Steven Wright

Partner
  • T 617.854.1407

Steven Wright is the executive partner overseeing the management of Holland & Knight's Boston office. In his practice, Mr. Wright serves as lead counsel and strategic advisor for several Fortune 500 companies, where he represents senior in-house counsel and corporate executives in complex commercial, corporate, intellectual property, litigation and regulatory matters. He chairs the Boston office's New England Executive Steering Committee and Compensation Committee. He serves as a member of the firm’s Director’s, Budget/Finance and Nomination Committees.

Mr. Wright was appointed deputy counsel to the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York where he resolved legal and policy issues for the Mayor and his Executive Cabinet. He was also general counsel to New York City’s Public Advocate, a “watch dog” over the budget and policies of New York City Government.

Mr. Wright was deputy chief of the Civil Litigation Bureau of the Massachusetts Department of Attorney General and chief of its Trial Division. In addition to managing its legal staff, he provided strategic representation to Massachusetts state agencies on litigation, regulatory and compliance matters.

He is a director of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and was a trustee and executive board member of The Boston Bar Foundation. Mr. Wright was a member of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Economic Advisory Board. Additionally, Mr. Wright was a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Professional Ethics. He was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick as chairman of the Savings Bank Life Insurance Company's Policyholder's Protective Board, and is now a director and member of its Executive and Investment Committees.

He served as faculty of Harvard Law School's Trial Advocacy Workshop and as a lecturer at Northeastern University. Mr. Wright has lectured at educational seminars for the American Bar Association, the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Massachusetts Bar Association, National Bar Association, Charting Your Own Course Foundation and the District Court Committee on Judicial Education. He was also a law clerk for the Massachusetts Superior Court Justices.

Representative Matters

Corporate

  • Provided corporate strategy to CEO, board, general counsel and legislative team as chairman of its Policyholders Protective Board of national insurance company. Specifically, provided counsel and strategy contributing to legislative reformation of company’s corporate governance and regulatory structure.
  • Served as strategic counsel for an integrated healthcare system's acquisition of a global medical consulting company, which provides services to healthcare delivery organizations, academic and medical institutions in more than 30 countries.
  • Served as primary counsel to a Fortune 200 financial institution’s investment corporation. Led team of attorneys that provided legal and strategic advice for $100 million in venture capital investments over four years, in the areas of technology, telecommunications and manufacturing operations.
  • Supervised integration of approximately 5,000 international trademarks from external management into Fortune 200 consumer products company’s trademark portfolio. Provided global trademark utilization and analysis for more than 30 countries to assist marketing strategy, to increase commercial use of trademarks.
  • Oversaw review of analysis and adjustment to long-term benefits and retirement plan under ERISA for a Fortune 200 financial services company, resulting in a restructuring plan with significant cost reductions for company.

Regulatory

  • Coordinated and successfully resolved, a negotiation with a number of Attorneys General and a potential 50-state data privacy breach, on behalf of a Fortune 200 financial company, without penalties or damages.
  • Coordinated comprehensive enterprise-wide compliance risk assessment and code of conduct review for Fortune 500 retail company, identifying and reducing risk in a number of operations.
  • Developed investigative plan for diversity review of largest commuter transit organization in the country, successfully set forth EEO plan and provided recommendation for numerous policy improvements, improving the company’s diversity profile and reducing the risk of legal action.
  • Developed advocacy strategy for presentation to the Centers for Disease Control advisory committee and members of Congress, resulting in expanded use recommendation for newly launched children's vaccine and approximately $150 million in increased revenue and sales for Fortune 200 pharmaceutical company. The increased use eliminated a racial health disparity.
  • Developed strategy for representing Fortune 200 consumer products company for Brazilian national sanitary monitoring agency regarding safety classifications of a consumer product; avoided product recall, and saved the company from incurring significant brand and financial damages.
  • Directed antitrust, price-fixing internal investigation for Fortune 200 energy company, resulting in elimination of potential claims and government investigation.
  • Represented financial institution in divestiture negotiations with Justice Department’s Antitrust Division in connection with approval of merger agreement between two Fortune 200 financial institutions.

Litigation

  • Directed defense of $20 million interference with business relationship and defamation claim filed by independent agency president, against senior corporate officers of a Fortune 200 financial company. Claim successfully resolved during arbitration for a six-figure settlement.
  • Directed defense of $8 million FINRA broker/dealer fraud claim and related litigation involving 80 claimants, resulting in settlement of 59 claims at less than one-third of claimed damages.
  • Coordinated consumer class-action litigation involving claims of false advertising in Florida and California for Fortune 200 consumer products company. Case voluntarily dismissed after plaintiff’s counsel was presented with compelling review of their claims, saving the company significant damages and legal fees.
  • Coordinated copyright litigation in Southern District Court of New York on behalf of Fortune 200 consumer products company with four national media company co-defendants, pursuant to joint defense agreement. Case resulted in favorable settlement.

Executive Education

  • The Executive and Board Symposium, The Cash Catalyst, LLC, 2011-2013
  • Harvard Law School Executive Training, Leadership in Law Firm, 2009
  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Executive Leadership Program, MIT Sloan School, 2009

Corporate Memberships

  • Savings Bank Life Insurance Company, Chairman, Director, Member of Executive and Investment Committees
  • TAC Worldwide Industries, former Board Member, Compensation Committee 

Nonprofit Board Memberships

  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Executive Committee
  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair, Transportation and Infrastructure Leadership Council
  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Transportation Committee Chair
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, former Trustee
  • Boston Bar Foundation, Trustee; Executive Committee, former Member
  • Boston Bar Association, former Secretary and Executive Committee Member
  • American Bar Association, Business Law Section
  • National Bar Association, Commercial Litigation Section
  • American Bar Association, Diversity Advisory Council, former Member
  • Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Professional Ethics, former Member
  • Business Court, and Wireless Courtroom Committee, former Member
  • Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, former President
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Executive Committee, former Member
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Fee Arbitration Board, former Chairman
  • East Carolina University, Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, National Chairman
  • East Carolina University, National Leadership Advisory Council, Member
  • East Carolina University, Board of Visitors, former Member
  • Insurance Library, former Trustee

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Commercial Litigation, 2017, 2018 
  • Boston Business Journal Power 50, 2012, 2014
  • Corporate Counsel Edition, Super Lawyers magazine, 2012
  • Who’s Who in Legal Service, Boston Business Journal, 2011
  • Excellence in the Law, Diversity Hero, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2011
  • Outstanding Alumni Award, East Carolina Alumni Association, 2011
  • Outstanding African-American Role Model, Boston Renaissance School, 2010
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine, 2004, 2010-2017
  • Designated one of Massachusetts's Ten Outstanding Lawyers, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
  • Outstanding Outside Counsel, Commercial Law Section, National Bar Association, 2009
  • Jaycees' Ten Outstanding Young Leader (TOYL) Award