Boston University School of Law
LLM, 1977

Georgetown University Law Center
JD, 1973

Harvard University
AB, 1969



Practice Areas

John M. Cornish

Retired Partner

t 617-248-5028   f 617-248-4000

John Cornish is a partner in the firm’s Wealth Management Group.  He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer.

Practice Focus

Family-Owned Businesses:  general corporate, business and tax advice, including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and structuring arrangements to transfer equity interests to younger generations in a tax-efficient manner.

Complex Gift & Estate Planning:  advice on all aspects of gift and estate planning, including life insurance planning, family limited partnerships, sales to grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts and charitable planning. 

Estate & Trust Administration:  fiduciary services as executor and trustee of clients’ estates and trusts, including administration of large private foundations. 

Representative Engagements

  • Helped several families transfer equity interests in family-owned companies to younger generation members at little or no gift and estate tax expense.
  • Counseled large company and related trust on divestitures of numerous businesses and on structuring complex charitable distributions in several states and countries.
  • Successfully settled numerous income, gift and estate tax audits, including one case that reduced proposed tax deficiency from $50 million to $0.
  • Managing Trustee of numerous family trusts and foundations with total assets in excess of $500 million.

Publications and Presentations

“How to Select Trustees,” quoted, Financial Advisor Magazine, October 2010.

Professional and Community Involvement

Mr. Cornish has served several terms on the firm’s Executive Committee.  He has also served as co-chair of the firm’s Wealth Management Group.


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