Gareth Orsmond is a seasoned real estate attorney with special expertise in land use, environmental, municipal, real estate financing, affordable housing, and large-scale development matters. Gareth’s practice includes permitting, providing general counsel, handling commercial transactions, and engaging in litigation in administrative tribunals and in court.
An attorney in Pierce Atwood's Boston and Portsmouth offices, Gareth has successfully represented towns, regional agencies, developers, manufacturers, retail businesses, nonprofit entities, condominium associations, and individuals for more than 18 years, and has appeared in hundreds of adjudicatory hearings and public meetings before local and state permitting authorities, as well as before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, and trial courts.
His transactional practice often involves resolving complex matters such as air rights, shorefront development constraints, affordable housing, tax incentives, tax increment financing, ongoing hotel operations, and environmental remediation.
Gareth is a graduate of Yale University and the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark in Portland, Oregon, where he first focused on environmental and land use law through the school’s nationally recognized program.
Prior to joining Pierce Atwood, Gareth was a partner in the Real Estate Group at Rackemann Sawyer & Brewster in Boston. Gareth began practicing law after earning his Masters in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music. As a jazz musician, Gareth has performed at the Village Vanguard in New York City, Ronnie Scott's in London, and at clubs locally and around the world.
Honors & Distinctions
- Super Lawyers "Rising Star"
- Adjunct professor, Land Use Law and Land Use Clinic, New England Law|Boston, 2012-present
- Guest lecturer on affordable housing topics, American Planning Association (Massachusetts Chapter) and Boston University's Metropolitan College of City Planning and Urban Affairs
- Member, Boston Bar Association - Environmental Law Section
- Member, New Hampshire Bar Association- Environment and Natural Resource, Municipal and Government, Real Property, and Telecommunications, Energy and Utility Sections
- Past member of the Housing and Economic Development Council of the Urban Land Institute, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Massachusetts Bar Association, and American Bar Association's Natural Resources, Energy & Environmental Law Section
- “Enforcement of Zoning Requirements,” The Massachusetts Zoning Manual (MCLE 2002, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2015)
- Solving Waterfront Property Disputes (MCLE 2008, 2011, 2014)
- The Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan: Applying the Lessons of Land Use to the Development and Use of the Ocean’s Resources (ABA presentation 2010)
- Contributing author, Massachusetts Land Use Monitor (legal blog, 2010 through 2015)
- Commentary, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Reporter (Landlaw, Inc., 2003-2013)
- “Eligible Person and Downgradient Property Liability Exemptions of the Brownfields Bill,” Section Review (MBA 2000)
- Board of Trustees, Concord Community Music School
- Treasurer, Board of Directors, Yale Club of New Hampshire
- Mentor, Association of Yale Alumni Alumni-Student Pilot Mentoring Program
- Delegate, Assembly of Delegates, Association of Yale Alumni
- Clerk, Board of Directors, Westwood Land Trust, 2003-2006. Gareth also represented the Land Trust pro bono to complete its first land purchase in 2011