Paul R. DeRensis

Principal - Municipal Department | vCard | PDF

Areas of Practice
Mr. DeRensis represents municipalities. In addition to his legal perspective, he has practical hands-on familiarity with the problems faced by a municipality in that he is a state and local official. He served municipal government as an appointed official, as an elected member of a Town Planning Board and as an elected member of a Board of Selectmen. He serves as an advisor to the Commonwealth for local affairs, he has been appointed by the governor to serve on the Commonwealth’s Local Government Advisory Committee.

Work for Clients
Mr. DeRensis has represented a number of public entities and has served as Town Counsel or Special Town Counsel, County Counsel, counsel to a Land Bank, an Airport, and a Water Company. As a consequence of these activities, Mr. DeRensis has had experience with City Councils, Town Managers, Boards of Selectmen, Planning Boards, Conservation Commissions, Town Meetings, Warrants, Boards of Appeals, Executive Secretaries or Town Administrators, Housing Partnerships, Study Committees, Historic District Commissions, Parks & Recreation Commissions, Boards of Health, Boards of Assessors, Treasurers, Town Clerks, Town Accountants, Building Inspectors, Police and Fire Departments, Schools and Continuing Education Programs, Alcohol Licenses and other licenses and permits, Boards of Sewer Commissioners, Special Permit Granting Authorities, Department of Revenue, State Ethics Commission, and the like. He also has an understanding of public procurement, land use, environmental, civil rights, contracts of all kinds, ethics issues, municipal finance/Department of Revenue issues, special education issues, retirement issues and the like. Mr. DeRensis also practices in the area of corporate governance and litigation, representing both non-profit and for-profit corporations.

Professional Activities

  • Mr. DeRensis was named as one of 2016’s New England Super Lawyers. This is the twelfth time he has been so recognized. The list of 2016 Super Lawyers is assembled by Thomson Reuters in conjunction with Boston Magazine based on peer nominations by attorneys, independent research conducted by the Thomson Reuters research staff, and peer evaluations by practice area across the six New England states aimed at selecting as Super Lawyers the top 5 percent of New England attorneys in more than 60 practice areas and reflects both peer recognition and professional achievement verified through careful selection process to determine New England’s best.
  • Mr. DeRensis is admitted to practice in New York; U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; Massachusetts, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit and U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts; U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court. 
  • Mr. DeRensis was recognized in Martindale Hubbell Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers, Municipal and Zoning Law (Volume 1 page 1258A and 1258B). 
  • Mr. DeRensis was named in March, 2015 as one of the Boston Globe’s Top Rated Lawyer of 2015 as published in the Boston Globe’s Legal Leaders Magazine of Boston’s Top Rated Lawyers of 2015, in both Government Law category and the Zoning, Planning and Land Use category.

Personal/Community Activities

  • Mr. DeRensis is a member of the Boston Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association. 
  • Mr. DeRensis is a eight-term elected official serving as a town selectman. He was also chairman of the Board of Selectmen for seven years and was a former town planning board member and former town Finance Committee Member.
  • Mr. DeRensis has been President and First Vice President of the Massachusetts Selectman's Association and is a board member of the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association.
  • Mr. DeRensis has served seven terms on the Governor’s Massachusetts Local Government Advisory Committee. 
  • Mr. DeRensis was appointed by the Governor as “Public Member” of the Board of Registration in Medicine (the Board which regulates and supervises the medical profession in Massachusetts) for the term 2013-2016. 


  • “The Civil Liabilities of Data Base Operators”, The Practical Lawyer, July 1978 (Reprinted), DATA EXCHANGE, March-April 1979).
  • “Impact of Computers on Professional Malpractice”, The Practical Lawyer, June 1979 (Reprinted), Case & Comment, May-June 1980).
  • “Discovery and Pretrial Defense in a Proprietary Rights Case”, Contesting Computer Disputes, Harcourt, Brace & Janovitch, 1981.
  • Handbook for Massachusetts Selectmen, Fourth Edition, 2014, Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Mass. Municipal Association.

Mr. DeRensis received his Bachelor's Degree from Harvard College and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Practice Areas