C. Max Perlman

Max fixes problems.  Whether that means winning an important piece of litigation or guiding a company’s executives harmlessly through a crisis, Max is the advocate and counselor that clients love having on their side.


C. Max Perlman (“Max”) is an experienced business litigator and employment lawyer, representing companies and entrepreneurs in a wide range of sophisticated lawsuits, jury trials, appeals, arbitrations, and mediations. Max specializes in cases stemming from employment and shareholder relationships, including restrictive covenant litigation, close corporation shareholder disputes, wage and hour actions, and discrimination matters. He also represents clients in cases involving disputes arising out of corporate mergers and acquisitions, including claims of non-payment of earn-outs and breach of representations and warranties. In addition to handling his clients’ disputes, Max advises his clients on employment matters, including negotiation of terms of executive compensation, handling of employee terminations, and formulation of employment policies.

He has extensive experience in cases involving noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets. In addition to handling many of these cases at the preliminary injunction phase, Max has the rare experience of conducting a jury trial in a non-competition case, a case that he won, resulting in a seven-figure award for his client. Max’s unique and wide-ranging experience has led litigants to choose him to serve as mediator in noncompetition and trade secret disputes.

Max has served as lead counsel in cases around the country, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, Washington D.C., and California, and has argued before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Max has also represented his clients in arbitrations conducted by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the American Arbitration Association, and pursuant to collective bargaining agreements.

He represents business and institutional clients in a number of sectors, including high-tech, medical and bio-tech, aviation, transportation/logistics, higher education, health care, professional services, industrial/manufacturing, and venture capital. His clients range from large international corporations with thousands of employees to small, recently funded companies and their founders.

Max is a recognized leader in his field. Best Lawyers in America has twice recognized Max as Lawyer of the Year, for 2021 for Employment Law (Individuals) and 2018 for Litigation – Labor and Employment in the Boston area. In addition, he has been selected for inclusion in Chambers & Partners, a highly-regarded global research organization that honors a small number of lawyers based upon extensive interviews with clients and lawyers.  He is rated AV-Preeminent (5.0 out of 5.0), which is the highest rating bestowed upon an attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, and for the past 5 years, he has been named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in New England by Super Lawyers Magazine. Max frequently teaches courses about his area of practice, serving as a guest lecturer at Harvard Law School and Boston University School of Law and as Chairperson and Faculty Member of numerous seminars at the Boston Bar Association and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, where he is a member of the Board of Trustees.

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New York


  • Binghamton University, B.A., with honors, 1992
  • Boston University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1995
  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Professional Training Program in the Art and Skills of Trial Advocacy, 2003


Max joined the law firm Sullivan Weinstein and McQuay, P.C. right after graduating law school. He became a partner of the firm in 2001.

Prior to joining Sullivan Weinstein and McQuay, Max clerked at the New York State law firm of Hiscock & Barclay, and with the Honorable Sue L. Robinson of the United States District Court, District of Delaware.

Publications & Appearances

  • Speaker, Trade Secrets & Restrictive Covenants Conference, Boston Bar Association, June 2021
  • Featured in “Hospital ‘Offer Letter’ Found Not to Be Binding Contract,” New England In-House, May 2021
  • Co-Presenter, “Protecting Trade Secrets in an Anti-Noncompete Era,” American Intellectual Property Law Association, March 2021
  • Co-Presenter, “Employment Law for Business Lawyers & In-House Counsel,” MCLE New England, January 2020, 2021
  • Speaker, “The New Noncompete Law: A Practitioner’s Deep Dive,” Boston Bar Association
  • Panelist, “How The New Non-Compete Laws Affect Your Clients,” MA Lawyers Weekly and JAMS program
  • Faculty, “1st Look at the New Noncompetes Landscape in Massachusetts,” MCLE program
  • Faculty, “Employment Law for Business Lawyers and In-House Counsel,” MCLE program
  • Speaker, “18th Annual Intellectual Property Year in Review,” Boston Bar Association
  • Guest Lecturer, Harvard Law School
  • Guest Lecturer, Boston University School of Law
  • Chair, “Navigating the New Massachusetts Data Security Regulations,” MCLE program
  • Chair, “Interference with Business Relations,” MCLE program
  • Chair, “Insurance for Data Security Breaches,” MCLE program
  • Faculty Member, “Employment Law for In-House Counsel and Business Lawyers,” MCLE program
  • Panelist, MCLE’s Annual Employment Law Conference
  • Panelist, “Developments in Non-Competition and Trade Secret Litigation,” MCLE’s Annual Business Litigation Conference
  • Panelist, Boston Bar Association’s Annual Symposium on Noncompete Agreements and Trade Secrets
  • Contributing Author, “The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the Stored Communications Act,” MCLE Business Torts in Massachusetts, 2016
  • Co-Author, “Massachusetts Data Security Law and Regulations,” MCLE Data Security and Privacy in Massachusetts, 2015
  • Author, “Changing Conditions Can Void Non-Compete Clauses,” Boston Business Journal
  • “Silence the Pied Piper: Enforce Employee Non-Solicitation Pacts,” Boston Business Journal
  • Featured in “Judge Upholds Non-Compete Clause,” MA Lawyers Weekly, covering win of a preliminary injunction (for a copy of this article, click here)
  • Featured in “Non-Compete Case Bucks Trend, Results in Trial,” MA Lawyers Weekly, covering win of non-competition jury trial (for a copy of this article, click here)
  • Featured in “Sales Reps Can’t Sue Over OT Pay,” MA Lawyers Weekly, covering win for employer client, defeating overtime and wage claims (for a copy of this article, click here)
  • Featured in “‘First Contact’ Does Not Bar Solicitation Lawsuit,” MA Lawyers Weekly (for a copy of this article, click here)
  • “Noncompete Agreements Getting Harder to Enforce,” Boston Business Journal
  • “Who to Sue? Strategy Looms Large in Non-Compete Arena,” MA Lawyers Weekly, November 2013

Representative Matters

Business, Technology, and Commercial Litigation

  • Corporate Acquisition: Obtained $4.5 million settlement for shareholders of acquired company in earn-out case asserting claims including breach of contract and covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, and violation of M.G.L. Chapter 93A.
  • Trade Secret: Obtained significant monetary settlement and restrictive covenants on behalf of Fortune 500 company against competing company.
  • Non-Competition: Defeated preliminary injunction attempt and obtained favorable settlement of non-competition matter for client in software industry.
  • Corporate Acquisition: Defeated multi-million dollar claims against entrepreneur for breach of representations and warranties in corporate acquisition agreement in two-week international arbitration in New York City.
  • Corporate Acquisition: Successfully prosecuted claims of breach of representation and warranty in merger agreement for scientific research company. Settled case prior to AAA arbitration in Chicago.
  • Joint Venture and Development Agreement: Obtained favorable settlement for European client in arbitration over claims of breach of contract.
  • Contractor 93A: Won trial on Chapter 93A claims against contractor – obtained judgment of damages and attorneys’ fees.
  • Advertising Contract: Obtained favorable settlement of advertising contract claims for aviation company during trial in Federal Court.
  • Technology Licensing: Won summary judgment for major Cambridge, Massachusetts university in complex licensing and shareholder dispute involving nerve regeneration technology.
  • Business Interference and RICO: Won dismissal of all claims and award of attorney’s fees for Massachusetts and Silicon Valley-based semiconductor company, in lawsuit in federal court involving business interference and RICO claims.
  • Breach of Contract, Hardware and Software: Successfully prosecuted and settled breach of contract case for New York high-tech company regarding sale of computer hardware and software.
  • Performance Bond: Recovered all proceeds from a $5,000,000 performance bond on behalf of energy company.
  • Development Agreement: Mediated and reached favorable settlement for semiconductor company in lawsuit regarding complex technology development and foundry agreement.
  • Non-Competition – Enforcement: Successfully enforced non-competition agreements on behalf of aviation company. Obtained injunction and damages for client.
  • Non-Competition – Defense: Defended professional recruitment company and its employee against non-competition claims by former employer. Defeated attempt to restrain employee from working with new employer.
  • Non-Solicitation: Won motion to dismiss for Massachusetts high-tech company with novel argument under Massachusetts law that non-solicitation agreement is a restrictive covenant, subject to the same proof requirements as non-competition agreement.
  • Close Corporation Shareholder Dispute: Represented founder of high-tech company in dispute over 1.9 million unvested shares of the company. Argued before Supreme Judicial Court on complex issues regarding choice of law and the Fortune doctrine.
  • Limited Partnership Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Obtained multi-million dollar settlement in lawsuit against general partner of a limited partnership for breach of fiduciary duty and usurpation of business opportunity.
  • Sports Agent Contract: Represented Major League Baseball player in lawsuit brought by individual claiming agent fees. Procured favorable settlement and dismissal.

Employment and Discrimination Litigation

  • Disability Discrimination and Retaliation: Won summary judgment on federal and state disability discrimination and retaliation in Federal Court for international courier company.
  • Gender Discrimination: Successfully defended gender discrimination claim for high-tech corporate client.
  • Sexual Harassment — Same Sex: Won dismissal of sexual harassment case involving same-sex harassment for corporate client.
  • Sexual Harassment: Negotiated favorable settlement and dismissal for major Boston hospital in sexual harassment suit.
  • Violation of Executive Employment Agreement:Successfully prosecuted contract claim for financial services company against former executive. Settled case for full amount demanded in complaint.

Contract Negotiations

  • Executive Separation Agreements: Represented and advised numerous clients with regard to terminations of executives; negotiate separation and release agreements.
  • Contract Negotiations: Negotiated player contracts with Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres organizations.

Data Security

  • Data Security Breaches: Represent and advise clients regarding data security breaches involving HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and M.G.L. c 93H.
  • Policy Drafting/Forumlation: Work with clients to formulate and adopt Written Information Security Programs in accordance with Massachusetts Regulations.


  • Board Member, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Board of Editors
  • Committee Member, MCLE – Practicing with Professionalism
  • Board Member, MCLE New England Board of Trustees
  • Member, Boston Bar Association
  • Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association


  • 2021 Lawyer of the Year for Employment Law (Individuals) in Boston by Best Lawyers in America
  • 2018 Lawyer of the Year for Litigation – Labor and Employment in Boston by Best Lawyers in America
  • Ranked by Chambers USA in Labor and Employment Law, 2015-2020
  • Rated AV Preeminent® (5.0 out of 5.0) by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Included in Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation, Employment Law-Management and Litigation-Labor and Employment, 2017-present
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America, 2016-present
  • Top 100 Lawyer in Massachusetts by Super Lawyers Magazine, 2014-2020
  • Top 100 Lawyer in New England by Super Lawyers Magazine, 2015-2020
  • Named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer, 2011-present
  • Named a Massachusetts Rising Star by Super Lawyers, 2009-2010

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