John A. Burgess

Retired Partner

Burgess, John A.

John Burgess retired as a partner on December 31, 2013 after 37 years of practice at WilmerHale. During that time, he represented clients in matters focusing on securities law, including public and private securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, licensing and strategic partnerships, as well as a range of international matters, including public and private placements for overseas issuers, inward and outward bound acquisition transactions, and distribution and licensing arrangements. He represented clients engaged in a wide range of technology sectors and handled more than 100 IPOs and follow-on offerings for both US and foreign issuers. Mr. Burgess was the co-chair of WilmerHale’s International Transactions Group and served on the firm's Management and Compensation Committees.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the LLM program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2006-2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of international trade and finance, M&A and securities/capital markets law. In 2015, he was named the Boston Securities/Capital Markets Law "Lawyer of the Year." 
  • Listed as a leading lawyer in IT by the Legal Media Group in their Expert Guides, Guide to the World's Leading Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers 3rd Edition
  • Named a "New England Super Lawyer" (formerly "Massachusetts Super Lawyer") in the 2004-2013 issues of Boston Magazine
  • Named one of the top five IPO lawyers in the US in 2000 by IPO Reporter

Publications & News


August 18, 2014

Best Lawyers in America® 2015 Recognizes Nearly 100 WilmerHale Partners, Naming Nine “Lawyer of the Year”

Nearly 100 WilmerHale lawyers have been selected for inclusion in the 21st edition of Best Lawyers in America®—a respected peer-review publication in the legal industry.

January 25, 2013

Silver Lake Kraftwerk Acquires Majority Stake in Germany’s friedola®Tech

March 27, 2012

WilmerHale Advises SS&C Technologies in $906.5 Million Bid Takeover

In a bidding war for London-based GlobeOp Financial Services, WilmerHale represented SS&C Technologies in its takeover cash offer of $906.5 million.

April 7, 2011

Firm Recognized by Roxbury Youthworks

October 22, 2010

WilmerHale Clients Helping IPO Market to Rebound

August 12, 2010

90 WilmerHale Lawyers Named to The Best Lawyers in America® 2011

Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of lawyers in their practice areas.

August 10, 2009

100 WilmerHale Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2010

December 1, 2008

WilmerHale Widely Recognized by The Best Lawyers In America 2009

December 21, 2007

NXP to Acquire GloNav for GPS Capability

GloNav a WilmerHale Client

September 6, 2007

WilmerHale Receives Top Rankings in The Best Lawyers in America 2008

Speaking Engagements

June 19-20, 2007

KPMG Audit Committee Institute

Boston, Massachusetts

April 6, 2006

WilmerHale Event - Doing Deals in Europe: Current Trends, New Opportunities

Boston, Massachusetts

November 22, 2005

KPMG's Audit Committee Institute (ACI) Roundtable -- Fall 2005

Boston, Massachusetts

November 30, 2004

Exploring Expectations of Audit Committee Effectiveness

Boston, Massachusetts

June 1, 2004

National Association of College and University Attorneys

Vancouver, British Columbia

December 2, 2003

ABA Connect

Career Highlights

  • €6 billion IPO by Infineon AG
  • $101 million IPO by Tangoe
  • $1 billion leveraged buyout of SS&C by Carlyle Group and related $250 million note placement
  • Subsequent IPO and offering by SS&C
  • $1.9 billion leveraged buyout of Kronos by Hellman & Friedman
  • $1.7 billion invested by Silver Lake in Skype Technologies S.A.
  • Cross border tender offers, including SS&C's acquisition of GlobeOp, a U.K. company, for $920 million and Kronos' acquisition of Unicru, a British Columbia company, for $150 million
  • Sale of WiderThan, Ltd., a Korean company, to RealNetworks, Inc. for $350 million
  • Sale of Arlington Tankers, a Bermuda company, to General Maritime for $870 million
  • Joint Venture between MIT and Government of Singapore
  • Establishment of Broad Institute by MIT and Harvard University

Professional Activities

Mr. Burgess is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an adjunct professor of international law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a life member of the United States Naval Institute. He is a former chairman of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and trustee of the Roxbury Latin School; he currently is a member of the Board of Overseers of WBUR. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Boston Bar Association.
Skip Navigation Links.


JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1976

BA, summa cum laude, Yale University, 1973

Bar Admissions


Skip Navigation Links.