John J. Regan

Retired Partner

Jack Regan was a partner in the firm's Litigation/Controversy Department and a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation, International Litigation, and Business Trial Practices. He was the original chair of WilmerHale's Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group and co-chaired the firm's Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. He also served as the President of the Boston Bar Association. Mr. Regan joined the firm in 1978 and retired in 2018.

Mr. Regan is now a Senior Fellow at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, working in its Veterans Legal Clinic. He served there as a Massachusetts Access to Justice Fellow in the Lawyers Clearinghouse program.

Mr. Regan's practice concentrated on pretrial, trial and appellate aspects of intellectual property and commercial litigation in federal and state courts and in administrative agencies. He was involved with a wide range of legal matters relating to patents, trade secrets, computers, copyrights, trade dress, trademarks, contracts, licenses, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices cases.

Mr. Regan litigated cases in such high technology areas as pharmaceuticals, cell phones, digital cameras, PDA devices, noise-cancelling headphones, electronic commerce, Internet routers, enzyme electrodes, blood analyzers, glucose monitoring devices, electronic pre-press publishing, DNA amplification systems, videoconferencing, semiconductors, golf balls, ultrasound transducers, document imaging, electronic storage, paging and voice mail. In the patent area, he litigated biotechnology, drug, chemical, electrical, mechanical, medical device, software and Internet patents.

Mr. Regan was counsel to such clients as: Apple, Bose, Intel, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Research in Motion (RIM Blackberry), Eastman Kodak, Wyeth, Analog Devices, Bottomline Technologies, Broadcom, JPMorgan Chase, Braintree Laboratories, Juniper Networks, Nova Biomedical, Harvest Technologies, Wolfson Microelectronics, Campanelli Companies, SoundBite Communications, Inc., Art Technology Group, Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), American Superconductor, Roxbury Latin School, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Penwest Pharmaceuticals, NitroMed, and Thorn EMI, N.A.

The US District Court for the District of Massachusetts appointed Mr. Regan as the trustee in bankruptcy for Rare Coin Galleries of America, Inc. He also served as an appointed arbitrator in complex commercial dispute proceedings before the American Arbitration Association.

Mr. Regan had an active and diverse pro bono practice, ranging from the representation of nonprofits in the arts, urban education, low income housing, and international development to minority-owned businesses, a parole hearing in a murder case, and veterans' and combat special compensation disability claims. His pro bono clients included the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, Seed Global Health, and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation.

During the year following law school, Mr. Regan served as a law clerk to the Honorable Andrew A. Caffrey, former chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He has also worked as a legal intern in the Special Criminal Prosecutions Division and in the Civil Division of the US Attorneys' Offices in Newark, New Jersey, and the Southern District of New York, respectively.

Prior to his legal studies, Mr. Regan served as a lieutenant in the US Navy aboard a frigate, USS Bagley (FF-1069), which was homeported in San Diego, California, and deployed to the Western Pacific, Gulf of Tonkin, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf areas. His NROTC midshipman training cruise was on USS Yancey (AKA-93) in the Mediterranean. He is a member of the Naval War College Foundation and the Wardroom Club of Greater Boston. Mr. Regan is active with the Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes organization, where he serves as a mentor in its InnoVets program for entrepreneurial business training of veterans and Gold Star family members.

Community Involvement

Mr. Regan is Secretary of the Board of Directors of Oxfam America, a member of the Oxfam Board's Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Public Engagement Committee and Compensation and Talent Committee, and previously served on Oxfam America's Leadership Council. Mr. Regan chairs the Board of Trustees at LaSalle Academy, a 1,500-student middle and high school in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a member of its Hall of Fame. He is also a trustee of the Lynch Foundation, a major charitable foundation in Boston.

Mr. Regan has served for more than 20 years as a trustee of the Catholic Schools Foundation Board, including as its President. The Foundation raises scholarship funds for 4,000 students at 84 elementary and high schools. He chairs its Trustee Nominating Committee. Mr. Regan also chairs the Catholic Schools Council, which provides strategic planning, and financial and management guidance, for the schools. He has twice chaired Search Committees for Superintendents of Schools for the Archdiocese of Boston. 

Mr. Regan also was a trustee of the Roxbury Latin School, where he delivered the commencement address in 2000. Mr. Regan served as the founding board chair of Discovering Justice: The James D. St. Clair Court Public Education Project, which provides educational programs for children and adults about the Constitution, the judiciary, and our democracy, and received its Champion of Democracy award. He also was the president and a director for many years of Milton Residences for the Elderly, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that provides low-income housing for elderly and handicapped persons. 

Mr. Regan was a director of Young Audiences of Massachusetts, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that promotes the arts in schools. He completed nearly six years on the Massachusetts Board of Advisors for Citizen Schools, an innovative nonprofit that provides extended learning and apprenticeship opportunities to middle school students in Boston and nationally. Mr. Regan also served on the Advisory Council of Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, and is now a member of its Bridge Street Friends group.

For many years, Mr. Regan was co-chair of WilmerHale's Pro Bono Committee, which manages the firm's extensive pro bono legal services and community service programs, and its relationship with Harvard Law School's Legal Services Center.

Mr. Regan chaired the task force that created the firm's innovative Youth and Education Initiative, a partnership with four organizations that offer educational opportunities to elementary, middle school, and teenage children in Boston's inner city. The Youth and Education Initiative was featured in Common Interest, Common Good, a book published by the Harvard Business School Press that described creative models of corporate philanthropy.

Professional Activities

Before becoming President of the Boston Bar Association (BBA), Mr. Regan chaired the BBA'S Intellectual Property Litigation Committee, was co-chair of the BBA's Litigation Section, chaired the BBA's Nominating Committee, was a member of the BBA Council and the Task Force on Children's Outreach, and served as a trustee of the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF) and chair of its Community Projects Committee. He currently is a member of the BBF's Grants Committee, which allocates funds to local legal services agencies.

Mr. Regan currently is a member of the BBA's Military and Veterans Legal Services Law Committee, where he serves as a mentor to veterans who are lawyers and law students. He also has been a member of the Civil Litigation and Business Law Sections of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Litigation and Intellectual Property Sections of the American Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Boston Patent Law Association.

The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court appointed Mr. Regan to the Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services. In addition, the Chief Justice for Administration and Management of the Massachusetts Trial Court appointed Mr. Regan to a committee studying the consolidation of the Trial Court's operations.

Mr. Regan has spoken on seminar panels at programs sponsored by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, the Boston Bar Association, the Boston Patent Law Association, the American Arbitration Association, the PricewaterhouseCoopers Intellectual Property Leadership Forum, and the Pro Bono Institute. He also has presented on patent law at the University of Notre Dame Law School, and serves as a judge in the McCloskey Business Plan Competition at Notre Dame’s Business School.

Mr. Regan has participated as an advisor in the Trial Practice Program and taught a civil procedure class at Harvard Law School. He also has been a member of the Subcommittee for Patent Litigation of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution.


  • In May 2018, Mr. Regan received the Navy Seal Chief Petty Officer Kevin A. Houston Award from Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, for his pro bono legal services and other work in support of Gold Star families and veterans.
  • Mr. Regan was honored with the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Boston Bar Association for his career-long commitment to pro bono work, and particularly his creation of programs for veterans and their families.
  • In October 2015, Mr. Regan was honored with the Adams Award from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for distinguished service and outstanding commitment in providing volunteer pro bono legal services to veterans in need and to victims of the cholera outbreak in Haiti.
  • Mr. Regan also has received the Veterans Legal Services' Distinguished Service Award for his contributions in achieving VLS's mission of promoting self-sufficiency, financial security and stability of military veterans and the homeless.
  • Mr. Regan received the WilmerHale's Reginald Heber Smith Award for his contributions to community service. He has also received awards from the US Department for Housing and Urban Development and the American Association of Housing for the Aging for his work in providing housing for low-income elderly persons.
  • Mr. Regan was honored with the prestigious "Good Guys" Award from the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus. The award is presented to men who have made significant contributions to their community and to the cause of equal political, economic and social rights for women.
  • Mr. Regan was named a “New England Super Lawyer” (formerly "Massachusetts Super Lawyer") in intellectual property litigation in the 2004-2018 and 2020 and 2021 editions of Boston Magazine. He was also recognized as a lead lawyer in the 2015 edition of Benchmark Litigation for his work in commercial and intellectual property litigation, and is recommended in the 2016 edition of The Legal 500 United States for intellectual property: patent litigation.

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, New York University School of Law, 1977

      Root-Tilden Scholar; Articles Editor, NYU Law Review
    • BA, University of Notre Dame, 1971

      summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa
  • Admissions

    • Massachusetts

  • Clerkships

    • The Hon. Andrew A. Caffrey, US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 1977 - 1978



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