John Hanify business trial financial institutions commercial litigation mergers acquisitions liability ERISA fiduciary lawyer attorney

John D. Hanify

+1 617 574 2208
John Hanify business trial financial institutions commercial litigation mergers acquisitions liability ERISA fiduciary lawyer attorney



Early in his practice, John Hanify served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts where, in recognition of his litigation skills, he received the Justice Department’s Outstanding Performance Award. After leaving the Justice Department, John co-founded the firm of Hanify & King and led the firm’s commercial trial practice. His experience trying and resolving jury and non-jury trials in Massachusetts state and federal courts earned him a reputation as a leading business trial lawyer.

John was also selected to serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where he prevailed on behalf of the Commonwealth in defeating a challenge to the constitutionality of certain financial powers reserved to the Executive Branch.

John was ranked by Chambers USA as among the top commercial litigators in Boston (Band #1). Since his first ranking in 2009 clients have described him as: "very capable lawyer"; "experienced and knowledgeable"; "impressive trial lawyer"; "great judgment"; "aggressive when necessary, and hugely capable"; "‘ferocious advocate who works quickly and efficiently,’ wins praise for his succinct style and authoritative presence in court." Additionally, for successive years, he has been named in Best Lawyers in America and as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer.

His trial experience has involved pursuing and defending claims for business fraud, defending claims against financial institutions for lender liability and business or real estate sellers for breaches of representations and warranties.

John has represented several clients in corporate deadlock disputes, including in resulting jury trials. He has counseled families and owners of businesses in ways to avoid intramural corporate disputes and offered analysis and judgment to businesses respecting the value and cost of litigation options and the comparative benefits of alternative dispute resolution.

John has successfully represented national for-profit and non-profit companies as targets in civil investigations commenced by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. He has represented Debtors in bankruptcy defending claims asserting successor liability, including in the first jury trial held in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts.


  • Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, Massachusetts, 2019 (Senior Statespeople)
  • Best Lawyers in America, 1999-2018
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2004-2017
  • Alumnus of the Year Award, Boston College Law School, 2016


  • Member, American and Boston Bar Associations
  • Chair, Boston College Law School Business Advisory Council


  • Massachusetts


  • Boston College Law School  (J.D., 1974)
  • Harvard University  (A.B., 1971)