Denis F. Shanagher is a partner with Duane Morris LLP in San Francisco, a firm of nearly 950 attorneys throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has been practicing law for 40 years, specializing in real estate, land use, construction, and general business litigation.
He has been selected to the list of Northern California’s Super Lawyers for the past twelve years and represents many of the country’s largest real estate development and construction firms. He is a graduate of Stanford University (BS, 1978, with distinction) and UC Hastings College of Law (1981). Denis played at Stanford (1974 – 1978), captained the team in 1976 – 1978, and was the first Club President when the team lost its varsity status in 1976. He played with San Francisco Rugby Club from 1978 – 1980 and then the Bay Area Touring Side (BATS) from 1980 – 1995 (Captain 1984 – 85). He was selected for the Northern California Pelicans and Pacific Coast Grizzlies from 1977 – 88, making tours with the Grizzlies to New Zealand and Argentina. He was also a member of the United States National Team (Eagles) from 1980 to 1987, earning 9 caps at center.
Denis toured Australia, Japan, and Wales with the Eagles and was an injury replacement at the 1987 Rugby World Cup. Denis was also on the first USA Eagles Sevens team to play in Hong Kong in 1981 and went on to play in six Hong Kong Sevens Tournaments, with 28 7’s caps (Captain, 1984), culminating in winning the Plate Championship in 1986. Denis also played sevens with the U.S.A. Cougars in 1984 – 86, with trips to the Gala 7’s, Melrose 7’s, Wasp’s 7’s, and a guest appearance with the Scotland Wanderers.
Denis has remained involved in rugby since retiring from playing. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors (Chair – Audit & Risk Committee, Member, Joint Management Group) of USA Rugby and a member of the International Athlete Council.
Denis is serving on the Board of the United States Rugby Foundation and is a patron of the Shanagher – Morrison Referee Development Fund. He is a founding member of the Board of the Stanford Rugby Foundation in 1989 and has served as the Chairman since 2002. He has served on a variety of local community boards, including as a board member and president of the San Francisco Little League; as trustee and President of both a local San Francisco pre-school and private high school; and as President of the St. Francis Homes Association.
Denis lives in San Francisco with his wife, Julie (Cal, 1981). His daughter, Katie, is a graduate of Northwestern University and works in advertising in Chicago. His son, Denis, played baseball at Vassar College and is now an investment banker in San Francisco. Rugby is in the family.
Denis Shanagher Sr., was one of the original board members of the USA Rugby, a president of the Pacific Coast Rugby Football Union for many years, as well as one of the highest-ranked referees in the country, refereeing USA v. Canada in 1977. Denis Shanagher Sr. is a member of the USA Rugby Hall of Fame.