Austin D. Hart

Telephone: 802-859-7021


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Areas of Practice Concentration:

Real Estate, Land Use, and Business Transactions

Description of Practice:

Austin D. Hart joined the firm in 1983 and is a Director and Shareholder. He conducts a broad practice that focuses on real estate transactions, land use permitting and planning, and general business transactions.  He is a member of the firm's real estate, land use, higher education, and business practice groups.

Mr. Hart has represented clients in all phases of real estate transactions, including acquisition, development, finance, operation, leasing, and sale. He has advised clients with different types of real estate projects, including commercial office buildings, retail shopping centers, institutional campuses, and a planned recreational/residential community. He serves as counsel to common interest community owner associations, including a large mixed use resort association at a major Vermont ski area.  A substantial portion of his practice focuses on the unique issues faced by colleges and universities in the ownership, operation, and expansion of their campuses, including property tax exemption laws.  He has drafted and reviewed numerous construction contracts between owners, architects, contractors, and construction managers for large commercial and institutional projects, and has developed a strong working knowledge of the AIA construction forms.  Mr. Hart has a special interest in land use planning and permitting, and devotes a substantial portion of his practice to compliance with Vermont's complex land use regulation system, including Act 250. He has represented both owners and interested parties in administrative proceedings before various municipal planning commissions and development review boards, district environmental commissions, and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

His general commercial practice covers a wide range of issues encountered during all phases of a business' life cycle.  Mr. Hart is listed in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business and in The Best Lawyers in America.


  • University of Connecticut School of Law (J.D. 1981) - Connecticut Law Review (1979-81)
  • Middlebury College (A.B., cum laude with high departmental honors, 1976)
  • The Uppingham School in Uppingham, Leicestershire, England (1971-72) - English-Speaking Union Scholarship
  • Phillips Academy (Andover, MA) (1971)

Bar Admissions:

  • Maine (1981), United States District Court
  • Vermont (1983) United States District Court

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Bar Association: Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, Environment, Energy, and Resources Law Section
  • Vermont and Chittenden County Bar Associations
  • Named to New England Super Lawyers (2007-2009, 2013-2015)
  • Best Lawyers (2005-present)
  • Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners

Other Activities:

  • Burlington Development Review Board, Chairman (1992-present)


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