Kelly Kirby Ballentine



Kelly Kirby Ballentine is an associate in the firm's Litigation Group, representing clients in business and employment-related disputes before state and federal courts in various jurisdictions. Kelly handles everything from pre-trial settlement negotiations and mediation to full-scale jury and bench trials. Her prolific motion practice aims at early resolution of her clients' claims. Kelly also specializes in advising and representing Burns & Levinson’s corporate clients in matters concerning insurance coverage disputes.

Kelly’s employment practice also focuses on preventative counseling to her corporate clients. She helps companies implement best practices to avoid litigation by providing advice and documents for employment-related issues, such as wage and hour laws, leave laws, employee handbooks, pay plans, separation agreements, and restrictive covenants, including real-time guidance for handling employee complaints, personnel issues, and other management concerns.

Kelly’s clients vary significantly—from individuals to startups to large companies—in a range of industries such as automotive, consumer products and services, education, real estate, and finance. The paths of action they wish to pursue vary as well.

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J.D., cum laude, University of Connecticut School of Law

B.S., magna cum laude, Boston University



U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts


U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit Court

honors & awards

The Best Lawyers in America© One to Watch, Litigation – Labor and Employment (2024)

Lawdragon 500 X – The Next Generation (2023)

“Up and Coming Lawyer”, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (2023)

Massachusetts Rising Stars (2016-2018, 2020-2022)


  • Represented international insurance company during three-week jury trial and two-week bench trial in breach of contract and bad faith case brought by manufacturer corporation.
  • Represented construction company during two-week jury trial in employment case brought by two employees of said company.
  • Secured dismissal of administrative claims against a multitude of companies in cases concerning adverse employment actions based upon employees’ membership in protected classes.
  • Provide ongoing employment and business advice to long-standing clients to avoid lawsuits arising from various employee-related issues, such as wage and hour violations, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation claims, and employee family and medical leave and paid sick time laws and regulations.
  • Prepare offer letters, pay plans, confidentiality, non-solicitation, and non-disparagement agreements, employment policies and procedures, arbitration agreements, and class action waivers, for start-up companies to begin onboarding new employees.
  • Conduct investigation of employee complaints of harassment and/or discrimination on behalf of companies, including employee interviews, investigation, report of conclusion, and recommended remedial action.
  • Conduct employee classification audits for companies.
  • Successfully obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of a biotech company client in a dispute against an insurance company, ordering the insurance company to resume payment of the client’s defense costs in an issue of first impression for Massachusetts.


Boston Bar Association

Women’s Bar Association


“4 Liquidated Damage Provision Drafting Mistakes To Avoid,” Commercial Contracts Law360, November 2017

“Ill-Gotten Gains: Policy Language and Public Policy,” In-House Defense Quarterly, 52, 2016

“Cybersecurity Ins. Coverage: Prudent Risk Mgmt for Cos. of All Sizes,” Ins. Cov. Law Bulletin, 1, January 2016

“Connecticut” in “Writing a Reservation of Rights: A 50-state compendium,” Defense Research Institute, December 2013

“Supervisory Colleges: Improving International Supervisory Coordination,” 19 CONN. INS. L.J., 2012

“Careless Employee Reviews Are Not Only Useless, They’re Harmful”, The In-House Advisor, December 2019

speaking engagements

“How to be a Better Advocate for Yourself”, Panel Moderator, Law Firm Alliance Women’s Forum, May 2023