William E. Kelly

Bill Kelly represents investment fund managers, broker-dealers, and registered investment advisers, and counsels fund managers and institutional investors regarding regulatory compliance matters and the organization and structure of pooled investment vehicles. He also serves as general counsel and transactional special counsel for companies ranging from very early stage ventures to publicly traded corporations with international operations.

What do you focus on?

I began my career working with venture capitalists and venture-backed companies. That practice has evolved into the representation of a range of investment advisers, fund managers, and institutional investors. While my focus is now primarily on issues under the federal and state securities laws, I continue to devote a substantial part of my time to companies that are developing innovative technologies. Among my clients have been a number of genomics and drug discovery companies, an audio equipment manufacturer, enterprise software developers, alternative energy companies, and developers and manufacturers of medical devices.

I often work with clients that do not have in-house general counsel, so that I advise my clients’ senior management and boards of directors as well as coordinating a team of lawyers from Nixon Peabody serving all of their legal needs.

Through my service on a number of nonprofit boards (including the Institute of Contemporary Art, La Salle University, and the AIDS Action Committee) I have been able to apply my extensive experience in corporate governance to issues relating to the governance and oversight of charitable and nonprofit institutions.

What do you see on the horizon?

Increased regulation of the securities markets and more comprehensive disclosure requirements will place increasing burdens on issuers of securities and managers of collective investment vehicles. We are working on strategies to help clients manage their compliance and reporting obligations effectively.


William E. Kelly

Senior Counsel


Phone: 617-345-1195

Fax: 866-743-4899

Harvard Law School, J.D.

Harvard University, A.M.

University of the East, Manila, M.A.

La Salle University, A.B., summa cum laude



U.S. Tax Court

Bill has been recognized as a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer” in Securities and Corporate Finance (2005–2019), as a New England “Super Lawyer” in Securities and Corporate Finance (2008), and as one of the nation’s “Top Attorneys in Corporate and Securities Law” (2009), based on peer-review surveys.

Bill received the 2012 Commitment to Action Award in recognition of his work in the fight against AIDS. He also received the Massachusetts Bar Association’s 2012 Excellence in the Law Award for his pro bono legal work.

Bill has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review RatingTM from Martindale Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for ethics and legal ability.

Bill served for many years on the NVCA Model Document Working Group, a national committee of leading venture capital attorneys which, under the auspices of the National Venture Capital Association, has developed a set of venture investment model documents.

Bill is a trustee emeritus and honorary trustee of the Institute of Contemporary Art and an overseer of Speakeasy Stage Company. He is also a former trustee of La Salle University, a former director of the AIDS Action Committee and a former overseer of the Boston Lyric Opera.

Bill is a member of the American and Boston bar associations.

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