University of Denver
J.D. | 1979
Law Review

Dartmouth College
B.A., cum laude, with distinction in History | 1975


  • Maine | 1979


John Upton advises clients with legal issues in a wide range of business sectors including energy, forest products, medical device manufacturing, equipment distribution, professional services, commodities and insurance. He has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions; entity selection, formation, governance, and shareholder matters; debt and equity financing; contract negotiation; regulatory compliance; and, private foundation and nonprofit organizations.

In the acquisition field, Mr. Upton has played a lead role in business acquisitions and sales throughout New England. John works closely with Business Owners developing strategies for transition of ownership, deal structure, letters of intent and termsheets.

In the energy sector, John has extensive experience in all facets of energy distribution including negotiation of marine and inland terminal joint venture and throughput agreements, international marine cargo supply agreements, rail and land transport product sales agreements, jobber and multi-site dealer acquisitions and  regulatory compliance in the energy sector.

Recent corporate governance and shareholder matters include advising owners of several closely held companies with shareholder buy-sell and stock restriction agreements, assisting foreign corporations with multi-state and cross border regulatory compliance, and drafting employee stock ownership plans.

Contract negotiation and drafting also comprise a significant portion of the services Mr. Upton provides. He has recently played a lead role in the drafting of forest products supply agreements. He has drafted joint venture arrangements involving the development of land for industrial and commercial purposes. He regularly advises clients with distribution and licensing agreements in the manufacturing field, including protection of inventions and other intellectual property. Mr. Upton also regularly assists clients with competition, employment, business immigration and governance issues affecting their businesses.

Mr. Upton has maintained long client relationships with companies based in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, and has gained significant expertise on issues related to cross-border operations, sales and compliance issues.


  • Maine Bar Association
  • Cumberland Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Service / Achievements

Mr. Upton has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisition, a distinction held since 2006. Mr. Upton is AV Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability by Martindale-Hubbell, a distinction held for over twenty years.

John served as a trustee of Maine Audubon, the Portland Museum of Art, the New England Nordic Ski Association, the Maine Bar Association and Cape Nordic.


Mr. Upton served as Perkins Thompson’s President for over a decade and as Chair of the Firm’s Business Department through 2022 . He is currently Senior Counsel to the Firm. Mr. Upton is married to Anne Stockmar Upton and lives in Cape Elizabeth. He enjoys skiing, fly fishing, and historic architecture and decorative arts.