Gravel & Shea PC

June 2018

Gravel & Shea A Leading Firm in Chambers USA 2018


Chambers & Partners, a national legal ranking organization, has named Gravel & Shea a leading firm in its 2018 Guide.

Using a rigorous methodology, Chambers assesses both practice areas and individual attorneys, ranking each on “the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness, and their client-service.”  Their team of over 150 researchers interviews clients and lawyers active in the same market and assesses recent work done by the nominees, ultimately assigning Bands (1 being the highest and 6, the lowest).

Gravel & Shea is recognized as Band 1 in three practice areas.  Heather Rider Hammond and Timothy M. Eustace are also recognized separately for their labor and employment practice and land use and zoning practice, respectively.


According to the Chambers USA Guide, Gravel & Shea’s clients describe its longstanding corporate practice as “amazing,” with attorneys that are “smart, experienced and know what’s important.”

Recognized Attorneys

Peter S. Erly
William A. Mason, IV

Litigation: General Commercial

Chambers USA says Gravel & Shea’s litigation practice is “top-tier,” covering an “impressive range of contentious commercial matters.” Peers describe the litigation attorneys as “worthy adversaries.”

Recognized Attorneys

Matthew B. Byrne
Robert B. Hemley

Real Estate

One source for the Chambers Guide said Gravel & Shea has “the best real estate attorney in the state,” finding a way to “get deals done, even in difficult circumstances.” The “prominent” practice covers a “broad range of real estate matters” and is also active in environmental and land use matters throughout the state.

Recognized Attorneys

Timothy M. Eustace
Michelle N. Farkas
Robert H. Rushford

Gravel & Shea Attorneys Present on Vermont Blockchain Law

Gravel & Shea attorneys Michelle Farkas and Ethan McLaughlin presented “Bringing Blockchain to Vermont” to the Vermont Attorneys Title Corporation (VATC) this month.  VATC provides title services to individuals and businesses purchasing real estate throughout the state, so developments in the way real estate transactions are recorded could impact their business and their clients.

The presentation focused on the details of a recently passed state statute—signed by the Governor on May 30—that creates two new entities: blockchain-based limited liability corporations and personal information protection companies.  The law aims to support a growing tech industry while also protecting consumers.

Farkas and McLaughlin also shared information about real estate activity in Vermont.  Gravel & Shea’s team of blockchain lawyers represented Propy in the recent sale of a South Burlington property using blockchain technology.  It was the first all-blockchain real estate transaction in the United States.  Donna Kinville, the town clerk for the City of South Burlington, joined the presentation to talk about the process from the city’s perspective.

Gravel & Shea is also representing Propy in a new blockchain-based sale that will take place in Burlington.  “People were surprised that blockchain is really happening,” said Farkas. “I think it’s a good first step toward introducing them to the technology of the future.”

Gravel & Shea’s Blockchain Technology group specializes in analyzing and resolving legal issues related to blockchain technology.

Vermont Passes Landmark Blockchain Legislation

On May 30, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed S.269, An Act Related to Blockchain Business Development.  This new law further solidifies Vermont’s position as a tech innovation leader by implementing initiatives aimed at supporting blockchain technology within the State.

Gravel & Shea is proud to be part of the Vermont Bar Association committee that helped bring this bill to life.

“Businesses using blockchain technology are undergoing a huge expansion. Legal structures reflecting these new ways of doing business need to be developed,” said Gravel & Shea shareholder Peter Erly. “Vermont is in the forefront of states implementing innovative blockchain legislation. We at Gravel & Shea believe that it is very important to do everything we can to support the efforts of our Legislature in this area.”

David Thelander, Gravel & Shea’s FinTech practice group leader said, “We were pleased to work closely with Governor Scott’s Administration and the legislative branches to assist in drafting language tailored to providing value to blockchain companies, while protecting consumers and promoting investment and job creation in Vermont.”

The law creates two completely new types of business entities—a blockchain-based limited liability company (“BBLLC”) and a personal information protection company (“PIPC”). These additions to Vermont’s business laws create assurances for both businesses and consumers.

This law allows blockchain companies to protect owners, managers and blockchain participants from unwarranted liability by forming BBLLCs.  It also gives blockchain companies an enforceable legal framework to create custom blockchain governance structures that perfectly fit their unique technology and circumstances.

The law also creates a legal structure that appeals to companies handling personal information by offering assurances to both consumers and third parties engaged with a PIPC. PIPCs are now required to elevate the interests of consumers providing public information above their own interests. Vermont’s law creates a new framework where individuals providing information to PIPCs have assurances through statute and regulation as to the proper use of their personal information.

“We’ve appreciated the opportunity to facilitate introductions of blockchain company leaders to Vermont officials, who are keen to learn more about this innovative technology,” said Thelander. “And we congratulate Governor Scott, his Administration and the Legislature in enacting this important legislation.  It continues to reinforce Vermont’s position as a blockchain innovation leader in the U.S.”

Gravel & Shea’s Blockchain Technology group specializes in analyzing and resolving legal issues related to blockchain technology.

Find out more about how Vermont’s recent blockchain legislation impacts public information trust companies.