Firm Name: Deutsch Williams Brooks DeRensis & Holland, P.C. (a/k/a Deutsch Williams)
Year founded: 1984
Number of attorneys: 21
Managing partners: Valerie Swett, Senior Managing Principal, Robert D. Hillman, Managing Principal, Daniel R. Deutsch Managing Principal, Steven J. Brooks, Managing Principal Emeritus
What types of law does your firm handle?
Deutsch Williams serves clients in a broad range of fields,
including civil and white collar criminal litigation, real estate,
trusts and estates, insurance coverage, probate and family law,
environmental law, business law and litigation, immigration, public
sector labor and employment law, school law, and municipal law.
Are there any areas where the firm has made a name for
Although Deutsch Williams has achieved considerable success and
recognition in several areas of practice, including litigation,
real estate, trusts and estates, and insurance coverage law, we
have gained particular and sustained recognition for our work in
the public sector areas of our practice, namely management-side
labor relations and employment law, school law, and municipal
What firm attribute do clients find most
The firm's chief attraction for our clients and prospective
clients is our ability to consistently offer one-on-one attention
from experienced, senior attorneys at moderate prices.
Briefly describe a recent "win" or client success story
that the firm is proud of?
Deutsch Williams represented one of four men, and their estates,
in the much publicized federal wrongful imprisonment lawsuit
against the United States government (Limone v. United States),
arising from their conviction and decades-long incarceration based
on perjured testimony of a notorious mob assassin that was suborned
and supported by FBI agents. The case, which was upheld on appeal,
garnered international publicity and resulted in the largest
judgment and recovery in any wrongful imprisonment case in the
United States ($100 million). Dan Deutsch tried the case, and John
Foskett contributed to the appeal, along with several attorneys
from other law firms.
Describe a recent pro bono project the firm has
Through the MBA, two Deutsch Williams attorneys (Tom Barbar and
Dan Deutsch) counseled and represented individuals and small
businesses victimized by the Marathon Bombing who otherwise may
have been unable to obtain legal advice or recoup their losses.
Two departments within the firm (Immigration Law and Family Law)
represented an indigent immigrant in actions that involved the
Probate and Family Court, as well as the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Service. Margaret Holland Sparages was able to
successfully assert the client's rights in a VAWA (Violence Against
Women Act) petition, which allowed the client to be able to obtain
a green card and pursue legal employment. Tom Barbar was able to
obtain a judgment from the Probate and Family Court protecting her
from her abusive husband and obtaining sole legal and physical
custody of her two minor children.
Is your firm regularly active with any organizations
outside of the MBA?
The firm itself has participated in South Boston community
initiatives and bar association efforts, but the diverse interests
of our attorneys have led them to become personally and very
actively involved as leaders in the Boy Scouts of America,
Discovering Justice, many public boards (including Boards of
Selectmen, other executive boards, permitting boards and
commissions), the Board of Registration in Medicine, and religious
charitable organizations throughout the Boston area. The firm, in
addition, has had members participate in numerous MBA programs,
such as the Dial-A-Lawyer Program, pro bono cases through the MBA,
Marathon Bombing Victims Program, Scholarship programs, and pro
bono representation regarding the opioid crisis.
Any announcements from the firm?
We have added attorneys to service our growing labor and
employment and school law practices, and continue to be open to
creative lateral hires and mergers which would expand other
What's one thing about the firm that people might be
surprised to learn?
Deutsch Williams is the only law firm in the Boston Design
Center, part of the larger Innovation and Design Building, which
together house the offices of a major craft brewer; dozens of
interior design, architecture, and furnishing businesses;
consulting firms; a renowned business incubator; high-technology
firms; and a wide variety of other companies.
One of the firm's founders, Burt Williams, long ago represented
Olympic pair skaters Peter and Kitty Carruthers. We currently
represent the family of a major Big Band era drummer and a former
world champion athlete.
Another of the firm's founders, Allan Drachman, was instrumental
in the development of public sector labor law in Massachusetts and
the American Bar Association.
Why is it important to have all the lawyers in your firm
members of the MBA?
Aside from the practical benefits, such as insurance benefits,
malpractice insurance and continuing legal education, Deutsch
Williams encourages all of our attorneys to take advantage of all
that the MBA has to offer. We want our attorneys to be part of the
"voice" of the legal community which the MBA provides across the
How has the MBA benefitted lawyers in your
The MBA provides our attorneys with extremely thorough
educational seminars, numerous networking opportunities, access to
legal experts in all legal fields, legislative opportunities,
organized and meaningful pro bono programs, and perhaps most
importantly, the opportunity to be a leader in the legal arena of
Massachusetts and to be part of the legal voice of the community
and the commonwealth.
Are there any specific MBA programs you find
Lawyers of the firm who have been members of the MBA's section
councils and have been appointed by the MBA to chair section
councils have found their involvement to be particularly rewarding.
Also, the MBA recognizes leaders in the law with its various
educational panels, committees, subcommittees, task forces and the
House of Delegates. The lawyers of Deutsch Williams who have
participated in these important roles have felt that they have
truly been part of the ever changing legal landscape of