John Delahanty has been Pierce Atwood's chief governmental relations attorney/lobbyist for over two decades and has more than 30 years of professional lobbying and government relations advocacy success before Maine's Legislature, administrative agencies and at the federal level with Maine's Congressional delegation. He brings a highly strategic approach to his advocacy in public policy development, governmental relations, and regulatory issues. His work focuses on assisting clients navigate through the increasingly complex convergence of government/legislative actions and business at all stages of development. John has been at the forefront of statewide statutory and regulatory policy development, offering practical and strategic advice in areas involving environmental issues; insurance; and business, economic development and tax matters. He also has long been involved with Maine politics and gubernatorial and referenda campaigns.

Having been born and raised in Maine, attended college in Maine and practiced in Maine for over three decades, John has developed numerous contacts and relationships with government and business leaders and industry associations.

John joined Pierce Atwood in 1978, immediately following law school which he attended after serving in the US Army, with service in Vietnam. Following his service with the Army, he was a staff member for then US Senator Edmund S. Muskie. He advised the Senator on issues relating to a variety of Maine issues and constituent matters and oversaw the Senator's Maine operations. This position initiated John's rapport with numerous public officials, business leaders, and industry associations which continue to serve him well today.

Honors & Distinctions

  • Listed since 2007 in The Best Lawyers in America® for Administrative and Governmental Relations Law. In 2017 named a "Lawyer of the Year" in Portland, Maine in the area of Administrative/Regulatory Law.
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell

Professional Activities

Member, American Bar Association

Member, Maine Bar Association

Chair, Maine Bar Association, Administrative Law Section

Civic Activities

Member, Maine State Chamber Board of Directors

Member, Transition Advisory Team to Governor John Baldacci, 2002, 2006

Counsel, Governor John Baldacci gubernatorial campaign, 2002, 2006

Practice Areas

John's work involves many complex issues in all stages of development – from concept, drafting, and strategizing to final passage or defeat of legislation or regulations concerning:

Representative Experience

  • The acquisition of the nation's largest private hydro-electric system
  • Maine's acquisition of a privately owned landfill in order to preserve jobs at a mill threatened with closure
  • Substantial involvement in legislation involving life, disability, and long-term care insurance
  • Business franchising
  • Business tax incentives including Maine's largest-ever economic development assistance program for a private employer
  • Key economic development incentive matters for business
  • Environmental matters involving solid waste, product stewardship, recycling, land use, water, and chemicals regulation
  • Service on gubernatorial transition team and counsel to gubernatorial campaigns