Gavin McCarthy's practice covers a wide variety of complex commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on class action defense and construction litigation.  Gavin's practice spans the country, from defending a leading disability insurer in a class action in Louisiana to representing a major energy provider in an eight-figure construction dispute in Maine to handling a series of building product class actions in South Carolina and Massachusetts.  At the same time, Gavin regularly practices in both state and federal court in Maine, and is the author of the Maine sections of the ABA's 50-state survey of class action law and two leading fifty-state construction law treatises.

Gavin is currently representing a major life insurer in an ERISA class action, a decking manufacturer in a building product class action, a window manufacturer in a building product class action, and an energy provider in an eight-figure construction dispute.

Honors & Distinctions

  • Recognized by Chambers USA 2018 as an "Up and Coming" attorney in Litigation: General Commercial
  • Named by corporate counsel to the BTI Client Service All-Stars 2017
  • Recognized since 2013 by The Best Lawyers in America® for Litigation - Construction
  • Named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers for Class Action and Mass Torts (2009-2013)

Professional Activities

  • Member, Maine Bar Association


  • Co-author, Chapter on Maine Procurement Rules and Regulations, ABA Guide to State Procurement

Civic Activities

  • Member, Cleaves Law Library Board of Directors

Practice Areas

Representative Experience

  • In an arbitration proceeding between Gavin's contractor-client and the owner who hired the contractor to perform a $7 million hotel renovation, the arbitrator rejected the owner's multi-million dollar damages claim and awarded Gavin's client the full amount of its contract balance
  • In an arbitration proceeding between a contractor hired to perform several million dollars of work on a federal military base and Gavin's subcontractor-client, the arbitrator awarded Gavin's client the full amount of his contract balance and rejected the contractor's counterclaim
  • In a leading case on the issue of an arbitrator's ability to modify an award issued by that arbitrator, the First Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Gavin's client that the arbitrator acted within its authority and vacated the decision below. Eastern Seaboard Constr. Co., Inc. v. Gray Construction Co., 553 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2008)

Representative Experience

  • In a putative class action in California state court, Gavin's client obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims, a result that the Court of Appeal affirmed. See Schwartz v. Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co., 216 Cal. App. 4th 607 (2013) 
  • In an ERISA class action, the First Circuit Court of Appeals ordered judgment in favor of Gavin's client, reversing a trial court's prior award.  See Merrimon v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, __ F.3d __ (1st Cir. 2014).
  • In a case dismissed on jurisdictional grounds by the District Court, the First Circuit reversed and reinstituted Gavin's client's claims. BlueTarp Financial, Inc. v. Matrix Construction Co., Inc., No. 12-1338 (1st Cir. 2013)
  • In a bid protest of the award of the state of Maine's ten-year, multimillion dollar liquor marketing contract, Gavin's client obtained a decision to vacate the award.