Donovan Hatem Welcomes Eric Asquith and Kamilah Land to the Firm

Boston, MA (December 3, 2020) – Donovan Hatem is pleased to welcome Eric Asquith as Of Counsel and Kamilah “Kam” Land as an Associate to the Firm.

Eric joins the Firm’s Litigation group where he concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation. He also brings to the firm extensive experience in employment law, product liability, professional liability and more.

Eric also brings deep industry experience to his real estate work, such as having run a real estate brokerage,

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Donovan Hatem Welcomes Sarandos Markopoulos as an Associate to the Firm

Boston, MA (November 17, 2020) – Donovan Hatem is pleased to announce that Sarandos Markopoulos has joined the Firm’s Professional Practices and Litigation groups as an Associate. 

Sarandos focuses his practice on analyzing claims to effectively participate in decisions related to resolution strategy and regularly advises clients on the strength of claims and defenses, dispute avoidance and resolution.

Sarandos received his J.D.  from Boston College School of Law and received his B.A. cum laude from Boston College.

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Client Alert: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Issues Decision Regarding Statute of Repose

On November 3, 2020, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued an important decision concerning the interpretation and application of the Statute of Repose. (The Statute of Repose bars claims asserted more than 6 years after an improvement to real estate is substantially completed or opened for use.) Donovan Hatem submitted an Amici Curiae brief to the Court on behalf of ACEC/MA and AIA/MA, representing the interests of the design professional community.

In the case, D’Allessandro v.

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Recent Win: Donovan Hatem’s New York Office Wins Pre-Answer Dismissal

Donovan Hatem attorneys Steve Willig and Josh Stern prevailed on a motion to dismiss a third-party complaint on behalf of one of our design professional clients. In the action, a laborer sought to recover for personal injuries alleged to have been sustained when a large slab of concrete fell on him during the course of underpinning work. Claims were asserted under the New York Labor Law against the owner and general contractor,

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Donovan Hatem Welcomes Of-Counsel Brendan Malvey to the Firm

Boston, MA (November 3, 2020) – Donovan Hatem is pleased to announce that Brendan Malvey has joined the Firm’s Professional Practices group as Of-Counsel. 

Recently serving as In-house Counsel for a high-end construction specialties company, Brendan brings over a dozen years of experience in business litigation, professional malpractice, breach of contract, unfair business practices, employment law and insurance coverage and more.  He specializes in defending design professionals throughout North America.

Brendan received his J.D. 

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November Roundtable: Contractual Indemnification and Insurance Procurement Provisions for Design Professionals

This month’s Roundtable focuses on risk management and allocation for design professionals through a review and evaluation of the spectrum of contractual indemnification provisions and insurance procurement provisions in project contracts.

Join us on Thursday, November 19th as David Rich addresses the following:

  • The universe of available indemnification agreements and insurance procurement provisions, as well as the differences in scope among the varying agreements.
  • Contractual indemnity and insurance procurement provisions are among the most important provisions that govern the scope of risk and responsibility for a given Project.
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October Roundtable: Contractor Involvement in Final Design: Varied and Evolving Roles, Responsibilities and Risk Allocation

Over the last several years, we have experienced new approaches that – to varying degrees – involve contractors in the arena of important roles, risks and responsibilities associated with the design process.  These approaches include design assist, design delegation, CM/GC, Progressive Design-Build and Design-Build.

In each of these approaches, what are the respective roles, responsibilities and risks of the primary project participants – the Owner, the Design Professional, and the Contractor (or Design-Builder)?

Join us Wednesday,

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Partner Jon Cowen and the recent SJC Covid-19 Order highlighted in Mass Lawyers Weekly

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article on an emergency rule adopted by the Supreme Judicial Court in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to read the article on this unique decision in today’s climate.

Donovan Hatem argued that, even in a Covid-19 environment, its client should not be forced to give trial testimony.

The Donovan Hatem team included Jon Cowen

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September Roundtable: Measuring Design Professional Performance

Though we took a break, Donovan Hatem is still committed to providing our community with quality programming and we are excited to resume our Roundtable series for the rest of 2020! Please join us Wednesday, September 23 for our virtual Roundtable to discuss measuring design professional performance.

Topics include:

  • Standard of Care
  • Measuring Imperfection
  • Difference between Standard of Care & Owner-Implied Warranty
  • Role of Experts

Click here to register

Please email if you have any questions or concerns.

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Recent Win: NY Team Obtains Pre-Answer Dismissal for Client

Donovan Hatem’s NY team led by Scott Winikow and Steve Willig successfully secured a dismissal on behalf of our client from a $10 million suit in the United States District Court of New Jersey. Our client was engaged as an engineering consultant to a New Jersey municipality for a dredging project. The main contractor brought suit against its subcontractor claiming negligent work, and the subcontractor then sought to implead our client on the theories of contractual contribution and common law contribution and indemnification.

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Donovan Hatem Obtains Appellate Court Victory for Client!

Donovan Hatem secured an appellate court victory for a design professional client when the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the Superior Court’s dismissal of a lawsuit that alleged defective design and construction of a luxury condominium. The Appeals Court, in its June 23, 2020 decision, agreed with the Superior Court’s dismissal of the claims against the design professional finding that the plaintiff’s claims were time-barred based on the expiration of the three-year statute of limitations for claims of professional negligence and negligent misrepresentation.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response and Resources

As the world continues to deal with uncertainties surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, Donovan Hatem is working collaboratively with one another and our clients to adapt quickly to unprecedented challenges. However, our commitment to our clients and our communities remains the same.
Below is a wide range of content pertaining to COVID-19 that we will be regularly updating. Please see the information below and contact us if you have further questions.

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Jon Cowen highlighted in Mass Lawyers Weekly cover article on case of first impression before Supreme Judicial Court

Mass Lawyers Weekly highlighted the recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision holding that the state’s Lis Pendens statute mandates an award of appellate attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party on a special motion to dismiss:
DeCicco makes clear that there is risk to litigants who are of a mind to tie up pieces of real estate in the hopes of negotiating a better deal, said the defendant’s attorney, Jon C. Cowen of Boston.

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Donovan Hatem Client Entitled to Appellate Attorney’s Fees against Frivolous Claim of Title

On May 11, 2020, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided a matter of first impression, holding that the state’s Lis Pendens statute mandates an award of appellate attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party on a special motion to dismiss. The Lis Pendens statute, M.G.L. ch. 184, section 15, provides a mechanism for persons with a legitimate claim to title or use of real property to record a notice with the registry of deeds, putting the world on notice of its claim.

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Donovan Hatem files Amicus Brief with Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Urging Court to Uphold Statute of Repose

On April 14, 2020, Donovan Hatem, LLP filed an Amicus (friend of the court) brief with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in the matter of D’Allessandro v. Lennar Hingham Holdings, LLC (, case number SJC-12891)  The brief was filed on behalf of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC) and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/MA).
In this case, the SJC will decide an issue concerning the application of the Statute of Repose to a multi-phase condominium development. 

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March Roundtable: Consent to Settlement: A Review of the Recent Supreme Judicial Court Decision

Jon Cowen gave an in-depth discussion on the Rawan v. Continental Casualty Co. case, recently issued by the Supreme Judicial Court, and how it affects the design community.
Topics included:

  • Protection of design professionals’ reputational interests
  • Impact on the handling of liability claims by professional liability insurers
  • Best practices in responding to claims while maximizing insurance coverage

For a copy of the presentation, 

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Donovan Hatem Clients Prevail!

The Donovan Hatem litigation team was able to achieve a favorable result for our clients, Blue Harvest Fisheries and Bregal Partners, clearing a path for Blue Harvest to close on a $19.3 million dollar transaction involving the purchase of 15 fishing vessels. Richard and Raymond Canastra say the reason they withdrew their competing offer to buy 15 of Carlos Rafael’s groundfish vessels, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is because the lawsuit filed by Donovan Hatem on behalf Blue Harvest Fisheries scared off their backers.

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January Roundtable – A Look Back at What’s Ahead: A Review of 2019 and recent cases impacting Design Professionals

This new year to look back at what’s ahead!

Join us Wednesday, January 29, 2020,  for this timely case study presentation focused on common legal issues faced by design professionals including:

  • Statute of Limitations
  • Duty to Defend
  • Indemnification
  • Construction Control Affidavits

Jon C. Cowen, Partner, Donovan Hatem LLP


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Massachusetts SJC Rules “Consent to Settle” Provisions Enforceable in Professional Liability Insurance Policies

by Jon C. Cowen
On December 16, 2019, in the case of Rawan v. Continental Casualty Company, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued an important decision affirming the right of design professionals, and their insurers, to include a “consent to settle” provision in professional liability policies. Donovan Hatem, LLP had filed a so-called amicus (friend of the court) brief in the case, on behalf of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/ MA) and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA/MA).

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“Fixed Price Affects Engineers Too!” David Hatem Published in Latest Engineering News-Record

In his letter to the editor, David discusses how a previously written article, “Fixing Construction’s Fixed-Price Condundrum,” highlighting that fixed-price procurement used on design-build and P3 projects negatively impacts contractors, has major significance for design professionals as well. David argues that liability issues arising for architects and engineers working on projects with design-build and P3 delivery methods with fixed-price procurement combined with increased unreasonable and imbalanced contractual risk allocation will render these project delivery methods unsustainable.

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