Bryan M. Dench

After 40 years with Skelton Taintor & Abbott, Bryan Dench retired May 30, 2019.

He has provided strategic planning advice to many successful and growing companies, and he has advised many family businesses and set up plans for them to accomplish the difficult task of succession from one generation to the next. He has represented many clients in the successful acquisition or sale of businesses, and he has negotiated and documented many complex transactions.

Bryan also has negotiated many business agreements, such as leases, contracts, licensing and royalty agreements, employment agreements, phantom stock plans, deferred compensation arrangements, shareholder agreements, partnership agreements, LLC operating agreements, and management agreements.

For government clients, Bryan brought a wealth of experience and practical knowledge about solving problems and making good decisions in the pressure cooker of open, public government and controversial issues. He has counseled school boards, town councils, boards of selectmen, county commissioners, and other government and quasi-government entities.

He also has assisted government employers through the challenging process of negotiating and implementing collective bargaining contracts, grievance procedures and arbitration, reductions in force, and other personnel-related actions.

Bryan has handled student expulsions and disciplinary matters on behalf of his clients. He has written municipal charters and ordinances, and counseled municipalities about the legality of ordinance provisions.

He has defended municipalities, schools, and counties in litigation, and represented them successfully in construction disputes and code enforcement actions.

Because of his experience, Bryan was also frequently asked to serve as a mediator in court cases and legal disputes.

From 1979 to 1991, Bryan served on the Maine Grievance Commission, which administers legal ethics proceedings and disciplinary actions involving Maine lawyers. He also served on the Advisory Committee on the Code of Professional Responsibility and on the Maine State Bar Association’s Peer Assistance Committee. He is recognized as a leading authority in legal ethics, and he is consulted by other lawyers and firms and by private clients who have concerns about the conduct of lawyers. He also speaks frequently on legal ethics at professional seminars, and has testified as an expert on legal ethics in discipline cases and civil litigation.

Bryan is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and a member of the Maine State Bar Association and the Androscoggin County Bar Association. Bryan is an appointed member of the Maine State Board of Arbitration and Conciliation Services (BAC) as an employer representative.

He has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America® for 20 years and was also named the “Portland, Maine Best Lawyers Tax Law Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 and 2014. Bryan has an AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating in the distinguished legal directory, Martindale-Hubbell®.* He is listed in New England Super Lawyers.

Bryan is admitted to practice in all Maine state and federal courts as well as the U.S. Tax Court. He is a frequent speaker on business and estate planning topics, municipal and government issues, legal ethics, alternative dispute resolution and mediation. He has authored numerous published papers and articles and is the author of a book, “How to Work With Your Lawyer.”

Born in Westfield, Massachusetts, Bryan grew up in Needham and Gloucester and received his A.B., cum laude, from Harvard University and his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Maine School of Law.  He is a soccer and ice hockey coach and is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, serving as a member of its Board of Trustees.

*AV® Preeminent™ is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

*The Best Lawyers in America® 2010. Copyright 2009 by Woodward/White, Inc. Aiken, SC.