Lawrence Heffernan focuses on litigation in the real estate, title insurance, banking, and commercial arenas. He has nearly 40 years of trial and appellate experience in cases involving complex real estate issues, development, fraud, insurance coverage, banking, and commercial disputes. He represents a wide range of clients, including developers, property owners, landlords, lessors, lessees, title insurance companies, and banks. He serves as chair of the firm’s Real Estate Litigation and Title Insurance Team, and he is a member of its Business Litigation Group.
Real Estate Litigation
Mr. Heffernan handles litigation of real property rights, including disputes related to ownership, leasing, development, land use, condominiums and waterfront rights. He also assists clients with appeals of zoning decisions. Mr. Heffernan has obtained positive results for numerous clients, such as securing an expedited judgment defeating a challenge to the development of a hotel in the Seaport District. Mr. Heffernan also obtained a favorable judgment after trial for a large group of homeowners in a dispute with a neighboring municipality over the location of a subdivision boundary and town line.
Title Insurance Litigation
Mr. Heffernan represents title insurance companies in litigation of all aspects of title insurance coverage, from exclusions to loss to insured closing letters and extracontractual claims. He is also retained by title insurance companies to defend insured owners and lenders in establishing the validity and priority of their interests. Mr. Heffernan obtained a trial judgment affirming both title and boundaries for a 120-acre subdivision in a case which marshalled over a century’s worth of complex title records and boundary evidence. In a case challenging the existence and validity of a multi-million dollar condominium complex, Mr. Heffernan persuaded the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to overturn an Appeals Court’s ruling and affirm a condominium developer's retention of the right to remove land from a condominium development.
Mr. Heffernan assists banks, lenders and financial institutions with litigation, including disputes related to mortgages and foreclosures, predatory lending, fraud, and checking and wire transfers. Mr. Heffernan defeated a class certification in a putative class action against law firms and major mortgage lenders for allegedly wrongful foreclosures, which protected clients from tens of millions of dollars in potential exposure for more than 9,000 foreclosures. Mr. Heffernan’s successes also include dismissal of a regional bank from a multi-district class action for hundreds of millions of dollars in an alleged Ponzi scheme.
Mr. Heffernan frequently speaks about real estate, title insurance, and banking litigation matters before bar and business groups across the country. He writes regularly on these topics, and he contributes to the firm’s Massachusetts Appellate Blog. Mr. Heffernan serves on the board of directors of Greater Boston Legal Services, which provides civil legal assistance to the disadvantaged in the Boston area.
Mr. Heffernan has been listed in Massachusetts Super Lawyers® in the area of Civil Litigation Defense since 2004 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.) He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell™ in the area of Litigation (Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings is a trademark. AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc.)