Freel, Mark W.

Mark W. Freel

Partner
RELATED SERVICES

Mark Freel frequently assists Locke Lord’s private equity clients and their portfolio companies in a wide range of disputes and issues, including post-transactional disputes, employment matters, cases involving the enforcement of covenants not to compete, and other commercial and business disputes. Mark assists these client nationally, including in such jurisdictions as Delaware, Illinois, Rhode Island and New York, among others. Mark also handles matters involving construction and real estate disputes; cases involving unfair competition, trade secrets and covenants not to compete; employment matters; and probate and family business disputes.

Mark Freel frequently assists Locke Lord’s private equity clients and their portfolio companies in a wide range of disputes and issues, including post-transactional disputes, employment matters, cases involving the enforcement of covenants not to compete, and other commercial and business disputes. Mark assists these client nationally, including in such jurisdictions as Delaware, Illinois, Rhode Island and New York, among others. Mark also handles matters involving construction and real estate disputes; cases involving unfair competition, trade secrets and covenants not to compete; employment matters; and probate and family business disputes.

He frequently represents and advises manufacturers and other businesses on employment matters, issues concerning the protection of proprietary business information, and on commercial and transactional disputes, including cases arising out of the Uniform Commercial Code. He has represented the manufacturers of aviation products, airlines and airline insurers. He has served as lead counsel in numerous cases involving constitutional and civil rights, including First Amendment rights and section 1983 claims.

Mark’s experience includes:

  • Won trial in state court in New York City on behalf of private equity portfolio company that fired senior executive for cause, securing relief from severance obligations and ensuring enforceability of non-competition provisions
  • Frequent advice on non-competition claims, including “employee raiding” cases and disputes among competitors
  • Represented private equity investors in numerous recent post-transactional disputes involving purchase price funds held in escrow to indemnify buyers. Settled several recent cases on favorable terms for buyers; other cases currently pending
  • Frequent advice to businesses facing workplace issues related to COVID-19
  • Currently representing real estate developer in connection with municipal disputes over proposed mixed-use development complex
  • Frequently represent portfolio companies of private equity investors in a wide variety of employment issues with senior executives and other employees, including the enforcement of non-competition and non-solicitation provisions in post-acquisition scenarios
  • Represented substantial charitable foundation in connection with probate dispute involving multimillion-dollar bequest
  • Currently part of team representing multiple clients in multimillion-dollar environmental clean-up case in U.S. District Court
  • Recently secured favorable settlement of construction defect claims brought by condominium association at 80-unit luxury waterfront development against the project developer, and also secured favorable settlement for individual homeowners in high-end residential subdivision with similar claims of water intrusion and other defects
  • Frequent experience representing individuals and family members in a wide range of probate and fiduciary disputes, including recent bench trial involving a dispute over fiduciary fees, resulting in a substantial reduction of fees in favor of trust beneficiaries
  • Regularly advise higher educational institution on student disciplinary issues, Title IX claims and COVID-19 procedures
  • Recently advised multiple employers, including manufacturers, on issues related to the use of marijuana (medical and recreational) in workplace settings Related publications and speaking engagements
  • Represented a national construction and real estate company in fiduciary issues arising out of corporate governance, shareholder rights and executive compensation
  • Secured a mandatory injunction ordering a contractor to demolish a $2 million waterfront home that was mistakenly built on public park land owned by a charitable foundation. That decision was recently upheld on appeal. Nulman v. Four Twenty Corp.
  • Frequently advises product manufacturers on the commercial terms and conditions of product sales, and assists in the resolution of commercial disputes with customers and vendors
  • Represented a series of product manufacturers in product defect and design claims, including heavy construction equipment, home products, industrial machinery, aircraft, propane tanks, medical devices, building products and the like
  • Represented a national manufacturer of building products in complex litigation involving hotels and private residences around New England
  • Represented an international distributor of seafood products in a dispute concerning trademark rights and claims of unfair competition
  • Secured a jury verdict for a national distributor of petroleum products in a trial involving property and contractual rights at a petroleum pier
  • Represented an international construction company in claims and contract issues arising out of construction of multimillion-dollar water treatment plant
  • Obtained defense jury verdict in multimillion-dollar product liability trial on behalf of Honeywell, the manufacturer of a residential smoke detector. Kiely v. Honeywell
  • Defeated motion for preliminary injunction in case involving allegations of trademark infringement and trademark dilution. Bob's Off-Price v. Bob's Stores, U.S. District Court
  • Argued a summary judgment motion as lead counsel for Transamerica in a class action suit concerning the constitutionality of mortgage escrow procedures employed in the management of thousands of mortgage accounts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the summary judgment on appeal. Tomaiolo, et al. v. Transamerica, 1st Cir.
  • Represented clients in numerous preliminary injunction hearings involving trade secret claims and other related technological and intellectual property matters. Trade secrets cases have involved manufacturing processes, including electroplating and other metal surface finishing; wireless communications; software designs and data storage methodologies; chemical products; automotive issues; and other mechanical engineering issues
  • Has substantial experience handling disputes in family-owned and closely held businesses, including related probate litigation matters and shareholder disputes
  • Assisted the Moderate Party, a fledgling third party in Rhode Island politics, in successfully challenging the constitutionality of statutes that govern how political parties can get on election ballots. Block v. Mollis
  • Frequently acted as lead counsel in numerous matters involving constitutional and civil rights, such as First Amendment issues and section 1983. Global Waste Recycling, Inc. v. Mallette; Tomaiolo v. Transamerica; Rhode Island Association of Realtors, Inc. v. Sheldon Whitehouse; Block v. Mollis; Irons v. Ethics Commission
  • Successfully handled employment discrimination claims, including allegations of discrimination arising out of age, gender, race and disabilities
RELATED EXPERIENCE
RELATED EXPERIENCE
RELATED NEWS & EVENTS
CREDENTIALS
Education
  • J.D., highest honors, University of Connecticut School of Law, 1987
  • M.A., University of New Hampshire, 1981
  • B.A., University of New Hampshire, 1975
Bar Admissions
  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Professional Affiliations
    • Board of Directors, Rhode Island Community Food Bank 
    • Board of Directors, Secretary and Counsel, Rhode Island Manufacturer's Association
    • Board of Directors, New England Legal Foundation
      • Chairman, Legal Review Committee
    • Vice Chair, Zoning Board of Review (Barrington, RI)
    • Member, Rhode Island Bar Association
Awards & Recognitions
    • Named, Top Litigator in Rhode Island, Chambers USA (2004-2020)
    • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell
    • Named, New England Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation (2007-2020)
    • Named, The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation (2006-2021)
    • Named, Rhode Island Super Lawyers®, Business ‎Litigation (2007-2020)
    • Recipient, William G. McLoughlin First Amendment Award, Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (2012)