Brian J. MacDonough

Brian J. MacDonough

Partner, Employment Department Chair

Pronouns: he, him, his

Overview & Experience

Brian J. MacDonough, chair of the Employment Department, counsels and represents executives and professionals in sophisticated employment and compensation matters and employment litigation.

He handles a wide range of matters, including contract negotiation and enforcement, discrimination, whistleblowing, wage and hour issues, and wrongful termination. In particular, Brian advises executives and professionals regarding employment agreements, change of control agreements, equity and deferred compensation vehicles, non-competition and other restrictive covenants, severance/separation terms, and transition agreements.

A trusted advisor to his clients, Brian often works with them throughout their careers as they transition to new opportunities. As noted by Chambers USA, he “brings a calm demeanor to the table and focuses on the best outcome for his client,” says one interviewee. A client adds: “He is empathetic and very strategic in negotiations.”

In addition to his executive advocacy practice, Brian also litigates cases in both federal and state courts and appears regularly before state and federal agencies, including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Highly respected by his colleagues, Brian is a former co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section. He also served on the committee that prepared draft sexual harassment regulations on behalf of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and he assisted in the drafting of proposed revisions of the Commission’s procedural regulations

Brian is a frequent author and speaker on matters of employment law. He is an editor and co-author of the Massachusetts Employment Law Manual, published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.  He has also co-authored employment law chapters for the MCLE’s Massachusetts Basic Practice Manual, and sections of the quarterly Commentary for the Massachusetts Discrimination Law Reporter.  Brian has chaired several programs sponsored by MCLE, including “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Employment Law” and “Preventing and Litigating Wage & Hours Cases.”

Insights & Activities


  • Included in Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment & Civil Rights Lawyers guide
  • Named “Employment Law Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal
  • Named to Boston magazine’s Top Lawyers list (2022-present)
  • Selected for inclusion in Massachusetts Super Lawyers
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America©
  • Ranked in Chambers USA for Labor and Employment: Mainly Plaintiffs Representation – Massachusetts
  • Listed in Benchmark Litigation

Speaking Engagements & Publications


  • Amicus Group
  • Boston Bar Association
    • Labor & Employment Steering Committee
    • Co-Chair, Labor & Employment Fundamentals Program Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association
  • National Employment Lawyers Association