General Counsel – Town

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 labor, 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:

  • Hannaford Bros. Co. v. Town of Bedford, 164 N.H. 764 (2013). The Supreme Court found that a supermarket owner did not have standing to appeal the town’s grant of a variance to a competitor.
  • Tonnesen v. Town of Gilmanton, 156 N.H. 813 (2008). This Supreme Court decision upheld the town’s denial of a special exception for aircraft takeoffs and landings.
  • Doyle v. Town of Gilmanton, 155 N.H. 733 (2007). This Supreme Court decision upheld the town’s denial of a subdivision application that required insufficient setbacks to meet the “building site” dimensional requirements.

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

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

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