William D. Delahunt
Bill Delahunt provides strategic counsel to clients on complex regulatory issues such as health care, financial services, and energy and environmental matters. Prior to joining the firm, he represented the 10th Congressional District of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2011. Before being elected to Congress, Bill was the Norfolk County District Attorney in Massachusetts for over 22 years. As a district attorney, Bill developed the country’s first prosecutorial unit on domestic violence and sexual assault cases, a pioneering program for combating violence against women, which has been used as a national model. He also attracted some of the most talented trial attorneys in the country. Over 40 former prosecutors from his office went on to serve in the federal and state judiciary, including Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and many have also gone on to high-profile positions in the private and public sector, including as U.S. Attorney for the Massachusetts District. Bill was elected to Congress in 1997 and represented the 10th Congressional District of Massachusetts, which includes Cape Cod, the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and the South Shore. In Congress he served as a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and most recently as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe. Bill also served on the Intellectual Property Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over patent reform and legislation of importance to the technology sector. Current Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith has praised Bill’s work and noted his bipartisan approach to lawmaking, calling him “that rare member of Congress who has both Democrats and Republicans as good friends. Our respect comes from his ability to stick to his principles.” To that end, in 2009, The Hill surveyed Republican members of Congress, who rated Bill as one of the top 10 most bi-partisan Democratic legislators in the House. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Bill was a respected leader on policies toward Latin America and Europe. In the 110th Congress, he was named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and International Organizations with jurisdiction over foreign aid and export assistance programs and human rights. His subcommittee helped bring about a firm timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. President Barack Obama also appointed him to serve as the Congressional Delegate to the United Nations. As chairman of the Europe Subcommittee, Bill had oversight of key aspects of United States foreign policy in Europe. He focused significant attention on promoting initiatives to reverse the declining image of the United States in Latin America, Europe and around the world. He also worked to improve diplomatic relations throughout Latin America and developing public diplomacy initiatives such as student and diplomatic exchanges. Bill led the effort to lift travel restrictions imposed on Americans who seek to travel to Cuba.
Over the years, Bill has developed important relationships with world leaders and ambassadors. His relationships with Venezuelan officials enabled him to negotiate an agreement to cut the cost of home heating oil delivered to low income families in the Northeast. Bill has also led delegations to a number of countries in Europe and has hosted trips by foreign delegations.
Also while serving in Congress, Bill co-chaired the bipartisan Coast Guard Caucus, Older Americans Caucus, and the Congressional Working Group on Cuba. Closer to home, Bill was instrumental in working toward the redevelopment of the South Weymouth Naval Air Station, expanding marine transportation services, and promoting economic development in areas such as renewable energy, biofuels, and ocean technology. He was a strong booster of heritage tourism, wetlands restoration, and a fierce defender of the region’s ocean sanctuaries and national parks. He actively sought ways to promote consensus between environmental and business interests. One example was Bill’s role in creating an innovative whale-safe gear program for local fisherman that was actively supported by environmental groups.
Awards and Recognition:
- Attained an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell
News and Insights
- “Perspectives on the 114th Congress,” panel moderator, New England Council, February 2015.
- “International Possibilities,” Eckert Seamans’ Continuing Legal Education Seminar, August 2012.