Dave McNamara

David J. McNamara

Buffalo; New York City
(716) 847-5457
(212) 508-0419
Download vCard

Mr. McNamara’s practice is concentrated in the areas of general commercial litigation with an emphasis on the rights of secured creditors, breach of contract, lender liability, fraud, and controversies and transactions involving commercial real estate and project development. He served as Phillips Lytle’s Managing Partner from 2007-2016 and served as a member of its Governing Committee from 2001-2016. He maintains offices in Buffalo and New York City, and represents individuals, corporations and financial institutions in complex commercial litigation and real estate transactions.

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

Admitted to Practice

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Honors & Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America©
  • Buffalo Business First, Power 250 List
    • Ranked #179, 2018
    • Ranked #182, 2017
    • Ranked #68, 2016
    • Ranked #55, 2015
    • Ranked #61, 2014
  • Listed in Legal Elite of WNY, Legal Leaders, Business First of Buffalo and Buffalo Law Journal, 2014-2016
  • Listed in Legal Elite of WNYBusiness First of Buffalo and Buffalo Law Journal, 2013
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2007-2019
  • Buffalo Business First, Power 200 List, Ranked #70, 2013
  • Business First of Buffalo, 612′ C-Level Executive Award, Legal, 2012
  • Business First of Buffalo, Western New York Most Influential Leaders Award, 2012


  • Louis D. Brandeis School of Law - University of Louisville, J.D., 1986
  • State University of New York College at Brockport, B.S., 1982

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Business Law Section
    • Litigation Section, Financial Institution Litigation Sub-Committee
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Business Law Section
    • Commercial and Federal Litigation Section
    • Insurance Negligence and Compensation Law Section, Committee on Business Torts
  • Bar Association of Erie County


  • Seneca Nation of Indians Judicial Training, 2014

Representative Cases

  • Insurance Co. of the State of Pa. v. HSBC Bank USA, 10 N.Y.3d 32, 852 N.Y.S.2d 812 (2008)
  • HSBC Bank USA v. The National Equity Corp., et al., 23 A.D. 3d 305, ______ N.Y.S.2d _______ (1st Dep’t 2005) (Affirming confirmation of $25 million arbitration award and dismissal of fraud, RICO, money laundering and UCC-Article 4 counterclaims)
  • Portera v. HSBC Bank, USA, 291 A.D.2d 348, 737 N.Y.S.2d 912 (1st Dep’t 2002) (executive compensation)
  • Lost Creek Assocs., LLC v. Marine Midland Bank, 293 A.D.2d 719, 741 N.Y.S.2d 115 (2d Dep’t 2002) (lender liability/failure to fund)
  • HSBC Bank USA v. The National Equity Corp., et al., 279 A.D.2d 251, 719 N.Y.S.2d 20 (1st Dep’t 2001) (judicial replevin in arbitratable dispute)
  • HSBC Bank USA v. Handel (In Re Handel), 266 B.R. 585 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2001) (objection to discharge/non-disclosure of assets)
  • Gibbs v. Marine Midland Bank, N.Y. (In Re Gibbs), 230 B.R. 471 Bankr. D. Conn. 1999) aff’d 229 F.3d 1135, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 23769 (2d Cir. 2000) (lender liability/failure to fund)
  • Marine Midland Bank v. McCarthy, Fingar, Donovan, Drazen & Smith, 271 A.D.2d 414, 705 N.Y.S.2d 651 (2d Dep’t 2000) (legal malpractice in connection with commercial real estate financing)
  • Marine Midland Bank v. Portnoy (In re Portnoy), 201 B.R. 685 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (objection to discharge/fraudulent conveyance to off-shore trust)
  • Dickerson Pond Sewage Works v. Valeria, et al., 231 A.D.2d 488, 647 N.Y.S.2d 268 (1st Dep’t 1996) (adverse possession)
  • Perfect Fit Glove Co. v. Post, et al., 222 A.D.2d 1025, 635 N.Y.S.2d 917 (4th Dep’t 1995) (restrictive covenant)
  • Schantz v. Marine Midland Bank (In Re Schantz), 221 B.R. 653 (N.D.N.Y. 1998) (validity of lien on ERISA accounts)
  • State v. Ins. Co. of the State of Pennsylvania v. HSBC Bank USA, 305 A.D.2d 916, 762 N.Y.S.2d 116 (3d Dep’t 2003) (equitable tracing/conversion)
  • HSBC Bank USA v. Regional Specialty Food Marketing & Distribution Services, Inc., 741 N.Y.S.2d 791, 294 A.D.2d 803 (4th Dep’t 2002) (foreclosure of access rights)
  • Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp. v. HFH USA Corp., 805 F. Supp. 133, 19 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 2d (Callaghan) 855 (W.D.N.Y. 1992) (lien attachment/goods in free trade zone)

Present Activities

  • Harvard Law School Leadership in Law Firms Alumni Association
  • Explore & More Children’s Museum, “Play it Forward” Capital Campaign, Chair

Past Activities

  • Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, Board of Directors, Vice President
  • University at Buffalo School of Law, Dean’s Advisory Council
  • United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Board of Directors
  • National Kidney Foundation of Western New York, Inc., Board of Directors
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens’ Academy, Board of Directors