Paul M. Kessimian

Co-Managing Partner



Paul serves as the Firm’s Co-Managing Partner and as Chair of the Litigation Practice.

Paul represents companies, non-profits, and individuals in high-stakes and complex disputes in court and arbitral bodies.  Paul has successfully guided clients through litigations and arbitrations on a wide range of matters, including class actions, trade secrets, insurance and reinsurance, antitrust, ERISA and restrictive covenants, business torts, and intellectual property and licensing.  Paul’s practice also includes representing clients who are being investigated by state Attorneys General on a variety of matters.

Paul has managed disputes from inception through trial and has tried cases in both state and federal court as well as before arbitral tribunals.

Paul is a recognized member of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts bars who has served in leadership positions across a host of professional organizations including the Federal Bar Association, Rhode Island Chapter and the American Bar Association.  He is regularly included in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Best Lawyers in America, and Benchmark Litigation as a “Litigation Star.”

Applying a business-minded approach to every dispute, Paul has a proven track record advising clients across a broad range of industries in high-stakes, big-dollar disputes often alongside or against some of the country’s largest and most established firms.  Before joining Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, Paul was a litigator at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Practice Areas

Litigation & Disputes


Columbia University School of Law, J.D.

    • Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
    • Articles Editor, Columbia Business Law Review

Providence College, B.A. Political Science and Economics, summa cum laude

Bar Memberships


Rhode Island

U.S. Federal District Court, Massachusetts

U.S. Federal District Court, Rhode Island

U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit

Professional Affiliations

  • Defense Counsel of Rhode Island
    • President
  • American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section’s Commercial & Business Litigation Committee
    • Web and Practice Point Editor of Commercial & Business Litigation Committee
    • Co-Chair, Programs & CLE Subcommittee of Commercial & Business Litigation Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association, Rhode Island Chapter
    • Treasurer
    • Executive Committee Member
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel


  • Providence College
    • Vice Chair, Liberal Arts Honors Leadership Council
    • Member, President’s Council

Representative Cases

  • Defended and prosecuted claims seeking to apportion and recover millions of dollars in costs associated with cleaning up environmental contaminants under Massachusetts law (Mass. Gen. Laws. Ch. 21E). Co-chaired six-week federal jury trial on behalf of client to verdict recovering millions in dollars of costs.
  • Defended publicly traded pharmaceutical company in qui tam suits brought in Federal Court in Rhode Island and Boston.
  • Successfully briefed and argued before the Massachusetts Appeals Court on behalf of a municipality concerning the scope of its power to revoke building permits, issue cease and desist orders, and control the application of its bylaws.
  • Served as co-lead counsel representing the State of Rhode Island in class-wide arbitration brought by tobacco companies on the master settlement agreement and obtained dismissal of those claims after discovery.
  • Successfully defended a publicly traded chemical manufacturing and biotechnology firm against a multi-million dollar suit brought by a former landlord. Paul obtained dismissal of plaintiff’s claims in their entirety on the eve of trial.
  • Litigated the constitutionality of Rhode Island’s Mechanics’ Lien Law and ultimately prevailed on summary judgment, on behalf of mechanics’ lienholders, subordinating over $20 million in mortgages held by an international bank to the clients’ liens.
  • Represented toy manufacturer in licensing dispute over royalties with large publicly traded company.
  • Successfully represented financial institution on reopened Chapter 11 bankruptcy adversary proceeding upholding the validity of the contingent financial instruments it had obtained pursuant to that bankruptcy.
  • Represented one of the nation’s largest insurance companies in litigation involving life insurance sales practices.


  • Paul Kessimian Appointed as Defense Counsel of Rhode Island (DCRI) President July 24, 2023
  • Fellow of the Rhode Island Bar Foundation, June 23, 2022
  • Chambers USA – Consistently ranked as leading attorney in Commercial Litigation
  • Recognized for commercial litigation by Best Lawyers in America
  • Selected as a “Local Litigation Star” and 40 & Under Hot List 2019 by Benchmark: Litigation
  • Recognized as a “Rising Star” in business litigation by Rhode Island Super Lawyers
  • Selected by Providence Business News as a 2012 40 Under Forty Honoree
  • Recognized by the New England Business Bulletin as a 2011 Top Young Professional Under Forty

Representative Publications

Representative Speaking Engagements


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