Gareth Orsmond is a real estate lawyer with expertise in land use, environmental and municipal law, real estate financing, affordable housing, and large-scale development. Gareth’s practice encompasses commercial transactions, permitting, resolving property disputes, providing general counsel on a wide range of subjects, and litigating matters in administrative tribunals and court.
For more than 20 years, Gareth has represented diverse clientele, including developers, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies. He has handled hundreds of hearings and meetings with government agencies and permitting authorities and has appeared before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, and trial courts. His transactional practice often involves complex matters such as air rights, shorefront and climate-sensitive development, affordable housing, tax incentives, tax increment financing, and environmental remediation.
Gareth is a graduate of Yale University and the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark in Portland, Oregon, where he attended on a public interest scholarship and focused on environmental and land use law through the school’s nationally recognized program. He remains committed to legal education and, since 2012, has been on the faculty at New England Law|Boston.
Prior to joining Pierce Atwood, Gareth was a partner in the Real Estate Group at Rackemann Sawyer & Brewster in Boston. Gareth began practicing law full time 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, Ronnie Scott's in London, and other clubs locally and around the world.
Honors & Distinctions
- Recognized as a top-rated attorney by Super Lawyers seven times
- Adjunct professor, Land Use Clinic and Land Use Law, New England Law|Boston, 2012-present
- Lecturer on affordable housing topics, American Planning Association and Boston University's Metropolitan College of City Planning and Urban Affairs
- Member, New Hampshire Bar Association – Environment and Natural Resource, Municipal and Government, Real Property, and Telecommunications, Energy and Utility Sections
- Past Member, Housing and Economic Development Council of the Urban Land Institute, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Boston Bar Association, 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, 2017)
- 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 Dirt & Development Law, Massachusetts Land Use Monitor (legal blogs, 2010 through present)
- Legal 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)
- Leadership New Hampshire, Class of 2018
- 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 in its first land purchase in 2011