec. 31.

A Hogan Lovells spokesperson did not immediately comment on the group’s departure. The Suffolk County DA’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The three lawyers joined Hogan Lovells in 2017 when the transatlantic law firm entered the Boston market through a merger with litigation and investigations firm Collora.

Kettlewell has worked on high-profile cases in Boston, including representing one of two members of then-Boston mayor Marty Walsh’s administration accused of illegally pressuring a music festival production company into hiring union labor. A federal judge tossed the convictions of the former aides in 2020.

Kettlewell, whose career has spanned four decades, said the three other lawyers are “all young, eager beavers who’ve always wanted to have their own firm.” He said it was a good time to “step back a little bit” and take on fewer cases as senior counsel. The other lawyers will be partners, with Pignatelli as managing partner, he said.

The Boston legal market has expanded in recent years as out-of-town law firms open up and grow local outposts, often targeting intellectual property, technology, life sciences and healthcare-focused work.

Hogan Lovells, which has about 2,600 lawyers, last week acknowledged reports that the firm is in early-stage merger discussions with New York-founded Shearman & Sterling, with both firms neither confirming or denying the talks.

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Sara Merken

Thomson Reuters

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com

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