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Alumni News

Taking the Long View Pays Off

Estate planner Somerville named managing partner.


Though Kurt Somerville ’83 is the first to admit that “the administrative details make your hair hurt,” he is nonetheless thrilled to have recently taken the helm of Hemenway & Barnes as managing partner. “I’m blessed with an executive director who largely takes the operational work off my plate so that I can focus on people’s strengths and maximizing the whole team,” says Somerville, who joined the Boston-based firm thirty years ago.

Founded in 1863, Hemenway & Barnes serves high net worth families, businesses and nonprofit organizations through estate planning, litigation, corporate work, and real estate. “I often refer to estate planning and being a trustee as good, clean lawyering,” says Somerville, who also serves as managing director and senior trust officer of Hemenway Trust Company, a private fiduciary firm based in Salem, New Hampshire. “It’s not a destructive or antagonistic process. It’s about establishing long-term relationships with clients, relationships that stretch over generations. Families look to us to solve their legal and financial and sometimes emotional problems because emotions get tied up in the financial and legal problems. Being a part of the solution is very professionally rewarding.”

Somerville found his way to the firm when friends and family urged him to take a summer internship opportunity after this first year of law school. “You don’t think about it when you start, but when I look back over the past thirty years, it’s been an incredibly rewarding place to work. I think it’s probably the best place to do this kind of work in Boston, if not the country,” he says. “I got very lucky.”