Kurt F. Somerville


  • d 617-557-9724
  • 60 State Street
  • Boston, MA 02109

Practice Focus

Kurt F. Somerville serves as the Managing Partner of Hemenway & Barnes LLP and as Chairman of the firm’s Management Committee. Kurt also serves as Managing Director and Senior Trust Officer of Hemenway Trust Company, a private fiduciary firm based in Salem, New Hampshire.
Kurt advises families and individuals in the areas of wealth management, estate, financial, and tax planning, and probate matters. He is the former head of the firm's Trust Department and has an active practice serving as a professional fiduciary. As a lawyer and trustee, Kurt advises high net worth clients on a variety of issues and concerns related to preserving, enhancing, and transferring family wealth.

Representative Experience

  • Co-Trustee of Jane's Trust, a leading charitable trust in New England, and other charitable trusts and foundations
  • Co-Trustee of several private family trust complexes, with responsibility for preserving, enhancing and managing wealth for multiple generations of beneficiaries
  • Executor and counsel for decedents' estates of varying sizes and degrees of complexity
  • Planning for the ownership, management and succession of family vacation properties, including preparation of various trusts, family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT's), and conservation easements
  • Administrator of an association of landowners with coastal properties, including common green space, roads and docks
  • Co-Trustee of a trust owning islands and an Adirondack camp in upstate New York
  • Counsel for numerous family groups, with responsibility for creating and managing comprehensive estate plans for multiple generations
  • Representation of estate planning clients with unusual assets, including closely held business, foreign real estate, and general partner interests in venture capital and private equity partnerships

Activities and Publications

Kurt has participated as a faculty member and written course materials for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, the American Law Institute, the American Bar Association, the National Business Institute, the Boston Estate Planning Council, and Homeowner Options for Massachusetts Elders.  His recent publications include:

  • "Trustee Appointment and Succession," Chapter 3 in Understanding and Using Trusts (MCLE, 2nd ed. 2009)
  • "Dispositive Provisions," Chapter 4 in Drafting Irrevocable Trusts in Massachusetts (MCLE, 1st Supplement, 2009)

Community Involvement

  • Former Olympic and national team oarsman
  • Founder and Trustee, Community Rowing, Inc. (CRI), the country's largest public access rowing program
  • Chair, fundraising committee for CRI's new boathouse on the Charles River
  • Founder and Director, CRASH-B Sprints World Indoor Rowing Championships. Served as President for 15 years
  • Long-time Trustee and committee member, Noble and Greenough School, Dedham, MA
  • Chair, Development Committee and the Annual Nobles Fund
  • Overseer, Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston
  • Director, Treasurer and Clerk, Albert N. Parlin House, Inc., Everett, MA, a non-profit rooming house for "worthy young men"
Kurt F. Somerville Partner