David H. Kernan

(716) 847-5477
Download vCard

Mr. Kernan concentrates in federal and state taxation, employee benefits, executive compensation and tax-exempt organizations. His employee benefits practice includes the design, drafting and implementation of defined benefit pension plans, cash balance plans, 401(k) plans, tax sheltered annuities and ESOPs, as well as compliance with tax law and ERISA. His executive compensation practice includes the design and drafting of nonqualified deferred compensation plans and Code Section 409A compliance with respect to nonqualified plans.

Mr. Kernan is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee.

Admitted to Practice

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Tax Court

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America©
    • Named the Best Lawyers® Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Buffalo, 2021
  • Honoree of the New York State Bar Association Empire State Counsel® Program for Pro Bono Work, 2016, 2020
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2010-2011, 2013-2015


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1977
  • New York University School of Law, LL.M., Taxation, 1978
  • Middlebury College, A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, 1974

Professional Associations

  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • Monroe County Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Tax Section
    • Employee Benefits Committee

Present Activities

  • NativityMiguel Middle School, Board of Trustees
  • NativityMiguel Middle School, Volunteer Tutor

Past Activities

  • Buffalo West Side Environmental Defense Fund, Board of Directors and Officer
  • Project Jumpstart, Riverside High School, Mentor
  • Junior Achievement of Western New York, Board of Directors
  • Canisius College, Adjunct Faculty, MS Taxation Program
  • New York Employee Benefits Conference, Board of Directors
  • Lawyers for Learning, Mentor