Mark Swirbalus is "considered as Boston’s pre-eminent probate litigator," according to a Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) source. Mark represents clients in estate, trust, and fiduciary litigation, handling a broad range of high-stakes T&E-related matters, including trust and will contests (undue influence, competency, fraud), breach of fiduciary duty actions, removal actions, contested accountings, reformation and interpretation actions, trust and estate property disputes, family limited partnership (FLP) disputes, trust-held limited liability company (LLC) disputes, reasonable deviation and cy pres matters, and tax disputes. Mark is seen as "one of the leading people in the city at what he does," peers say. "He's an excellent technician," offers another Chambers HNW source, and "he's got a big world view, he's not swayed by small details. He's a grown-up in this world – he doesn't have to be nasty to represent his client zealously."
Mark represents individuals, charitable organizations, and banks and trust companies as beneficiaries, trustees, executors, administrators, and personal representatives. These clients look to Mark not only to guide them through and solve their legal matters successfully, whether through settlement or at trial, but also to help them avoid litigation in the first place. A Chambers USA source commented that Mark is “top notch,” "smart, and has an excellent knowledge of trust matters. He had a plan from day one to address our concerns."
Mark is Co-Chair of the firm's Litigation group, and a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), where he has been appointed to its Fiduciary Litigation Committee.
- Representation of charity in action to enforce its rights under a charitable bequest.
- Representation of family members in will contest alleging undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity and fraud.
- Representation of widow in defense of death-bed property conveyance.
- Representation of proposed interveners in action regarding the oldest charitable trust in the country (c. 1660).
- Representation of trustees and primary beneficiary in action against predecessor trustees for self-dealing and other breaches of fiduciary duty.
Professional and Community Involvement
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow, Fiduciary Litigation Committee
- Greater Boston Fiduciary Law American Inn of Court, President and Co-Founder
- Boston Bar Association, Trusts & Estates Section, Public Policy Committee, 2012-2013
- Boston Bar Association, Trusts & Estates Section, Fiduciary Litigation Co-Chairman, 2010-2012
- Boston Probate and Estate Planning Forum, Moderator (2012-2013) and Program Chair (2011-2012)
- Massachusetts Bar Association, Probate Litigation Practice Group, Probate Law Section Council, 2009-2010
- New Hampshire Bar Association
- Dartmouth Lawyers Association
- Dartmouth College, Alumni Enrollment Volunteer
Awards and Recognition
- Chambers High Net Worth (HNW), 2016-2017
- Chambers USA, leading litigator, 2010-2013
- Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent™
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2009-2017
- Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2016
- Panelist, “Experts in Fiduciary Litigation,” ACTEC, March 2017
- Panelist, “Elder Law Litigation,” MCLE, February 2017
- Chair and Panelist, “18th Annual New England Estate Planning (and more) Conference 2017,” MCLE, January 2017
- Panelist, “Massachusetts Bar Association Probate law Conference, Standards of Capacity and Undue Influence,” MBA, November 2016
- Panelist, “Massachusetts Bar Association Probate law Conference, Trustee Removal and Contested Trustee Accounts,” MBA, November 2015
- Panelist, “Recent Developments in Fiduciary Litigation,” ACTEC, September 2015
- Chair and Panelist, "Designing Estate Plans to Avoid Conflicts and Contests," MCLE, March 2015
- Panelist, "16th Annual Estate Planning Conference 2015, Incorporating Arbitration and Mediation Provisions in Estate Planning Documents," MCLE, January 2015
- Chair and Panelist, "Will Contests," MCLE, November 2014
- Panelist, “Making Probate Mediation Work for You and Your Client,” ACTEC, September 8, 2013
- Panelist, "Fiduciary Litigation Rebooted: Litigating Fiduciary Cases in the Probate Court under the UPC and UTC," MCLE, May 2013
- Panelist, 14th Annual New England Estate Planning Conference 2013, MCLE, January 2013
- Panelist, "The New MUPC and MUTC and Representing Fiduciaries," MCLE, November 2012
- Panelist, "Probate Litigation Under the New MUPC and the New MUTC," MCLE, November 2012