Bruce H. Tobey
Of Counsel

Contact Information





Biography/Practice Areas

Bruce H. Tobey is Of Counsel with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC.  His practice focuses on representing government entities as well as private sector clients in the areas of public contracts, water law, environmental policy, programs and financial and regulatory matters, sustainability, and governance.

Attorney Tobey’s extensive experience includes representing numerous Massachusetts cities and towns in a variety of environmental and other public law matters. As the Mayor/CEO of Gloucester, MA from 1991-1992 and 1994-2002, he directed the overall operations of a $100 million municipal corporation, with a particular focus on resolving complex and longstanding solid waste, water and wastewater system issues. In doing this, he built on his substantial experience from years of experience as a senior attorney on the Boston Harbor clean-up with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and as the City Solicitor in Gloucester. He is a past President of the Massachusetts Mayors Association and in that capacity, he served as a gubernatorially – appointed member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Water Infrastructure Finance Commission, which conducted a statewide infrastructure needs assessment effort and advised the Governor on programing under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

His previous extensive public service included participation on numerous Federal Advisory Committees of the United State Environmental Protection Agency and as Chair of the Advisory Council of the National League of Cities. He is a past member and Chair of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Local Government Advisory Committee, and he had served on the state’s Federal Stimulus Task Force and as Chair of the Advisory Council of the National League of Cities. Attorney Tobey served as the 2008 President of the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) and as the 2013 President of its subsidiary, the Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association (MMCA). In addition, Attorney Tobey served as a member and chair of the Massachusetts Local Government Advisory Commission (LGAC) and as a long-time member of the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA).

As a nationally-recognized leader in his disciplines, most recently, he led the firm’s multi-year representation of the two municipalities which jointly own the Binghamton-Johnson City (NY) Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, providing advice to community leaders and leading all drafting and process work regarding the consideration of moving to contract operations of the Plant as its $275 million reconstruction neared completion.

In the private sector, he has held multiple executive positions including Vice President Business Development for HomeServe USA, leading the company’s national campaign to develop public-private partnerships with water and wastewater utilities, and Director of Business Development for the Aquarion Company, where he provided legal, regulatory and government relations support, and developed and executed public-private partnership strategies for one of the nation’s ten largest investor-owned water utilities. He holds a U.S. Patent as the co-Inventor of “Trenchlessly Installed Subterranean Collector Drain for Surface and Subsurface Water.”

With more than 30 years of both public and private sector experience, Attorney Tobey is a frequent guest speaker at national trade association events, published author, and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s P3 Panel.

He earned his J.D. cum laude from Suffolk University Law School, where he was a member of Law Review, and his MBA from Suffolk University. He graduated with a B.A in Russian from Wesleyan University. He is admitted to practice law in New York and Massachusetts.

Areas of Practice

  • Business & Municipal Law
  • Water Law
  • Municipal and Water Law

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Massachusetts

Education/Professional Associations


  • Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts
    • J.D. – 1978
    • Law Review, Member
  • Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts
    • M.B.A. – 2005
  • Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
    • Major: Russian

Representative Matters

  • Represented the Budget Commission for the City of Woonsocket, Rhode Island to assist in determining the appropriate procurement structure in order for the City to fund construction programs for the City’s drinking water system. The project included a design-build-operate structure as well as a comprehensive review of the operational, financial and maintenance operations for the water utility.
  • Served as counsel to assist Palm Beach Aggregates, LLC, Florida with respect to planning the development of the C-51 Reservoir as an alternative water supply project for South Florida. The project will include the design, permitting, financing and construction to deliver the reservoir in predetermined phases. The first phase will provide 35-MGD of water to public water utilities in Broward County and Palm Beach County which choose to participate in this innovative public-private partnership. Representing the project developer, PLDO has worked to advance the project by engaging target communities in an analytical process address­ing capital and long-term operating costs, contracting issues, governance concerns and regulatory matters.
  • Served as counsel to assist the Town of Poughkeepsie, New York in the development and negotiation of a contract to privatize operations, maintenance and management at the two wastewater treatment facilities owned by the Town.
  • Served as a member of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Metropolitan Utility Authority (“TMUA”) Infrastructure Management Group’s team of professional advisors and consultants conducting a comprehensive assessment of the water and sewer system for the TMUA. The management team’s PLDO members  reviewed and analyzed the legal structure, lease agreements and operating and maintenance contracts, which define TMUA governance protocols and its relationship with the City of Tulsa as it fulfills its charge to provide water and wastewater services. It also evaluated the service contracts which exist between TMUA and additional communities and identified the impacts of covenants contained within TMUA’s bonds, as well as assisted with the development of strategic options such as public-private partnerships.
  • Represented the Town of Mansfield, Connecticut to develop and negotiate several contracts that will supplement its water supply so vital economic development projects can proceed.  The first contract is between the Town and a regulated water utility that will be supplying water to Mansfield through a system currently owned and operated by the University of Connecticut (“UConn”), while the second (between the Town and UConn) will govern the rights and responsibilities of each under this new supply arrangement.  Each contract involves the resolution of many complex issues, including operational, ownership, cost and rate matters.
  • Represented the Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Board, New York to conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the Intermunicipal Agreements between the City of Binghamton and the Village of Johnson City which created the Board, the agreements between the Board and its outside users and each of the outside user’s local sewage laws. Additionally, PLDO attorneys analyzed Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permits, the Laws of the Joint Sewage Treatment Plant and the Rules and Regulations of the Joint Sewage Treatment Plant. PLDO attorneys concluded that the Board did in fact have the authority to unilaterally impose flow management on each user of its system.
  • Served the Warwick Sewer Authority in Rhode Island by conducting a comprehensive review of the legal framework that governs its operations, which includes both local ordinances and state statutes, and presenting recommendations for potential amendments to that existing legal framework.
  • Represented the Town of Winthrop, Massachusetts in its negotiations with Mohegan Sun Massachusetts, LLC for a surrounding community mitigation agreement under the Expanded Gaming Act in Massachusetts. PLDO guided the Town through all aspects of the Expanded Gaming Act and Massachusetts Gaming commission regulations to negotiate, gain disbursements of funds for assessment of the impacts of Mohegan Sun’s proposed casino, and achieve a successful surrounding community mitigation agreement with the proposed operator of the Category 1 resort casino in Revere, Massachusetts.  Attorneys also represented the Town before all Gaming Commission hearings and proceedings on casino mitigation matters pursuant to the Expanded Gaming Act and Gaming Commission regulations.
  • Represented the Town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts in its application to be designated a surrounding community to the Category 2 casino under the Expanded Gaming Act and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission regulations. Represented the Town in its negotiations with the Cordish Company, the proposed operator of the casino, as well as before the Gaming Commission at meetings and public hearings on its application for designation as a surrounding community.
  • Served as a member of the Water Research Foundation’s multidiscipline research team for two national studies for the water and wastewater industries that drafted and produced a 2013 report entitled, “Water Utility Legal Protection and Claims Management From Infrastructure Failure,” and currently leading a team that will produce a report to be published later in 2017 entitled, “Public-Private Partnership Opportunities for Water and Resource Water Utility Energy Projects: Best Practices Guide.”