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John Hugo helps businesses across the United States solve their most critical litigation problems. Drawing on more than 20 years of courtroom experience, John handles high-stakes state and federal cases involving products, asbestos, food and beverage, professional liability, infectious disease counseling and litigation, COVID-19, and maritime claims.

John is skilled in creating strategies that resolve litigation with minimal impact on business reputations, resources, and operations. As national coordinating counsel for various companies, he develops defense themes, prepares corporate and expert witnesses, tries cases, and handles settlement negotiations. In addition, John often counsels clients on internal contracts and policies and procedures that will strengthen their position in future cases.

John has served as assistant national counsel for a variety of companies involved in asbestos litigation, and has been instrumental in developing defenses, experts, and trial strategy. He is a member of national trial teams and has defended clients in courts throughout the United States. As a result, many of his clients have seen a decrease in their indemnity costs and pending cases. 

A flexible thinker, John believes there is no single avenue to achieving client goals. To ensure that strategies and outcomes match expectations, he stresses frequent communication throughout every case, and ensures that clients have all the facts they need to make appropriate decisions.

John's broad array of clients includes food service providers, equipment manufacturers, real estate developers, construction companies, licensed professionals, retailers, and other professional corporations. 


  • Limited reputational damage for a food-service client by quickly settling with the plaintiff in an outbreak case and later pursuing litigation against downstream suppliers.
  • Helped a facility-management company quickly resolve a dispute over remediation costs for a rodent infestation, allowing the company to preserve a business relationship with one of its largest clients, sign a lucrative contract and recover 95% of its settlement payment from the pest control providers in subsequent litigation.
  • Won a key jury verdict in an asbestos case that significantly reduced the number of cases filed against our client by a Massachusetts plaintiff’s counsel.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a retail client in a premises liability case by demonstrating that the plaintiff’s employer maintained control over the  plaintiff’s means and methods of work.  Serves as national counsel to one of the world’s largest food-service companies, responsible for coordinating and managing premises, negligence, products, and food liability claims and serving as its primary trial counsel


  • Thomson Reuters, Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2007–2008, Super Lawyers, 2015–2023
  • AM Best Insurance Recommended Attorney


  • American Bar Association, Vice-Chair, Products Liability and Consumer Law Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • California Bar Association
  • Rhode Island Bar Association


  • Suffolk University Law School, JD, 1994
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst, BA,, cum laude, 1991

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • New Hampshire
  • California

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US District Court, Eastern District of California
  • US District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

News + Insights

Speaking Engagements

Complex Claims & Litigation Forum, PropertyCasualty360