James W. Prendergast

Retired Partner

Prendergast, James W.

James Prendergast concentrated on civil class actions and other complex securities, corporate, high technology, consumer fraud, antitrust and commercial litigation. He has represented numerous public and private companies and/or their officers and directors in complex securities, antitrust and corporate governance matters, and handled individual, class and derivative litigation, as well as internal investigations and government enforcement inquiries, nationwide.

Mr. Prendergast has handled individual, class and derivative litigation and corporate investigations nationwide, involving, among other matters, allegations of securities fraud arising in connection with numerous pharmaceutical and other life science companies, initial and secondary offerings, mergers and acquisitions, limited partnership consolidations, proxy contests, consumer product advertising, software licensing and development disputes, control of close corporations, national distribution plans, cost accounting in the medical device industry and broker/dealer compliance. He also maintained an active antitrust practice, representing clients in merger reviews, private litigation and government investigations, and developing and implementing antitrust compliance programs involving a range of distribution, joint venture and marketing practices. His commercial litigation practice has included, among other matters, warranty, product defect and unfair practices disputes involving home construction materials, computer storage devices, merchant data security systems, and internet marketing programs.

Mr. Prendergast has represented clients including: State Street Corporation, Intercept Pharmaceutical, ModusLink, Icagen, Satcon Technology, Avid, Sonus Networks, Analog Devices, Bose, EMC, Iomega, NOVA Biomedical, Berkshire Realty, BJ's Wholesale Club, Marwan Investments, PolyMedica and Transkaryotic Therapies, among others.

In 1995, Mr. Prendergast went on leave from the firm to serve as a special assistant district attorney in the office of former Middlesex County District Attorney Thomas F. Reilly. 

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized in the November 2004, 2010-2017 editions of Boston Magazine as a "Massachusetts Super Lawyer" in general litigation

Publications & News


March 24, 2016

2016 M&A Report

Our 2016 M&A Report offers a detailed review of, and outlook for, the global M&A market. Other highlights include a comparison of deal terms in public and private acquisitions; updates on takeover defenses and public company deal litigation; practical guidance on avoiding antitrust violations in pre-merger integration planning; a look at what buyers need to know about appraisal claims in private company mergers; and a survey of key terms and issues in sales of VC-backed companies.

January 26, 2006

Federal Court Finds Massachusetts Violates Medicaid Act In Failing To Provide Children's Mental Health Services

WilmerHale Represents Class of Over 15,000 Children Throughout the Commonwealth on a Pro Bono Basis

December 14, 2005

First Circuit Ruling Defines the Meaning of Efficient Market

November 1, 2005

New Issues in SEC Revenue Recognition Cases

25th Annual FASB/SEC Accounting Institute

December 23, 2003

Products Litigation Bulletin

Credit card receipt legislation may expose retailers to new penalties.

November 20, 2003

Products Litigation Bulletin

New merchant display cash register statutes increase potential for merchant liability.

December 13, 2002

E-Retailers May be Affected by State Gift Certificate Statutes

by Gabrielle Wolohojian and James Prendergast

December 11, 2002

Products Litigation Bulletin

Class action lawsuits based on alleged violation of gift certificate statutes on the increase.

January 1, 1988

The European Economic Communities' Challenge to the U.S./Japan Semiconductor Arrangement

Law and Policy in International Business

Recent Highlights

  • Won decision on "issue of first impression" from US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit defining the meaning of "efficiency" for purpose of the fraud-on-the-market theory in federal Rule 10b-5 securities litigation.
  • Won dismissals of securities class action and derivative litigation on behalf of medical device maker arising out of FDA approval process.
  • Successfully represented early-stage pharmaceutical  company in securities class action litigation arising from co-development relationship with NIH.
  • Representation of public high-technology logistics company through accounting restatement, internal investigation and SEC enforcement action, as well as securities class action and derivative litigation.
  • Representation of several high technology and biotechnology clients in parallel securities class and derivative litigation, internal investigations and SEC enforcement proceedings
  • Successful representation of digital media technology company in connection with merger review before the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice and European Commission
  • Won dismissal of nationwide federal class action involving on-line enrollment practices of internet membership club
  • Representation of board of publicly traded REIT in class litigation arising from going private transaction
  • Won "major legal victory" (Boston Globe, 1/ 27/06) following six-week trial on behalf of class of mentally impaired children seeking new treatments under the Medicaid Act
  • Obtained dismissals in separate consumer class actions against building materials manufacturer and national car sharing service, respectively
  • Secured federal court approval of favorable settlement of nationwide class litigation against internet marketing company over objection of New York Attorney General
  • Representation of retail merchant before the FTC, and in multiple related private lawsuits, including successful affirmance of dismissal in appeal to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, arising from the possible compromise of personal identity and credit card data of customers
  • Eighty-five day arbitration of complex cost accounting and fraud matter on behalf of medical device manufacturer
  • Successful defense of an investment company in fiduciary duty action involving close corporation through trial, appeal and certiorari to the US Supreme Court

Professional Activities

Mr. Prendergast is the chairman, former vice chairman (2001-2004) and former director (1997-2004) of The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association. He is a member of the Antitrust Section and the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, and a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.


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JD, magna cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center, 1988, Order of the Coif

AB, Government, Dartmouth College, 1984

Bar Admissions


Government Experience

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