Jonathan W. Fitch
- Managing Partner
As both an advocate and arbitrator, Mr. Fitch has a wealth of experience and a strong record of accomplishment in the resolution of highly complex commercial disputes – often involving technologies and life sciences. He has received stellar professional recognitions from a number of respected third parties, including Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and the Best Lawyers in America®, which have both recognized Mr. Fitch as a "Lawyer of the Year." Mr. Fitch embraces a multi-disciplinary approach and a commitment to the highest ideals of the legal profession in developing strategies for the quick and satisfactory resolution of difficult and complicated disputes.
Education And Distinctions
- Boston College Law School, J.D.
- Yale University, School of Management, M.P.P.M.
- Williams College, B.A., cum laude
- Recognized as a “Lawyer of the Year 2009” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
- Recognized by the Best Lawyers in America® as a 2021 “Lawyer of the Year”
- Twice listed in “Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers®“
- Listed as a Best Lawyer in America®, 2016-2021 (Arbitration, Commercial Litigation and Litigation – Trusts and Estates)
- Ranked AV Preeminent®, by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory®
- Arbitrator, International Centre for Dispute Resolution
- Arbitrator, Complex Commercial Cases, American Arbitration Association
- Tech List, Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center’s List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals
- Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
More About Jonathan W. Fitch
Mr. Fitch’s subject matter experience includes: international commercial and technology agreements; life sciences; intellectual property; FRAND; patent exhaustion; proprietary information; invention assignment of medical and other technology products; agreements for development and manufacture and supply of pharmaceuticals; software, firmware and hardware agreements; technology license agreements; trademark and patent agreements; technology distribution and supply agreements; software licensing; technology support agreements; executive employment contracts; employment discrimination; proprietary information; invention assignment; non-solicit and non-competition agreements; non-disclosure agreements; UCC sale of goods and secured transactions; shareholder claims; valuation of minority shareholder interests; securities purchase agreements; valuation of corporate assets; corporate governance; valuation of goodwill; brand value; royalties; accounting and finance; fiduciary duties; securities; high-frequency trading; medical devices; venture capital; private investment firms; commercial leases; commercial loan and mortgage agreements; valuation of commercial real estate; construction contracts; coverage under policies of insurance; professional liability and malpractice; interests in general and limited partnerships, closely held corporations, joint ventures, and hedge funds; internal investigations; environmental contamination; fraud; fraudulent transfer; unfair or deceptive trade practices; unfair competition; product liability; and business torts.
Mr. Fitch’s international practice focuses on counseling, negotiation, litigation, mediation and arbitration of disputes for parties throughout the world, for example, in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Israel, Dubai and South Africa.
The institutional clients Mr. Fitch has appeared for include Airgas Corporation, Nuance Communications, Silence Therapeutics, Tracker do Brasil LTDA (Brazil), VSR Group (Latin America, Asia and Europe), Fluent Trading Technologies Ltd., Kington Holdings Ltd. (Hong Kong), Lycos, Inc., Parexel International Corporation, Tracker Connect (Pty) LTD (South Africa), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Bank of America, N.A., Massachusetts Electric Company, Boston Edison Company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Education Development Center, Inc., J. Baker, Inc., The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Independence Seaport Museum, Nantucket Conservation Foundation, Sankaty Head Golf and Beach Club, Inc. and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
Mr. Fitch frequently speaks at continuing legal education conferences and law schools, and writes articles on topics in the practice of international and domestic arbitration.
Cases of Note
As An Advocate
- Mr. Fitch has tried over 40 jury and bench trials in the federal and state courts of the Commonwealth. He also has extensive experience as an advocate for clients in domestic and international arbitrations. Mr. Fitch has successfully used the process of mediation for resolving hundreds of cases that began in the courts or in arbitration. In representative engagements, Mr. Fitch:
- Has acted as local counsel in patent litigations involving voice recognition and siRNA technologies.
- As defense counsel, resolved thousands of asbestos-related claims for personal injuries and property damage in negotiated settlement, mediation or trial for the manufacturer of an asbestos-containing cement.
- Represented a South African technology company in an international arbitration and obtained an award of over $6 million. Successfully defended a technology company in Brazil in an international arbitration case where plaintiff claimed over $100,000,000 in damages for unfair trade practices.
- Reached a multi-million dollar settlement for clients who were minority investors in a hedge fund company. The case settled after a jury trial had begun.
- Obtained a settlement of approximately $20,000,000 in an arbitration administered by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (the ICDR). The Arbitrator found that the opposing party wrongfully terminated an agreement with our client pursuant to which, it was granted an exclusive right to create and operate a telematics technology in the People’s Republic of China. The settlement was reached before the damages phase of the arbitration commenced.
- In three other international arbitrations and pre-arbitration proceedings, reached favorable settlements: for the CEO of a London-based international investment company; for the owner of a wind turbine with UCC claims against the manufacturer based in the Netherlands; and for a South African technology services company in a dispute with its American supplier under a long-term technology supply, patent and licensing agreement.
- Won a summary judgment award – affirmed on appeal- of $2,943,320 for the firm’s client, a museum, against its former president, who had stolen assets of the museum by means of a sophisticated, fraudulent scheme.
- Obtained a jury verdict on multiple counts in Middlesex Superior Court on behalf of individuals who had been defrauded in the purchase of a home. Judgments against all defendants exceeded $4,000,000.
- Represented the interests of a Swedish Credit Union in a RICO action pending in federal court in Florida.
- Successfully defended the interests of the owner of a valuable parcel of land on Nantucket in a series of two trials and three appeals brought by an abutter seeking to foreclose any development of the property.
- In mediation, successfully settled a multi-faceted estate dispute involving over $20 million in assets held in trusts, limited partnerships and a corporation in Central America.
- Won a temporary restraining order in federal court, which led to an outstanding settlement for our client, a foreign exchange trading company. The client recovered the full extent of its liquidated damages under a software license agreement with the defendant Massachusetts technology company.
- Reached a multi-million dollar settlement for a client-inventor in a misappropriation of trade secret case against a Fortune 500 company.
Reported Appellate Decisions
- Heghnian v. Parexel International Corp., 2003 WL 25586579 (1st Cir. 2003) (upholding dismissal of employment discrimination claims)
- FDIC v. Elio, 39 F.3d 1239 (1st Cir. 1994) (appointment of trustee in fraudulent conveyance)
- Latino PAC, Inc. v. City of Boston, 716 F.2d 68 (1st Cir. 1983), stay denied, 463 U.S. 1319 (1983) (election enjoined because districts violated one person, one vote)
- McCord v. Jet Spray International Corp., 874 F. Supp. 436 (1994) (enforcement of foreign judgment)
- Montgomery v. Board of selectmen of Nantucket, 95 Mass. App. Ct. 65 (2019) (judgment on historic district matter vacated)
- Batischev v. Cote, 81 Mass. App. Ct. 1103 (2011) (Chapter 93A award affirmed)
- Conte v. Marine Lumber Co., Inc., 66 Mass. App. Ct. 505 (2006), rev. denied, 447 Mass. 1109 (Sept. 11, 2006) (claims of estoppel by deed and adverse possession defeated)
- Poddell v. Lahn, 38 Mass. App. Ct. 688 (1995) (methodology for determining common area allocations)
As A Domestic and International Arbitrator
Mr. Fitch has been appointed as an arbitrator in over 40 cases. He has extensive experience as an emergency arbitrator, sole arbitrator, panelist and chair in both complex domestic and international arbitrations. Mr. Fitch has served as an arbitrator on many multi-million dollar commercial claims involving, for instance: technology supply and service agreements; technology license agreements; technology manufacturing agreements; FRAND; patent exhaustion; proprietary information; invention assignment of medical and other products; software, firmware and hardware agreements; FIFRA; employment agreements; securities purchase and investment agreements; non-solicit and non-competition agreements; the liquidation of hedge funds; fiduciary duties; and the valuation of shareholder interests and terms of shareholder buyouts.
Mr. Fitch is a member of the panel of arbitrators for the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, a division of the American Arbitration Association and he is also a member of the AAA’s panel for Large, Complex Cases. He is an arbitrator on the Tech List of the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center and is also listed as an arbitrator by the International Chamber of Commerce and the Global Arbitration Review. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
He has served as an arbitrator, for instance, in the following matters:
- Arbitrator in ICDR case involving an agreement to provide development services and to manufacture and supply a sterile, pyrogenic-free liquid pharmaceutical in a 2cc vial.
- Arbitrator in ICDR case arising out of a patent license agreement involving 2G and 3G mobile communications technology.
- Arbitrator in AAA case regarding consultant agreement and patents for cranio-maxillofacial fixation system.
- Arbitrator in ICDR case involving non-competition and misappropriation of confidential information pertaining to patented aqueous ozone generation technology.
- Arbitrator in ICDR case arising out of engineering development, license and partnership agreement for mobile wallet and other payment applications.
- Arbitrator in AAA case involving software, firmware and hardware agreements for an electronic payment processing system for an airport’s parking operations.
- Arbitrator in ICDR arbitration regarding international sales and distribution agreements audio technology.
- Emergency Arbitrator in ICDR arbitration involving sensor technology use in sports.
- Emergency arbitrator in ICDR arbitration of liquidation of hedge fund.
- Arbitrator in AAA case concerning stock purchase agreement.
- Arbitrator in ICDR case arising out of securities purchase agreement.
- Arbitrator in AAA case involving service agreement among alliance of insurance companies.
- Arbitrator in an ad hoc arbitration regarding the valuation and delineation of assets of one of the largest privately held manufacturers of bakery products.
- Arbitrator in ICDR and AAA arbitrations involving franchise agreements.
Publications and Conferences
- Moderator, “Data, Privacy, and Cyber Security Issues in International Arbitration,” SVAMC/Orrick Webinar, 2020
- Moderator, “Ensuring Efficiency in Complex Technology Arbitrations,” SVAMC/AAA-ICDR/FoleyHoag Webinar, 2020
- Panelist, “Arbitrating Domestic and International Life Science Disputes.” AAA/ICDR, Philadelphia and Boston, 2019
- Moderator, “Insider Views on International Disputes,” 2018
- Speaker, “Positive Psychology for Lawyers,” Suffolk University Law School, 2018
- Moderator, “The Golden Age of International Arbitration,” Boston Bar Association, 2017
- Speaker, “International Issues in Litigation,” Massachusetts Bar Association, 2017
- Moderator, “ESI Discovery in Arbitration,” Annual Dispute Resolution Symposium of Massachusetts Bar Association, 2017
- Moderator, “Spotlight on Evidence in Arbitration,” Massachusetts Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section Program, 2017
- Author, “Arbitration: Spotlight on the Preliminary Conference,” MBA Lawyers Journal, 2017
- Speaker, “Best Practices in International Arbitration and Recent Developments,” ICDR Y&I Program, Harvard Law School, 2016
- Faculty, New England ADR & the Law 2016
- Author, “Basic Planning for International Arbitration and Emerging Practices,” (MCLE, 2016)
- Moderator, “Best Practices in Arbitration: The Role of the Arbitrator,” Dispute Resolution Committee, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2016
- Moderator, “International Arbitration: Hot Topics and Smart Contract Terms,” New England Legal Foundation, 2015
- Panelist, “Arbitration Basics,” Massachusetts Bar Association, 2015.
- Jonathan W. Fitch, Foreign Judgments Law Due for Update, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 41 MLW 159, 2012,
- Jonathan W. Fitch, The Enforcement of Foreign Money Judgments in Massachusetts, 81 Mass. Law Review 65 (1996).
Professional Activities and Associations
- Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Steering Committee, CIArb NAB Boston Branch
- Founding Director, Boston International Arbitration Council, Inc.
- Member, American Bar Association, International Law, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Committees
- Member, International Bar Association, Reporter for United States on the Rules/Guidelines Subcommittee of the Arbitration Committee, 2015-16
- Co-Chair, Disputes Committee, International Law Section, Boston Bar Association
- Associate Member, Sherborn Zoning Board of Appeals, 2016 to date
- Director, Alumni Advisory Board, Yale University, School of Management, 2016 to 2019
- Admitted to the Massachusetts and Rhode Island state bars, the United States District Court for the Districts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
- “Mr. Fitch represented our company in a complex international arbitration case involving the unlawful termination of a license agreement by a listed USA corporation. This settled and included a multi-million dollar payment to us. Jonathan Fitch initially comes across as a quiet and considered individual. He listens, absorbs detail and opinions, and then makes convincing recommendations and decisions that get right to the heart of the issues. In Jonathan Fitch, I saw all the key qualities we needed in one person without the other difficulties. For this arbitration Jonathan Fitch came up against top arbitration lawyers, this was a hard fought issue on both sides involving very material sums of money. The result shows simply how good he is.”
- “Jonathan Fitch provided excellent advice and was able to resolve successfully on two separate settlements of a lawsuit and international arbitration surrounding issues related to a product liability issue I was having difficulty with. He and his team were always there to provide counsel and advice as to how to resolve the issue at hand. It was a very trying experience, but I always felt I was in good hands and their quick action and knowledge of the law gave me every confidence I had chosen the right firm. I worked with Jonathan over a long period of time and always was confident my interests were being met and given the highest priority. I would not hesitate to call on him again.”
- “My wife and I bought an expensive apartment in Cambridge, MA. In a week we faced an eviction letter due to the elaborate fraud scheme mastered by developers, lawyers and realtors, who left us empty-handed. Because of the enormous complexity we could not find an adequate legal help for a month… Indeed, it became our final stop. He won for us two jury trials at the Middlesex Superior Court, and obtained verdicts against all four parties we sued: fraud, intentional misrepresentation, malpractice, etc; legal fees and doubled damages. In sum, our intractable case was cured thanks to Mr. Fitch’s unparalleled integrity and professionalism. I would strongly recommend his service to anyone in a serious legal trouble, as ours, and I have no doubts and second thoughts in doing so.”
- “This was an employment contract dispute. Mr. Fitch helped me get a resolution quickly and cost effectively. He was always there when I needed him.”