Paul V. Kelly


P 617-305-1263 F 617-367-2155


Paul V. Kelly


Paul Kelly is a Principal in the Boston office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, NCAA enforcement investigations and infractions cases, and complex civil litigation. Paul chairs both the Collegiate and Professional Sports industry group and the White Collar and Government Enforcement resource group at the firm

White Collar and Investigative Experience

Paul is a trial attorney with substantial experience in both state and federal courts.  He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston for 10 years, during which time he prosecuted a wide array of federal criminal violations, including racketeering, fraud, corruption, and murder. Upon leaving government service, he focused his practice on representing companies and individuals being investigated or prosecuted for serious criminal violations. He has obtained “not guilty” verdicts for clients in several jury trials, both state and federal.  In addition, there are numerous investigative matters in which he convinced the government not to file criminal charges.

Paul has significant experience conducting internal investigations for clients, including some of the representative examples below:

  • He conducted an extensive internal investigation on behalf of a private security company responsible for airport passenger screening at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • He served as a legal advisor to the AG of Trinidad and Tobago and conducted a series of investigations of suspected bribery and corruption by former government officials within that country.
  • He conducted an investigation on behalf of an MLB team of suspected improper activity by a member of its scouting staff.
  • He probed allegations of sexual abuse of minors by volunteers of a national organization providing educational opportunities and activities for children. 
  • He has conducted investigations for many companies involving theft, embezzlement and other suspected wrongdoing by employees, contractors and outside vendors, often resulting in referral to appropriate law enforcement authorities for prosecution.

Collegiate and Professional Sports Experience

Paul has deep experience advising colleges and universities facing allegations of NCAA bylaw violations by athletic coaches, staff and student-athletes. He has represented several institutions within Divisions I, II and III in such matters, including through infractions hearings before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. and on appeal before the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee. Paul and others within the Jackson Lewis Sports’ practice can assist institutions and athletic conferences with compliance reviews, advice regarding the evolving issue of “name, image and likeness,” Title IX inquiries, litigation brought against as institution or its employees, and other legal challenges facing collegiate athletics departments.

A devoted “hockey guy” and former player and coach, Paul previously served as the executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association, and later as executive director of College Hockey, Inc., representing the institutions playing NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the NHL Alumni Association, and is a past Director of the Hockey Hall of Fame.  Paul has also represented several NHL players and other professional athletes in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings.

Civil Litigation Experience

Paul is an experienced trial attorney. When he is not handling complex white collar cases, internal investigation, or NCAA infractions matters, he handles a broad spectrum of civil litigation matters in both state and federal courts. He recently obtained a defense verdict on behalf of officials charged with civil rights violations in connection with the drug lab scandal in Massachusetts in which a chemist falsified test results on suspected seized narcotics. He has also argued several appeals, both state and federal, including a successful appeal before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Honors and Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, "Criminal Defense: White Collar," "Employment Law - Management," "Litigation - Labor and Employment, and "Sports Law" (2006-present)
  • Boston Magazine, “Top Lawyers” (2021)
  • The Hockey News, "50 Most Influential People in the Sport of Hockey" (2007-2011)
  • Martindale-Hubbell®, "AV Preeminent® - Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence" (1995-present)
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers®, "Super Lawyers" (2004-2007, 2014-present)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Director's Award for Superior Performance (1992)

Professional Associations and Activities

  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Boston Bar Association (BBA)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDA)
  • Sports Lawyers’ Association (SLA)