Donald E. Vaughan



As a partner and the former Co-Chair of Burns & Levinson's Real Estate Group, Donald Vaughan focuses his practice on the representation of parties, including non-profits, in commercial office and retail leases and subleases. He also represents lenders and borrowers in permanent, construction and leasehold financing transactions, many involving tax credits and public or quasi-public financing sources.

Donald's experience includes commercial/investment real estate sales, acquisitions and like-kind exchanges; commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions; residential real estate sales, acquisitions and development; and estate planning and administration, primarily with real estate as a major asset. Donald has also successfully overseen several difficult and highly visible development projects and foreclosure actions.


J.D., Columbia Law School, 1983

B.A., magna cum laude, Haverford College, 1979



U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

honors & awards

The Best Lawyers in America© Best Lawyer, Real Estate Law (2013-2024)

AV® Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell


Lambda Alpha International Society for the Advancement of Land Economics

  • Boston Chapter

Greater Boston Legal Services Corporation

  • Board Member

Metro Boston Housing (f.k.a. Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership)

  • Board Member; Chair, Development Committee

Boston Bar Association

Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association

The Abstract Club

Urban Land Institute

Boston Early Music Festival

  • Trustee

Provincetown Theater Foundation

  • Board Member

Phi Beta Kappa




“Facebook: Control of Electronic Data and Social Media Sites When You Are Gone,” Boston Spirit Magazine, November/December 2017

“Thinking of Buying a Home in Provincetown? Tips and Ideas for Renting vs. Owning a Vacation Home,” Boston Spirit Magazine, July/August 2014

Donald has co-authored articles for other publications as well, such as the Burns & Levinson Focus newsletter.


Donald has been quoted in several prominent publications, including the New York Times and the Boston Business Journal.

speaking engagements

LLC’s, Nominee Trusts & Other Real Estate Holding Entities,” Chair, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Webcast, January 2013 – 2018

Donald has spoken for several Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education programs throughout his career.