Hogan Lovells partners Sara Silva and Bill Kettlewell recognized as 2020 Lawyers of the Year

Boston, Massachusetts, 19 February 2021 – Boston partners Sara Silva and Bill Kettlewell have been recognized as 2020 Lawyers of the Year by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly for their tireless defense of Kenneth Brissette, a Boston public official accused of illegally pressuring organizers of a music festival into hiring union members, purportedly in violation of the Hobbs Act.

In his role as Director of Tourism under former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Ken Brissette and his co-defendant were indicted for allegedly extorting organizers of the Boston Calling music festival to hire union workers in violation of the Hobbs Act. The government never alleged that either defendant received a personal benefit in return, threatening a dangerous precedent by blurring the lines between lawful and appropriate advocacy for constituents and potentially criminal conduct.

After a jury trial in the summer of 2019, Ken was convicted of conspiracy and extortion. The defense team moved for post-verdict relief, arguing that the government failed to prove its case against Brissette and his co-defendant. U.S. District Court Judge Leo J. Sorokin agreed and took the rare action of overturning the jury verdict and acquitting both defendants based on the trial record, a decision the government did not appeal.

While Sara and Bill were on the front lines at trial, Ken’s successful defense was a full team effort, including senior associate Courtney Caruso; Legal Project Manager Brad Cavallo; and administrative assistants Linda Galbraith, Kelly Caldwell, and Lisa Marland.

Read more: Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Lawyers of the Year

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