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  • “Fabulous lawyer” John McKelway of McCarter & English, LLP is praised by interviewees for his skill at “solving problems before they get to the courtroom” and for his “smart and dogged representation of his clients' interests.”
    - Chambers USA

    Clients say: “He's smart, strategic, professional and courteous; all the things that one would expect and hope for.” - Chambers USA

    One source notes: “His greatest skill is developing practical strategies to de-escalate risk and tension, in turn lowering cost and speeding up the resolution of issues.” - Chambers, USA


  • J.D., Suffolk University Law School, 1979
  • B.A., Middlebury College, 1976

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

Memberships & Affiliations

Boston Bar Association

Massachusetts Bar Association

Society for Human Resource Management, Member

John M. McKelway, Jr.

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  • T: 617.449.6560
    F: 617.326.3108

Mr. McKelway is a partner in the firm's Labor and Employment Group. His primary area of practice is labor and employment law, including preventive counseling, employee relations, arbitration, litigation and appeals before administrative agencies and state and federal courts.

Mr. McKelway counsels businesses and high-level executives on a variety of topics, including: defense of sexual harassment, wrongful discharge and "whistleblowing" claims; electronic monitoring and employee privacy issues; sophisticated employment contracts and matters involving executive compensation; labor and employment issues in mergers and acquisitions; shareholder disputes in closely-held corporations; state and federal wage/hour matters; union election campaigns and collective bargaining issues; pre-employment screening of job applicants; drug and alcohol testing; accommodations of various disabilities in the workplace; and ERISA litigation. He has authored numerous articles and book chapters and speaks frequently on employment law subjects, including emerging privacy, security and liability risks in cyberspace. Mr. McKelway has also successfully represented many clients in the insurance brokerage and other industries, in litigation involving non-competition agreements and theft of trade secrets.

Mr. McKelway has been recognized in Chambers USA from 2014-2018. Clients say: "He's smart, strategic, professional and courteous; all the things that one would expect and hope for." In addition, he is recognized by Chambers USA for his experience pertaining to the food service and hospitality industries. He is also listed both in Massachusetts Super Lawyers from 2005-2018, and in The Best Lawyers in America in Litigation - Labor & Employment from 2006-2010 and 2013-2020. Chambers is published by Chambers and Partners. Super Lawyers is published by Thomson Reuters. Best Lawyers is published by Best Lawyers in partnership with US News and World Report. A description of their selection process can be found in the respective links above. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.


New England Employee Benefits Council (NEEBC)
Tufts Health Plan "Wellness Summit"
Tufts Health Plan
Fall EPLI Seminar Series
The Ritz-Carlton, Boston, MA
Wage and Hour Class Actions in the Hospitality Industry: Navigating in Dangerous Waters
HFTP Annual Convention & Tradeshow, Garden Grove, CA