Ronald W. Ruth

Ronald W. Ruth


Overview & Experience

Ronald W. Ruth is co-chair of the Environmental Law Group.

He is the former Managing Partner and former chair of the Real Estate department. He concentrates his practice on real estate, land use, and environmental law. Ron became a LEED Accredited Professional in July 2008.

Ron has represented owners and tenants in connection with numerous sites that have been successfully redeveloped from abandoned manufacturing or industrial operations into commercial developments. He is particularly familiar with the complicated problems arising from the construction of projects undertaken on contaminated properties.

Prior to joining the firm, Ron practiced at the Boston firm of Ropes & Gray LLP and was Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement. After graduation from law school, he was law clerk to Chief Justice Alan Hale of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.


  • Outside counsel to Ahold Delhaize USA, Inc. with regionally known banners, Stop & Shop, Giant/Martin’s, Food Lion, and Hannaford, which has over 2,000 locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeasten United States regarding real estate matters and hazardous materials compliance, environmental compliance, and environmental insurance claims
  • Negotiated Prospective Purchase Agreement with Region 2 of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding brownfield redevelopment of CERCLA site, a former airplane manufacturing facility on Long Island, New York
  • Waste hauler during EPA investigation and claim for reimbursement by EPA and other PRPs for remediation in connection with CERCLA site in Attleboro, Massachusetts
  • Manufacturers of electronic equipment in connection with disposition of real estate in California, Texas and other states
  • Condominium developer in connection with brownfield site in Norwood, Massachusetts, including negotiation of settlement of CERCLA claims in Region 1 of EPA arising from former metal reclamation facility operations
  • Major retailer in connection with environmental due diligence for acquisition of 180-store chain in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi
  • Environmental engineering company in connection with negotiation of environmental insurance policy to support $12 million fixed fee remediation project
  • Numerous purchasers, sellers, landlords, and tenants in negotiation of environmental indemnities, purchase and sale agreements, lease provisions and environmental insurance policies as part of acquisition or disposition of real estate
Insights & Activities


  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America©
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated: A/V Preeminent®
  • Included in Who’s Who Legal: Environment
  • Included in Massachusetts Super Lawyers

Speaking Engagements & Publications

  • Commercial Real Estate Practice in Massachusetts, 1st Edition,” co-author, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), 2020
  • “Environmental Tasks,” facilitator, NAIOP Advanced Development Practices, May 23, 2018
  • The Law of Lis Pendens in Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” Law360, August 7, 2017
  • “Solar and Cell Phone Towers,” presenter, Rooftop Leasing 101, Boston Bar Association, February 2014
  • “New Underground Storage Tank Operator Requirements Arrive in Massachusetts,” Sherin and Lodgen Client Advisory, March 2012
  • “New Endangered Species Act Regulations – 2011 Update,” NAIOP Government Affairs Round-Up, December 2011
  • “Financial Analysis of Development Projects,” panelist, NAIOP Center for Education, November 2011
  • “New Endangered Species Act Regulations,” speaker, NAIOP Hot Off the Hill Public Affairs, November 2010
  • “Enforcing the Green Lease,” Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy, October 2009
  • Time to speak up on refining state’s Ocean Plan,” Mass High Tech, July 2009
  • Can Enviro Lawyers Learn to Live with New Paradigm?,”, February 2009
  • “MEPA & NEPA Case Law Update,” speaker, MEPA & NEPA: New Developments in Implementation, Litigation and Legislation, Law Seminars International, June 2008
  • “The Biolab Case and MEPA: Supreme Judicial Court’s Decision in Allen v. BRA,” speaker, Boston Bar Association Environmental Law section event, February 2008
  • Imposing Activity and Use Limitations May Offer an Escape Hatch for Tenants,” with Ani E. Ajemian, Banker & Tradesman, February 2008
  • “The Massachusetts Endangered Species Act Working with Land Trusts,” Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference, The Trustees of Reservations’ Putnam Conservation Institute and Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, 2007
  • “Recent Development in Land Use Permitting,” Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Boston Bar Association, 2007
  • “All Politics is Local,” panelist, Public Interest Leadership Program, Boston Bar Association, 2006
  • “Massachusetts Endangered Species Act Regulatory Changes,” Environmental Law Section, Boston Bar Association, 2006
  • Moderator and panelist in seminars presented for various business groups including in 2000-2002 and 2004, for The National Association of National and Office Properties and in 2000, 2002, and 2004 for The International Council of Shopping Centers
  • “Environmental Issues Arising in Leases,” International Counsel of Shopping Centers Law Conference, October 2002
  • “Managing Environmental Risks through Insurance,” with Richard D. Jones and Ivan De Voren, International Counsel of Shopping Centers Law Conference, 2000
  • “Brownfields Gray Soil Poses Extra Cost to Development,” Banker & Tradesman, January 2000
  • “Zoning Opinions,” chap., Massachusetts Zoning and Land Use Law


  • The Abstract Club
    • 2015-present
  • Boston Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Section
      • Steering Committee, 1987-1996
      • Legislative Committee, chair 1991-1993; 1994-1996
      • On the Hill publication, former editor
  • International Council of Shopping Centers
  • NAIOP Massachusetts
    • Center for Education, faculty member, 2010
    • Sustainable Development National Forum, 2007-2012
    • Development magazine, Editorial Board, 2004-2014
    • Government Affairs Committee, Massachusetts Chapter, 2007-present
    • Environment Committee, Massachusetts Chapter, 2003-present

Community Involvement