People: Katherine E. Perrelli, Partner

Photo of Katherine E. Perrelli, Partner

Katherine E. Perrelli

Partner

Boston
Direct: (617) 946-4817
Fax: (617) 946-4801
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Ms. Perrelli is a partner in the firm’s Boston office and Chair of Seyfarth’s national Litigation Department. She is a trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience representing regional, national, and international corporations in the financial services, transportation, manufacturing, technology, pharmaceutical, and staffing industries. Her commercial practice focuses on trial work and counseling in the areas of trade secrets and restrictive covenants, unfair competition and complex commercial disputes. Her experience spans all forms of dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, as well as litigation in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies across the country.  On the employment side, Ms. Perrelli’s practice focuses on trial work and counseling regarding employer compliance with the ADA, ADEA, Title VII and all other state and governmental laws affecting employers. 

Ms. Perrelli is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt. Using Lean Six Sigma and project management methodologies, our SeyfarthLean approach delivers increased value to our clients at a time of increased market pressures and competitive demands. Seyfarth’s commitment to delivering legal services in a new way—with an emphasis on value and continuous improvement—has been praised by the Association of Corporate Counsel as being "five years ahead of every other AmLaw 200 firm."

Ms. Perrelli is a member of the ABA Intellectual Property Law Section and chair of the “Interaction with Employment Law” topical subcommittee of the Trade Secrets Committee.

Ms. Perrelli has been selected regularly as one of the state’s “Super Lawyers” and “Top Women Lawyers” in a joint survey conducted by the publishers of Law and Politics magazine and Boston magazine, as part of a special publication entitled “The Top Attorneys in the Northeast.”

Ms. Perrelli is a partner in the firm’s Boston office and Chair of Seyfarth’s national Litigation Department. She is a trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience representing regional, national, and international corporations in the financial services, transportation, manufacturing, technology, pharmaceutical, and staffing industries. Her commercial practice focuses on trial work and counseling in the areas of trade secrets and restrictive covenants, unfair competition and complex commercial disputes. Her experience spans all forms of dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, as well as litigation in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies across the country.  On the employment side, Ms. Perrelli’s practice focuses on trial work and counseling regarding employer compliance with the ADA, ADEA, Title VII and all other state and governmental laws affecting employers. 

Ms. Perrelli is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt. Using Lean Six Sigma and project management methodologies, our SeyfarthLean approach delivers increased value to our clients at a time of increased market pressures and competitive demands. Seyfarth’s commitment to delivering legal services in a new way—with an emphasis on value and continuous improvement—has been praised by the Association of Corporate Counsel as being "five years ahead of every other AmLaw 200 firm."

Ms. Perrelli is a member of the ABA Intellectual Property Law Section and chair of the “Interaction with Employment Law” topical subcommittee of the Trade Secrets Committee.

Ms. Perrelli has been selected regularly as one of the state’s “Super Lawyers” and “Top Women Lawyers” in a joint survey conducted by the publishers of Law and Politics magazine and Boston magazine, as part of a special publication entitled “The Top Attorneys in the Northeast.”

Education

  • J.D., Western New England University School of Law (1984)
    Member, Western New England University School of Law Review

  • B.A., Skidmore College (1980)

Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • New York

Courts

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association
  • New York Bar Association
  • Trial Law Institute
  • Diversity Law Institute
  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Representative Engagements

Select Unfair Competition Litigation Experience

  • Representing several national retail chains in consumer class actions regarding the legality of requesting zip code information at point-of-sale.
  • Prosecuted multi-jurisdictional unfair competition claims against clinical toxicology laboratory which engaged in misinformation campaign against competitor laboratory implying violations of federal health care fraud statutes, and defended counterclaim alleging violations of same federal health care fraud statutes. Favorably settled litigation after obtaining dismissal of the counterclaim on the eve of trial.
  • Defended and favorably settled claims of aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with contract, and unfair competition against financial services firm brought by competitor concerning decision of several employees of competitor to leave and join client firm. Favorable settlement after mediation.
  • Prosecuted claim on behalf of insurance brokerage firm in suit against former owner and director, and competitor for breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, interference with contract, and unfair competition.  Favorable settlement after TRO entered.
  • Prosecuted and favorably settled claims after 4 week bench trial for breach of contract, unfair trade practices, and conversion on behalf of a commodities firm against a common carrier to recover value of “lost” or “stolen” fuel products.  
  • Prosecuted and favorably settled action brought by manufacturer of complex computer software against licensee for unfair trade practices and breach of contract.
  • Defended and defeated a motion for preliminary injunction against a financial services company brought by a former executive for misappropriation of intellectual property. 

Select Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenant Litigation Experience

  • Prosecuted claims on behalf of the largest industrial plumbing supplier in North America in multiple jurisdictions against competitor and eight former senior-level employees for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duties and restrictive covenant agreements, unfair competition, and conspiracy, among others, arising out of competitor’s raiding of entire Ohio Valley industrial group and attempted poaching of major customers.   Reached settlement on the eve of trial requiring multi-million dollar payment and extensive restrictions on hiring and solicitation of employees and customers, among other things.
  • Prosecuted and favorably settled a complex non-compete action in federal court involving ten employees who joined a competitor, including claims of breach of contract, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, unfair trade practices, and misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Defended and defeated motion for preliminary injunction to prohibit clinical toxicology laboratory from hiring a sales person from another company.  Case voluntarily dismissed by adversary after denial of motion.
  • Defended and favorably settled an action brought against a biotech company and one of its senior level employees against claims for trade secret misappropriation under the “inevitable disclosure” doctrine.
  • Prosecuted claims on behalf of executive staffing agency in action against four former employees and competitor for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breach of fiduciary duty.  Obtained favorable settlement after motion for temporary restraining order filed.

Select Complex Commercial Litigation Experience

  • Defended and tried to verdict an action over alleged breach of asset purchase agreement and misrepresentation in connection with the purchase of assets of a US corporation by a Canadian public company, including issues of scope of preemption of non-contract claims by terms of contract and evidentiary issues related to admissibility of prior acts.  Jury awarded five times less than damages sought by plaintiff.
  • Secured a victory for a large pharmaceutical company in an arbitration involving a complex contract dispute with a pharmacy benefit manager involving a breach of a rebate agreement. 
  • Defended and obtained voluntary dismissal with prejudice claims of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence against banking institution after targeted discovery on factual basis of claims.
  • Prosecuted motion for preliminary injunction against retail franchisee resulting in immediate eviction of franchisee and surrender of inventory and intellectual property.
  • Defended and successfully tried breach of contact action resulting from a failed art transaction, involving complex issues of agent liability. 
  • Prosecuted claims on behalf of inventor, majority shareholder and founder of technology of telecommunications company in contract dispute over the transfer of intellectual property rights.  Obtained a favorable settlement prior to commencing litigation.
  • Prosecuted and favorably settled action brought by founder and minority shareholder of a closely held software company claiming breaches of fiduciary duties.
  • Defended and favorably settled an action brought by national pharmaceutical distributor in multi-million dollar dispute over the sale and pricing of pharmaceutical goods to a Massachusetts home-based healthcare business.

Select Employment Litigation

  • Defended manufacturing company against discrimination claims of a former employee before the MCAD.  Obtained dismissal following appeal of Lack of Probable Cause decision.
  • Defended and favorably settled two discrimination actions against a manufacturing company brought by two former employees before the MCAD. 
  • Defended manufacturing company against race discrimination claims of former employee before the MCAD. Obtained dismissal following Lack of Probable Cause decision.
  • Defended and favorably settled sexual and pregnancy discrimination claims brought by former employee against global nonprofit organization.
  • Defended and favorably settled sexual harassment claims brought by former independent contractor against financial services firm.

Representative Publications/Presentations

Ms. Perrelli has written articles on various topics for business and trade publications on issues relating to trade secrets protection, internal investigations, and business litigation. She has also served on the faculty of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education seminars, Association of Corporate Counsel, and presented at other industry conferences.

  • Co-Presenter, "The Intersection of Trade Secrets Violations and the Criminal Law," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (October 4, 2016)
  • Panelist, Sandpiper Partners LLC -  Roundtable on Reengineering the Litigation Lifecycle II (September 2016)
  • Contributor, “Business Development for Litigators,” Practical Law Journal (August/September 2016)
  • Co-Author, “In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb: Following Much Fanfare, Massachusetts Non-Compete Reform Again Fails,” Legislation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (August 1, 2016)
  • Co-Author, “Massachusetts Governor Supports Non-Compete Reform, But Not Abolition,” Legislation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (July 26, 2016)
  • Co-Author, “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Massachusetts Senate Reverses Course On Non-Compete Reform,” Legislation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (July 12, 2016)
  • Co-Author,  “Update: Massachusetts House of Representatives Edits and Unanimously Approves Non-Compete Bill in an Attempt to Make Progress Before End of Legislative Session,” Legislation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (June 30, 2016)
  • Co-Author,  “Umpteenth Time’s the Charm? Massachusetts Has Another Go At Non-Compete Reform,” Legislation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (May 20, 2016)
  • Co-Author, "2014 Trade Secrets Webinar Series Year in Review," Management Alert, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (December 17, 2014)
  • Author, "Enforcing Non-Compete Agreements in the Pharmaceutical Industry,” SeyPharma Alert, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (June 18, 2014)
  • Co-Author, "Massachusetts Governor Proposes Sweeping Legislation Banning Non-Compete Agreements," Management Alert, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (April 18, 2014)
  • Co-Author, "Tips for Ensuring Your Competitors Do Not Steal the Valuable Fruits of Your Research and Development," SeyPharma Alert, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (March 28, 2014)
  • Panelist, The Center for American and International Law, Symposium on Global Markets - Riding the High Seas of International Legal Challenges (June 2013)
  • Speaker, West LegalEdcenter, Managing Litigation 2013 - A Forum on Enhancing Productivity and Project Management for In-House Counsel (June 2013)
  • Facilitator, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation Annual CLE Conference, Using Value Based Fees to Strengthen Client-Firm Relationships (April 2013)
  • Co-Presenter, Association of Corporate Counsel, Northeast Chapter, The Value Challenge, Using Alternative Fees to Manage Legal Spend and Drive Value (December 2012)
  • Co-Presenter, Global LPO Conference, NYC, Restructuring the Law Firms to Deliver Value to Clients (October 2012)
  • Co-Presenter, Infocast Commercial Litigation Funding & Investment Summit, “Making the Most of Your Reduced Litigation Budget - Role of Alternative Fee Arrangements in Litigation Management" (March 2012)
  • Co-Presenter, Association of Corporate Counsel, “Legal Service Management Workshop” (May 2012)
  • Author, An Expert’s View on Drafting Non-Compete Agreements, Practical Law, The Journal (May 2012, Volume 4 Issue 4.
  • Co-Author, "Massachusetts is Not California: At Least Not Yet," Seyfarth Shaw Blog (October 2009)
  • Author, “Is Banning Non-Competes the Answer for Massachusetts,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (September 2009)
  • Author, “Conducting an Effective Internal Investigation: A Guide for In-house Counsel,” Inside the Minds, Best Practices for Corporate Governance and Compliance, Aspatore Publications (2008)

Community Involvement

  • Board of Directors, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 
  • President’s Advisory Council, Skidmore College
  • Participant/Fundraiser, Best Buddies International, Hyannis Port Challenge
  • Participant/Fundraiser, Pan Mass Challenge

Accolades

  • Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Named as One of The 2016 Top Women of Law