Sara Jane Shanahan

Sara Jane Shanahan

Partner, Litigation Department Chair

Overview & Experience

Sara Jane Shanahan is chair of the firm's Litigation Department and co-chair of the Business Litigation Practice Group.

Her practice focuses on complex business litigation and insurance coverage disputes. Sara represents a variety of clients such as hedge funds and investment managers, generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, national retailers, insurers, insureds, shareholders of closely-held corporations and officers and directors of public corporations.

Prior to joining the firm in December 2008, Sara was partner at Griesinger, Tighe, & Maffei, LLP and junior partner at Hale and Dorr LLP. After law school, Sara clerked for the Hon. Nathaniel M. Gorton, U.S. District Judge for the District of Massachusetts.


  • Hedge funds and the investment manager with regard to claims against their third party administrator
  • National retailer in arbitration and litigation with third party business brokers
  • Hospital patent-owner in licensing dispute with medical device manufacturer
  • Generic drug manufacturers in False Claims Act and products liability litigation
  • Insurers and insureds in complex insurance coverage disputes
  • Minority shareholders in closely-held corporations regarding breach of fiduciary duty and voting trust claims
  • Homeowners in arbitrations regarding construction disputes
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment on securities fraud claims for defendant; Federal District Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification
  • Internet operating and development company prevailing on all claims in two week jury trial regarding insurance coverage
Insights & Activities


  • Ranked in Chambers USA for Litigation: General Commercial – Massachusetts
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America©
    • Lawyer of the Year, Litigation – Insurance, Boston (2020)
  • Included in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
    • Top Women in Law
  • Included in Massachusetts Super Lawyers
    • Top 50 Women in Massachusetts
    • Top 100 in New England
  • Perlman Service Award from the fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA)
  • Listed in Benchmark Litigation

Speaking Engagements & Publications


  • Boston Bar Foundation Society of Fellows
  • Boston Bar Association
    • Council, Member, elected to serve three-year term, Fall 2013 – Summer 2016
    • Administration of Justice Section
      • Co-chair, Fall 2011 – Summer 2014
      • Member, 2009 – 2014
  • Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Appointments, 2014 – 2020
  • Litigation Counsel of America
    • Fellow
  • Women’s Bar Association
    • Women’s Leadership Initiative, 2017 – 2018

Community Involvement