Bill Gelnaw, Co-Managing Partner,

 John Nadas, Chairman and

Charles Cheever, Co-Managing Partner

  • Choate has received a perfect score for the seventh consecutive year on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Read more...

  • toggle

    We work closely with our registered investment advisor subsidiary Choate Investment Advisors to offer clients complete family office services.  Click here to learn more.

  • toggle

    Choate ranked No. 1 in The American Lawyer’s 2016 Summer Associate satisfaction survey with perfect scores in each of the nine rating metrics for the third consecutive year.  Summer associates said they were involved in interesting work, performed “real’ work, received exceptional training and guidance and interacted positively with partners and full-time associates.  Choate also earned top scores for communication, accurately portraying itself during the interview process and for the associates’ interest in working there if they were offered a position. Overall, associates unanimously voted Choate as a top place to work.

  • toggle

    Of the 200 most successful US firms, Choate ranks 8th for Value/Lawyer

  • toggle

    Over one-third of equity partners and majority of practice areas recognized for excellence.


firm overview why choate

Distinctly Different

Choate has been one of the nation’s premier law firms for over a century.  We enjoy what we do and are privileged to serve our clients and contribute to their success. 

As reflected throughout our website, Choate has chosen to be distinctly different, in a number of important respects, from the firms with which we compete.  We believe that those differences materially benefit our clients and our lawyers.  Choate stands out in a legal marketplace which is crowded, intensely competitive and populated by firms which increasingly look alike.


Our mission is to help important clients capitalize on their most promising opportunities and find solutions to their most significant problems.  Clients retain us because they expect, as we expect from ourselves, uniformly exceptional judgment, service and value. 


We focus on a core group of strategic areas where we practice at the highest level representing clients in their most important matters across the US and internationally.  Our core areas include:

  • Private equity
  • Mergers & acquisitions/Corporate & securities
  • Technology, intellectual property & related litigation
  • Finance & restructuring
  • Government enforcement & compliance
  • Complex trial & appellate litigation
  • Insurance & reinsurance
  • Wealth management

We have no interest in being one of the world's largest law firms or in trying to be all things to all clients.  Our focus is on being the firm of choice in each of our core areas.


Our lawyers are seasoned trusted advisors, with deep industry knowledge and practical business judgment.  Choate and its lawyers are consistently recognized by third parties for excellence and leadership in their fields, including:  Best Lawyers in America; Chambers USA; America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; and The Legal 500 United States. Indeed, over 80% of our equity partners are listed in one or more of these prestigious rankings for excellence in their fields.

Our partners are directly and actively involved in client matters. We pride ourselves on aggressively and effectively representing our clients, always within the context of the client's business and strategic goals.  We have a deep knowledge of "what's market" and what’s important in our areas of focus.
We recruit only the best and brightest and we invest in their development.  Our ratio of partners to associates is more balanced than that of most of our competition, allowing our partners to work directly with associates to train and develop the next generation of exceptional lawyers.  Our practice focus and commitment to lean staffing with dedicated teams, enable our associates to develop expertise, and to play important roles on client relationships, early in their careers.

Far Reaching

From our base in Boston, we represent leading clients across the country and around the world.  We’ve handled disputes and other work in almost all 50 states, and our cross-border work has involved nearly 50 countries.  Many of our partners have been recognized by World’s Leading Lawyers, the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers and IAM.

When local counsel is needed on a transaction in Europe, a joint venture in South America or a patent case in Texas, we select and collaborate with local firms whose expertise and experience are best suited to our clients’ needs.  Because of the depth of our practice, we have built strong relationships with leading law firms around the world which provide exceptional service to us and to our clients.  Many larger firms automatically retain their own local branch office as local counsel, whether or not that branch has the most qualified lawyers for the task at hand.  As many clients have commented, Choate has a “client-centric” model.

High Stakes

We are designed to handle our clients’ most sensitive matters and pressing needs.  Our success on high stakes’ matters has garnered significant recognition:  Corporate Counsel has named us a Go-To Firm in Litigation; Dow Jones’ Private Equity Analyst has named us as among the “Most Active Law Firms’ Worldwide” based on the number of private equity and venture capital transactions; The Legal 500 has named us as a National Tier 1 Firm in Middle-Market M&A and Reactions: Global Insurance Intelligence has ranked us as a National Tier 1 Firm in reinsurance.  Our rankings are especially impressive considering that most of the firms similarly ranked are much larger. 


Like a handful of leading Wall Street firms, Choate conducts its national and international practice through a single office model.  Teamwork, collaboration, flexibility and creativity all matter in solving today’s complex legal problems in a cost-effective and “real time” way.  We are all under one roof.  We know each other really well.  We work together in teams every day.  That familiarity, proximity and continuity allow us to communicate quickly, to share knowledge easily and to respond to our clients’ needs not just efficiently, but seamlessly and immediately, in ways that multi-office, much larger and less flexible organizations often cannot.


We measure our success by the success of our clients and their satisfaction with our service.  We work hard and are available to clients on a 24/7 basis.  We are competitive and take nothing for granted.  We routinely interview our clients -- with both firm and third-party resources -- to confirm their high satisfaction and to solicit their suggestions for even better performance.  That process has confirmed that our model and our teamwork enable us, to an unusual degree, to partner and collaborate with clients by offering customized, high-quality and practical business-oriented solutions.  Our dedication to service has also been independently recognized:  for four consecutive years Choate has earned top rankings for client service in BTI Consulting Group’s survey of Fortune 1000 companies.

Relationships & Value

Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, public and private companies, private equity and venture capital firms, leading financial institutions, world-renowned universities and wealthy individuals, families and charitable foundations.  Many of our clients have been with us for over 20 years; many are new and came to us in large part based on the recommendation of existing clients.  All of our clients are important to the firm.  Our commitment is to provide exceptional product and the best service available, anywhere.  We also work to provide value to clients beyond our legal work through, among other things, seminars, in-house training, secondments, referrals and introductions.  Our goal is to be important strategic advisors for, and partners with, our clients.

Fee Arrangements

Our approach is to work collaboratively with each client to structure a fee arrangement which meets the client's objectives.  Most clients, after considering various options, continue to prefer that our work be performed at standard hourly billing.  Others prefer an alternative approach.  We have embraced alternative billing arrangements for years, and many matters are billed under some type of "non-standard" arrangement.  Indeed, for many clients we have a number of different billing arrangements depending on the nature of the work. 

Core Values

Our core values include excellence, integrity, intensity, creativity, diversity & inclusion, teamwork and respect.  We are proud of, and grateful for, our position in the community and have a long tradition of significant pro bono commitment and excellence.  Please click on the links below to learn more about our commitments to diversity & inclusion and pro bono & community.


Thank you for reaching out to contact Choate. Before you send your message, we wanted to make sure you are aware of the following. Please do not send any confidential information in response to this link. Sending an e-mail to Choate does not give rise to an attorney-client relationship, and will not be deemed to disqualify Choate from undertaking any engagement for a current or future client.  Before any attorney-client engagement may be formed, Choate will need to check for possible conflicts of interest, you will need to consider whether you wish to retain Choate as counsel, and we will need to consider whether we wish to accept the potential engagement. In the meantime, Choate reserves the right to represent parties with interests adverse to you.