Overview

Public and private clients turn to George for advice concerning local and state government issues, particularly structure and operations of local government, zoning, environmental, and other land use matters. Known for his depth of experience and creative solutions to complex legal issues, George focuses on the following areas:

  • Local Government: Since becoming a partner at A&K in 1993, George has served as lead counsel to five Massachusetts towns and special counsel to several others, representing and advising them on a wide range of issues encompassing land development and conservation, municipal finance, procurement, construction, open government, and many other issues that have challenged local government over the last three decades. In addition to his work as counsel, George has held many appointed and elected positions in his own towns, including serving as Town Moderator in Topsfield, Massachusetts and chairing conservation commissions in Topsfield and Newburyport, Massachusetts, thus gaining both inside and outside perspectives on the structure and operations of local boards and town meetings. George has extensive experience with the implementation of various optional forms of town government and with drafting legislation submitted through the “home rule” process to achieve important local objectives.
  • Zoning and Land Use: George has been advising zoning boards, planning boards and zoning enforcement officers on the administration of their local zoning bylaws and subdivision rules and regulations for more than 30 years, and he has successfully defended special permit, variance and subdivision decisions (for towns, applicants and other interested parties) through trial and subsequent appeals to the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court. George has worked with several towns (both as general or special counsel) on numerous zoning amendments to help realize specific land use goals, and to update their bylaws to adhere to best practices or recent changes in law.
  • Environmental: George has extensive experience in the administration of the Wetlands Protection Act and local “home rule” wetlands bylaws, representing both applicants and local conservation commissions in the permitting process and through appeals to DEP and to court. He has represented landowners in Chapter 91 licensing and enforcement cases. He has also represented landowners and other responsible parties in disputes around the cleanup of oil and hazardous material releases under the federal and state “superfund” statutes, and advised and represented towns and other interested parties in the siting, expansion and operation of solid waste facilities. George is currently working with a non-profit conservation organization on Cape Cod on what would be one of the largest salt marsh restoration projects to be proposed in Massachusetts, and has helped to conserve hundreds of acres of open space through local acquisitions or the negotiation of conservation restrictions in concert with local, state and non-profit organizations.

BEYOND THE OFFICE

George’s interest in the environment began with his upbringing in a family who loved to be outdoors, whether skiing on (usually icy) New England slopes or sailing the (often foggy) coast of Maine. These days, he still does those things occasionally, but his time outdoors is more often spent riding a bike on country roads, kayaking in Plum Island Sound, or entertaining his grandchildren at the shore.

Credentials

Education

Northeastern University School of Law, J.D. 1984

Georgetown University, A.B. 1979

Admissions

Massachusetts

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

Recognition

The Best Lawyers in America©, Environmental Law, 2021 and Municipal Law, 2021

Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2005-2009 and 2018-2021

Affiliations

Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association
Town of Topsfield, former Town Moderator
Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions, former President

Experience

Environmental and Real Estate

  • Successfully litigated dozens of tough land use, wetland, and zoning appeals as well as real estate disputes and enforcement matters.
  • Helps clients navigate the complex state and local permitting processes to develop commercial projects, residential subdivisions, and campus expansions.
  • Defends businesses and individuals in state and local enforcement matters.
  • Advises businesses and individuals on environmental compliance issues.

Municipalities

  • Serves as Belmont, Ipswich, Wrentham, and Bedford, Massachusetts, town counsel.
  • Counsels cities and towns on a full range of municipal issues, including:
    • Wetland, solid waste, and wastewater treatment matters.
    • Innovative land use regulatory approaches.

Public and private clients turn to George for advice concerning local and state government issues, particularly structure and operations of local government, zoning, environmental, and other land use matters. Known for his depth of experience and creative solutions to complex legal issues, George focuses on the following areas:

  • Local Government: Since becoming a partner at A&K in 1993, George has served as lead counsel to five Massachusetts towns and special counsel to several others, representing and advising them on a wide range of issues encompassing land development and conservation, municipal finance, procurement, construction, open government, and many other issues that have challenged local government over the last three decades. In addition to his work as counsel, George has held many appointed and elected positions in his own towns, including serving as Town Moderator in Topsfield, Massachusetts and chairing conservation commissions in Topsfield and Newburyport, Massachusetts, thus gaining both inside and outside perspectives on the structure and operations of local boards and town meetings. George has extensive experience with the implementation of various optional forms of town government and with drafting legislation submitted through the “home rule” process to achieve important local objectives.
  • Zoning and Land Use: George has been advising zoning boards, planning boards and zoning enforcement officers on the administration of their local zoning bylaws and subdivision rules and regulations for more than 30 years, and he has successfully defended special permit, variance and subdivision decisions (for towns, applicants and other interested parties) through trial and subsequent appeals to the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court. George has worked with several towns (both as general or special counsel) on numerous zoning amendments to help realize specific land use goals, and to update their bylaws to adhere to best practices or recent changes in law.
  • Environmental: George has extensive experience in the administration of the Wetlands Protection Act and local “home rule” wetlands bylaws, representing both applicants and local conservation commissions in the permitting process and through appeals to DEP and to court. He has represented landowners in Chapter 91 licensing and enforcement cases. He has also represented landowners and other responsible parties in disputes around the cleanup of oil and hazardous material releases under the federal and state “superfund” statutes, and advised and represented towns and other interested parties in the siting, expansion and operation of solid waste facilities. George is currently working with a non-profit conservation organization on Cape Cod on what would be one of the largest salt marsh restoration projects to be proposed in Massachusetts, and has helped to conserve hundreds of acres of open space through local acquisitions or the negotiation of conservation restrictions in concert with local, state and non-profit organizations.

BEYOND THE OFFICE

George’s interest in the environment began with his upbringing in a family who loved to be outdoors, whether skiing on (usually icy) New England slopes or sailing the (often foggy) coast of Maine. These days, he still does those things occasionally, but his time outdoors is more often spent riding a bike on country roads, kayaking in Plum Island Sound, or entertaining his grandchildren at the shore.

Education

Northeastern University School of Law, J.D. 1984

Georgetown University, A.B. 1979

Admissions

Massachusetts

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

The Best Lawyers in America©, Environmental Law, 2021 and Municipal Law, 2021

Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2005-2009 and 2018-2021

Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association
Town of Topsfield, former Town Moderator
Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions, former President

Environmental and Real Estate

  • Successfully litigated dozens of tough land use, wetland, and zoning appeals as well as real estate disputes and enforcement matters.
  • Helps clients navigate the complex state and local permitting processes to develop commercial projects, residential subdivisions, and campus expansions.
  • Defends businesses and individuals in state and local enforcement matters.
  • Advises businesses and individuals on environmental compliance issues.

Municipalities

  • Serves as Belmont, Ipswich, Wrentham, and Bedford, Massachusetts, town counsel.
  • Counsels cities and towns on a full range of municipal issues, including:
    • Wetland, solid waste, and wastewater treatment matters.
    • Innovative land use regulatory approaches.