Scott O’Connell is chair of the Litigation Department and a member of the firm's Management Committee. He is a trial lawyer known for his perseverance, strategic thinking and value driven service for clients. Scott focuses in class action and aggregate litigation and corporate governance and control contests. He is currently representing financial services, life sciences, manufacturers and health care companies in high exposure disputes with associated significant reputational harm in parallel civil, criminal and regulatory proceedings.
I currently focus my practice in three areas of risk exposure:
Class actions are costly and disruptive because they attack products, services and business processes. The exposure can be substantial. I work closely with businesses to find and implement solutions that limit accruing exposure while also defending the case.
Catastrophic events, health and safety issues or corporate integrity matters can destroy a company. Intervening quickly to manage the parallel criminal, regulatory and civil proceedings as well as the challenges presented by social media is essential to restore the brand. I have considerable experience counseling companies through these types of emergent situations.
I counsel and defend directors, officers, members and trustees of public, private and nonprofit charitable institutions for claims arising from their duties. I represented outside directors of a bank holding company sued for civil RICO, joint ventures in technology companies for breach of fiduciary duties and shareholders in closely held businesses in control contests.
Social media makes brand protection in high exposure litigation very complex. Now more than ever, a company needs to be ready to defend itself in the Court of Public Opinion long before a Court of Law. This is a radically different mindset for most defense minded lawyers who want the luxury of time and analysis to consider options. Your legal team needs to be nimble, strategic and very conversant with the brand objectives for your company. If you lose the brand, there might not be anything left to fight for.
New Hampshire Business Review | September 01, 2017
Manchester commercial litigation partner and litigation department chair Scott O’Connell authored this article about recent cases in New Hampshire Superior Court regarding the types of free speech protected under the constitution.
New Hampshire Union Leader | April 16, 2017
Manchester litigation department leader Scott O’Connell is quoted throughout this article about developments in an ongoing case involving the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association.
Valley News | April 04, 2017
Scott O’Connell, leader of the firm’s Litigation Department, is quoted in this article about potential budget repercussions from New Hampshire’s failure to create a dedicated fund for hospital reimbursements.
Union Leader | March 02, 2016
Partner and leader of the firm’s litigation department Scott O’Connell is quoted in this article about the Federal Energy Regulation Commission and New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee’s conflicting requirements for Kinder Morgan’s proposed interstate transmission pipeline.
Law360 | January 20, 2016
Litigation department co-chair and leader of the Class Actions & Aggregate Litigation practice Scott O’Connell reacts to the Supreme Court’s decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez that a settlement with individual plaintiffs does not foreclose on class claims against a defendant.
Law360 | September 21, 2015
In the BTI Litigation Outlook 2016, Nixon Peabody is named as one of three powerhouses in product liability litigation. The recognition is based on a survey of general counsel and highlights firms with long histories of success in the practice area and reputations for developing big-picture strategies for their clients. Litigation department co-chair Scott O’Connell is quoted within the piece.
Class Action Alert | 01.27.17
Class Action Alert | 01.21.16
Arbitration Law Alert | 12.15.15
NP Privacy Partner | 10.23.15
Class Action Alert | 10.13.15
Class Action Alert | 09.23.15
NP Privacy Partner | 07.31.15
NP Privacy Partner | 06.19.15
Cornell Law School, J.D., 1991, (Editor, Law Review)
St. Lawrence University, B.A., 1987, cum laude
Harvard Business School, 2008, "Leading Professional Service Firms"
District of Columbia
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
Scott is a former member of the Federal Court Advisory Committee for the District of New Hampshire. In January 2003, he was selected by New Hampshire state-wide paper, The Union Leader—as one of the state’s “Forty under 40.” Scott is a former vice chairman of the Farnum Center, a statewide alcohol and drug in-patient recovery program; former member of the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Food Bank (a program of Catholic Charities); past president of the New Hampshire Task Force to Prevent Child Abuse; former captain, Heritage United Way Community Investment Process; founding director of the St. Lawrence University Alumni Lawyers Association; and is a past coordinator of the Cornell Law School Alumni Association. He is a graduate of Leadership New Hampshire.
As part of a commitment to give back to the community, Scott has dedicated substantial time to pro bono matters. He founded the Nixon Peabody Domestic Protection Team, which assists victims of domestic violence secure protective orders against their abusers. Scott also worked to secure the release of a client, who had been detained at Guantanamo Bay. For his work on this matter, Scott received the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award from the Law Office of the Southern Center for Human Rights.In addition, Scott is a recipient of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s 2011 Award for Dedicated Pro Bono Service for his exceptional work with the Domestic Violence Emergency Project (DOVE), a program that provides victims of domestic violence with emergency legal service