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Hon. Allan van Gestel (Ret.)

T: 617-228-0200


Available to hear cases nationwide.
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Hon. Allan van Gestel (Ret.) has more than 53 years of experience handling complex civil litigation matters and is an expert at resolving business and commercial disputes. Most recently, he served as the founding and presiding Justice of the innovative Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court, a position he held for seven years. Justice van Gestel is considered to be an independent-minded and effective jurist who is highly respected by all parties.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Credited with creating the successful Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court (BLS), a specialized court set up to efficiently handle the state‚Äôs complex business cases
  • Presided over and managed a wide range of civil litigation during more than a decade on the bench, with particular emphasis on complex business and commercial cases
  • Litigated a variety of multi-party, complex matters including environmental matters and Native American land claims during his 35-year legal career at Goodwin, Procter & Hoar

Representative Matters

As presiding Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court Business Litigation Session, Justice van Gestel presided over a wide variety of civil matters:
  • Antitrust: Claims for violation of antitrust or other trade regulation laws
  • Banking: Claims arising from transactions with banks, investment bankers and financial advisers, brokerage firms, mutual and money funds
  • Business/Commercial: Claims relating to the governance and conduct of internal affairs of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and similar entities; restrictive covenants; breaches of contract or fiduciary duties, fraud, misrepresentation, and business torts; liability of shareholders, directors, officers, partners, members, etc.; shareholder derivative claims; mergers, consolidations, sales of assets, issuance of debt, equity and like interests; complex claims under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC); unfair trade practices involving complex issues
  • Class Actions, Consumer
  • Construction
  • Employment: Claims relating to complex executive employment agreements
  • Government: Claims by or against a business enterprise to which a government entity is a party
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property: Claims involving intellectual property or confidential, proprietary or trade secret information
  • Professional Liability: Claims for errors, omissions, and malpractice by business enterprises against professionals
  • Real Estate
  • Securities: Claims relating to or arising out of securities transactions

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Recipient, Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award, American College of Trial Lawyers, 2015
  • Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1979
  • Fellow and Founding Member in the American College of Business Court Judges
  • Recipient of the Silver Shingle Award from Boston University School of Law for Distinguished Service to the Profession
  • Recipient of the Boston Bar Association Citation of Judicial Excellence, 2002
  • Recipient of the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly 2003 Judicial Excellence Award
  • Recipient, Haskell Cohn Distinguished Judicial Service Award, Boston Bar Association
  • Former chair, Standing Advisory Committee on the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure 

Background and Education

  • Associate Justice, Massachusetts Superior Court, 1996-2008
  • Associate and Partner, Trial Department, Goodwin, Procter & Hoar, 1961-1996
  • LL.B., Boston University School of Law, 1961 (editor, Boston University Law Review)
  • B.A., Colby College, 1957