Kelly advises clients on a broad range of disputes involving commercial real estate and government regulation, including complex lease disputes, commercial evictions, permits/zoning appeals, tax abatements, appraisal disputes, and administrative proceedings before state and federal agencies. Kelly is an accomplished trial lawyer who has won verdicts across multiple jurisdictions, though his clients frequently prevail at earlier stages of litigation due to Kelly’s skillful pre-trial strategies and compelling written advocacy. In 2021, Kelly was among only five real estate attorneys nationwide—and the sole real estate litigator—to be included in Law360’s annual list of Rising Stars “whose legal accomplishments transcend their age,” and Kelly was also named to Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hot List of “the best and brightest law firm partners under 40 in the United States.”
In his real estate practice, Kelly works with institutional property owners and investors, commercial landlords and tenants, developers, academic institutions, and hotels and hospitality groups. He advises clients on all phases of real estate litigation, ranging from pre-development contracting and permitting issues to judicial proceedings involving fully developed properties. Kelly also counsels clients on tax abatements and other mechanisms through which clients can ease the financial burdens of maintaining their interests in high-value commercial properties. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelly has counselled several clients on state and local executive orders, foreclosure restrictions, eviction moratoria, and other emergency regulations that impact clients’ real estate assets.
In government law matters, Kelly represents private and publicly-traded companies, educational and nonprofit organizations, elected officials, public and quasi-public entities, and individuals with respect to government investigations, election laws, campaign finance reporting/compliance, conflict of interest laws, public record laws, open meeting laws, and numerous other issues that clients face when navigating complex regulatory frameworks.
Kelly also maintains an active life sciences litigation practice, in which he frequently represents private companies, institutional investors, and individual directors/managers with respect to fiduciary, securities, and governance disputes.
Prior to joining Mintz, Kelly worked for another AmLaw 100 firm where he created an economic model for vendor risk assessment that was adopted on an enterprise level by a Fortune 100 financial services company. He also served as a Special Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County.
Real Estate Litigation
- Obtained first-of-its-kind victory for landlord client in the seminal case interpreting Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium and its impact on commercial landlords’ remedies.
- Achieved precedent-setting victory awarding preliminary injunction to enforce investor client’s removal of joint venture’s managing member and seize full control and governance rights over $80+ million luxury condominium project.
- Obtained $120 million+ settlement for institutional real estate investor in connection with complex merger transaction involving multiple commercial properties owned by a client.
- Secured summary judgment for joint venture client in a dispute over ownership rights associated with a $80 million+ hotel property.
- Primary outside counsel to publicly-traded media company with respect to real estate, zoning, permitting, and government contract matters in Massachusetts.
- Represents publicly-traded company in connection with multiple property tax appeals against several municipalities throughout the Commonwealth.
- Obtained judgement for landlord/client in commercial eviction proceeding, entitling client to retake possession of high-value industrial premises and recovery of extensive monetary damages.
- Successfully obtained attachment and other pre-judgement security for client involved in dispute with property developer that controlled $10 million+ in real estate assets.
- Represented premier private university in connection with proceedings before Boston Landmarks Commission regarding official landmark designation for Fenway's iconic Citgo Sign.
- Represents state financing authority in litigation related to Massachusetts Public Records Law and its protections for confidential and personal information held by government entities.
- Lead trial counsel in proceedings before State Ballot Commission, in which client was awarded complete recovery on its claims that candidate for public office violated Massachusetts election laws in seeking access to state ballots.
- Counsel to state agency in administrative proceedings related to client's obligations under Massachusetts Public Records Law.
- Representing a privately-held company involved in adjudicatory proceedings before Federal Election Commission and related internal investigations into alleged violations of federal campaign finance laws
Life Sciences Litigation
- Led investigation for the Audit Committee of a leading medical device company into financial reporting, regulatory compliance issues, and allegedly corrupt practices in business units on four continents.
- Obtained dismissal–and subsequent affirmance on appeal–of all claims brought against medical technology company and its board members in fiduciary dispute with former investor.
- Obtained dismissal of all claims asserted against institutional medtech investor in financial services litigation commenced by investment banking firm.
May 29, 2020 | Blog | By Kelly Frey
Governor Baker Signs Legislation Creating a Temporary Moratorium on Evictions: What Commercial Landlords Need to Know
April 21, 2020 | Blog | By Kelly Frey, Jennifer Kiely, Chelsea Wood-Brown
Governor Baker Extends and Modifies Order Closing All Non-Essential Massachusetts Businesses: Updates that Office Landlords Should Know
April 3, 2020 | Blog | By Chelsea Wood-Brown, Jennifer Kiely, Kelly Frey
Governor of Massachusetts Orders Closure of All Non-Essential Businesses: What Office Landlords Should Know
March 25, 2020 | Blog | By Chelsea Wood-Brown, Jennifer Kiely, Kelly Frey
March 23, 2020 | Blog | By Kelly Frey
Governor Baker Issues Order Requiring Closure of All Businesses Except Those Providing Essential Services and Prohibiting Gatherings of More than 10 People
March 23, 2020 | Advisory | By Elissa Flynn-Poppey, Kelly Frey
Governor Baker Issues Multiple Executive Orders to Reduce Risk of COVID-19 Exposure at Restaurants, Bars & Gatherings of 25 People or More & DPH Issues Further Guidance
March 17, 2020 | Advisory | By Elissa Flynn-Poppey, Kelly Frey
March 16, 2020 | Advisory | By Kelly Frey, Elissa Flynn-Poppey
May 16, 2018 | Blog | By Kelly Frey
December 7, 2017 | Blog | By Kelly Frey
News & Press
October 12, 2023
June 24, 2021
September 2, 2020
June 12, 2018
October 18, 2016
Recognition & Awards
- Benchmark Litigation: 40 & Under Hot List (2021 - 2022)
- Law360: Rising Star - Real Estate (2021)
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Rising Star – Business Litigation (2013 - 2023)
- National College of Trial Lawyers Medal for Excellence in Advocacy
- Benchmark Litigation: Future Stars (2024)