Public Agencies and Municipalities


Real estate conducted in the public sector adds an entirely new meaning to challenging. In addition to the baseline complexities, difficulties and other demands, public agency or municipal transactions must also navigate:

  • Enabling Act or Charter limitations
  • Often intense public scrutiny
  • Massachusetts Public Records Law, Freedom of Information Act and other mandated transparencies
  • The relationships between public agencies and governmental offices
  • A need to generate consensus within the public client in order for a project to keep moving forward

It helps to have lawyers on your team who have deep and broad experience in representing public agencies and municipal governments on real estate development projects.

That’s one of the qualities that sets apart Sherin and Lodgen. Many of our attorneys have worked in public agencies, including one with many years of major-deal experience:

  • Ronald W. Ruth served as Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement. As a private attorney, he has since served as legal counsel to state administrative agencies and gained significant experience in drafting and filing legislation and regulations. He is intimately familiar with the legislative process, public notice requirements, and public bidding requirements.

Our lawyers who represent public authorities and municipal governments have a first-hand understanding and appreciation for the unique needs of development projects on public land and how to meet them.

It also helps to have attorneys who know deals from both sides of the table. In addition to representing public agencies, Sherin and Lodgen has represented private developers in connection with real estate projects located on public agency land often with air rights. As a result, we have learned how different agencies address similar issues. We have learned which negotiating strategies and tactics employed by developers and other parties work when dealing with public agencies.

Representative Real Estate Experience

  • Representing a public agency in connection with the multi-phase ground lease development of a 450,000 sq.ft. intermodal cargo terminal project in the Boston Marine Industrial Park
  • Representing a public agency in connection with the sale (through a public bidding process) of air rights in downtown Boston, including preparation of RFP documents and negotiation of a complicated air-rights cross-easement agreement to support the private developer’s construction of a high-rise building
  • Representing a public agency in connection with ground leases for the redevelopment of limited access highway service and restaurant facilities
  • Representing a public transportation agency in connection with eminent domain litigation arising from the creation of a new right of way


Sherin and Lodgen serves as litigation counsel to agencies and municipalities. Our lawyers have worked at agencies and served on town boards and therefore understand the unique needs of clients who serve the public and are funded by tax dollars.  We work with our clients to develop efficient strategies for litigating and resolving lawsuits in a way that meets the needs of the clients as well as the people they serve.

Representative Litigation Experience

  • Representing town’s zoning board of appeals in affordable housing dispute with developer before the Housing Appeals Committee
  • Representing town in federal Clean Water Act claim brought be resident
  • Representing town in construction disputes with installers and manufacturer of roof on public school
  • Representing municipalities in providing securities litigation services for retirement funds.
  • Successfully defending quasi-public finance agency in claim brought by guarantor of loan through summary judgment and appeal
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