Serving the State of New Hampshire Since 1908
General Counsel

NH General Counsel Attorneys

Upton & Hatfield is committed to serving the legal needs of New Hampshire towns, village and school districts, and other public agencies. We provide prompt and cost-effective services that draw on the decades of experience gained representing towns in New Hampshire since 1908.

Upton & Hatfield has represented many of our municipal clients for decades. We believe these long-term relationships are one of the strongest indicators of our ability to represent municipal clients professionally and efficiently.

We practice in all areas of municipal law, including issues involving the Right to Know Law; labor and employment; zoning and land use; budget and financial management; highways; town meetings; property taxation and abatement; warrants and articles; sewer, water, and utility systems; bankruptcy; civil rights litigation; general liability matters; and insurance coverage. Although our firm has an extensive litigation practice, we take great pride in our ability to help towns avoid the costs and risks of litigation whenever possible.

We have an excellent track record representing towns, school districts, and municipalities in state and federal courts, the Board of Tax and Land Appeals, and before state and federal administrative agencies. Some of our recent decisions before the New Hampshire Supreme Court include:

  • Polonsky v. Town of Bedford, ___N.H.____ (2020) (Supreme Court held statutory procedures for sale of tax deeded property under RSA 80:89 are unconstitutional. The Legislature will now need to revisit the statute).
  • Union Leader and ACLU v. Town of Salem, ___N.H.___ (2020) (Town successfully resisted plaintiff’s demand for information under the right to know law at the trial court. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed 25 years of precedent, concluding that personnel investigatory files are not categorically exempt under the right to know law. The case is now on remand at the trial court to engage in a balancing test of the public and private interests involved.)
  • Cady v. Town of Deerfield, 169 N.H. 578 (2017) (this case addressed the right of the deliberative session of the Town Meeting to amend warrant articles.)
  • Russell Forest Management, LLC v. Town of Henniker, 162 N.H. 141 (2011) (this case upheld the Town’s decision to not permit development on a discontinued highway.)
  • Crowley v. Town of Loudon, 162 N.H. 768 (2011) (this case upheld the Board of Selectmen’s decision not to layout a public highway.)
  • Dow v. Town of Effingham, 148 N.H. 121 (2002) (this case explores a wide variety of subjects, including the power of town meetings and governing bodies to adopt general ordinances in the interests of the public’s health, safety and welfare.)

Upton & Hatfield is a general practice law firm with an extensive municipal practice. Our experience in both the public and private sectors helps us to better serve our municipal clients in specialized areas such as bankruptcy, insurance, and employment.

Representative Matters

  • General Counsel Appeal of Pennichuck Water Works, 160 N.H. 18 (2010)

    This Supreme Court decision upheld a Public Utilities Commission order authorizing the City of Nashua to acquire New Hampshire’s largest investor-owned utility, Pennichuck Water Works, by eminent domain.

  • General Counsel Daniels v. Town of Londonderry, 157 N.H. 519 (2008)

    This Supreme Court decision upheld the town’s decision to approve a cell phone tower and explored the interface of the Federal Telecommunications Act and the law of variances.

  • General Counsel Appeal of Town of Deerfield, 162 N.H. 601 (2011)

    The Supreme Court upheld the town’s position that it was not required to recognize a collective bargaining unit.

  • General Counsel Forster v. Town of Henniker, 167 N.H. 745 (2015)

    The Supreme Court upheld the town’s position that a wedding center was not accessory to an agricultural use.


Why Hire Us?

Our Promise to Our Clients
  • A Reputation for Excellence

    We are known for our unwavering commitment to achieving the objectives of our clients.

  • A Legacy of Successful Results

    Our 100-year legacy is built on achieving successful results for our clients.

  • Committed to the Community

    We are proud to support a number of worthy non-profit organizations as a way to give back to our community.

  • Diverse Breadth of Experience

    We provide our clients with full-service legal representation across a variety of practice areas.

  • Client-Focused Solutions

    We pride ourselves on providing our clients with personalized legal representation that meets their unique needs.

  • Experience on Your Side

    Founded in 1908, we put more than 100 years of practice and experience to work for our clients.

A Reputation for Outstanding Service

Developed Client by Client
  • “Having minimal experience with the legal system, I was grateful for the ease and timeliness of Upton and Hatfield’s response to my employment litigation request.”

    - Jackie D
  • “The attorneys and staff at the Hillsborough office were very knowledgeable and helpful. I have also used them for estate planning and have recommended them to many of my friends and family.”

    - Amanda V.
  • “Heather Burns and Michael McGrath were a methodical and dedicated team throughout my medical malpractice case. They were relentless in their search for every detail and aspect of their findings. They left no stone unturned.”

    - Christina L.
  • “We would like to thank you for your guidance and assistance as we went through the process of estate planning. Your kindness, patience, and calmness were such a gift throughout the process.”

    - M & T
  • “I was extremely happy with Upton and Hatfield's real estate service. The attorneys and staff at the Hillsborough office were very knowledgeable and helpful. I have also used them for estate planning and recommended them to many of my friends and family.”

    - Amanda V.