O'Neil, Allison

Allison O'Neil




Allison O'Neil is Co-Chair of the Firm’s White Collar and Internal Investigations practice group. Her practice includes white collar investigations, internal investigations, employment matters, and complex business litigation. Allison has experience representing independent schools seeking to address allegations of wrongdoing. Allison’s clients are companies and individuals facing False Claims Act investigations, FCPA investigations and internal investigations related to employment matters and compliance.

Allison also has extensive experience in the litigation of employment issues, business torts, contract disputes, and fiduciary duty claims arising in closely-held companies and partnerships. She has briefed and argued cases in the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Allison has experience in crisis management and media and government relations. Her clients include businesses, executives, and professionals in financial services, health care and other regulated industries.

Allison also has extensive trial experience in a variety of white collar matters. She is uniquely suited to represent clients who face complex investigations, enforcement actions and compliance issues. Allison understands the impact a government investigation can have on business and tries to pre-empt the financial impact of such an investigation.

As a former Middlesex County Assistant District Attorney, she prosecuted a wide variety of matters, including rape, fraud, and civil rights cases in Superior Court. Allison was a member of the prosecution team that tried and convicted John Geoghan, a defrocked priest, for child abuse.

Allison was named as a Rising Star (2005-2012) and as a Super Lawyer (2014-2019) in the Super Lawyers Edition of Law & Politics and Boston Magazine. Allison was listed as a "Top 50 Woman" for lawyers who ranked top of the list in the 2016 New England Super Lawyers process.

Allison serves on the Board of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and is actively involved with fundraising for the Museum School at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is also a member of the Board of Directors at Locke Lord.

Representative Experience

  • Led an independent investigation into sexual misconduct at The Hotchkiss School, an elite Connecticut boarding school
  • Represented a large healthcare company in a state Attorney General investigation into a whistleblower’s false claims act allegations with no action taken by the state
  • Represented witnesses in a federal False Claims Act investigation with no action taken against the witnesses
  • Represented an individual in a complex business dispute with former venture capital firm, specializing in early and late-stage life sciences investing. The case involved issues of fiduciary duty, fraud, accounting, and breaches of contract. Obtained full dismissal of all claims against the individual and an award in the client's favor valued over $15 million.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a private equity firm into the billing and FCPA compliance practices of one of its portfolio companies, a global supplier of specialty adhesives portfolio company
  • Represented an international privately-owned shoe company and related foundation in all aspects of start-up including drafting the distributorship agreements, employee handbook and employment agreements for key employees
  • Defended a textile company against discrimination and Wage Act claims. Obtained dismissal of all claims through motions to dismiss and for summary judgment.
  • Defended two general security representatives in an employment dispute with their former employer, a broker dealer institution. At issue were the terms of the non-compete agreement and forgiveness under a promissory note along with counterclaims of fraudulent inducement and unfair dealing. The matter went before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and settled favorably for the individuals after two days of testimony.
  • Represented the President of a medical facility construction company in a commercial bribery case brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. The matter was resolved short of trial on terms favorable to the individual, who continues to work in the field of medical facility construction.
  • Represented the controller at a Boston based father-son hedge fund under SEC Enforcement investigation for its pre-inception performance records. Investigation of the long serving controller terminated with no charges brought against her.
  • Represented a Nantucket based restaurant. Handled offering materials, employment agreements and a related criminal matter once the restaurant was open.
  • Advised an entrepreneur/venture capitalist negotiating departure from his own firm where restricted stock units, noncompetition and nonsolicitation considerations were at issue.
  • Represented the President of a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) company who was charged with conspiracy in Federal Court. The case was resolved with the President receiving a straight probationary term and a modest restitution order.
  • Advised the controller at a money management firm specializing in emerging markets that was under investigation by the SEC for its marketing materials and handling of client funds. Though the controller had authority to direct client funds, the investigation terminated and no charges were brought against the controller.

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Honoree, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly 2017 Top Women of Law
  • Member, Boston Bar Association - Labor and Employment Section
  • Member, American Bar Association - White Collar Crime Division
    • New England/Boston Region Sub-Committee