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  • New York

Peter J. Kiernan

Of Counsel

Peter J. Kiernan focuses his practice in public law, public finance, infrastructure development, and government relations. His credentials include more than 40 years in government service, private law practice, and real estate development/investment.


Government Service

Chair, New York State Law Revision Commission (2011 – current)

Counsel to the Governor of the State of New York (2008 –2010)

  • Managed legislative program of the executive branch.
  • Coordinated all judicial matters; managed major litigation, and directed relations with the State's Indian nations.
  • Successfully negotiated Rockefeller Drug Law Reforms, the Public Authorities Reform Act, the Tier V Pension Plan, and other landmark legislation.

Administration of Governor Mario Cuomo (1984)

  • Coordinated and directed the Westway State Park Project.

Counsel to the Minority, New York State Senate (1978 – 1981)

  • Acted as Primary Advisor to New York State Senate Democrats on all financial, legal and legislative matters.
  • Drafted the New York City Convention Center legislation and financing plan.
  • Served as Senate's statutory observer to the Emergency Financial Control Board.

Counsel to the Deputy Mayor for Finance, City of New York (1975 – 1977)

  • Primary liaison to the U.S. Treasury with respect to the Federal Government/City of New York revolving loan program.
  • Liaison to the Emergency Financial Control Board; member of the Mayor's Fiscal Crisis Management Team; and Mayor's Advisor on Mass Transit.
  • Authored the Shinn Commission Pension Reform legislation, which completely restructured New York City's five actuarially funded pension systems.

Private Law Practice

  • Lead counsel for commercial transaction financings, primarily involving enterprise, project, structured and municipal finance.
  • Negotiated international joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions.
  • Represented publicly held entities in the U.S., Mexico, France, U.K. and privately held entities in Europe, the Middle East and South America.


"Strengthening the Security of Public Sector Defined Benefit Plans," (co-author) The Blinken Report, The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government (January 2014)

"Possible path to recovery," Times Union (August 5, 2013)

"Amending The Not-For-Profit Corporation Law – The Beginning" (co-author), New York Law Journal (July 23, 2013)

"Public Pension Politics Must Change," Times Union (Nov. 20, 2012)

“An Analysis of Hydrofracturing Gubernatorial Decision Making,” Albany Government Law Review, vol. 5, issue 3 (2012)

Report of the State Budget Crisis Task Force, (co-author) (2012)

"Report on the Financing of the Hudson Yards Infrastructure Development in New York City," New York City Bar Association, (2007)

"Are Non Partisan Elections Right for New York City?" New York City Bar Association, (2003)

Previous Experience

Mr. Kiernan served as CEO of Watermark Associates, Inc., a Mexican-owned waterfront development and investment firm (1991–2001). He negotiated resort development projects in the United States, Mexico, and Europe, and created joint ventures and financing vehicles.


Cornell University Johnson School of Management(M.B.A., 2009)
Harvard University— John F. Kennedy School of Government (M.P.A., 1981)Littauer Fellow
Cornell University Law School(J.D., 1968)
John Carroll University (A.B., 1965)

Professional Memberships

New York State Bar Association
House of Delegates (2004 – present)

New York City Bar Association
New York State Affairs Committee
            Chair (2013 – present)
            New York City Affairs Committee
            Chair (2004 – 2007, 2012)

Medical Malpractice Insurance Association
Board of Directors (2000 – 2005)

Watermark Associates, Inc.
Board of Directors (1989 – 2002)

Civic and Charitable Memberships

Brooklyn Arena Local Development Corporation
Board of Directors (2008 – present)

New York State Job Development Authority
Board of Directors (2007 – 2008)

Citizens Budget Commission
Trustee (2004 – 2008)

Brooklyn Sports Foundation
Chair (1998 – 2006)

New York City Convention Center Operating Corporation
Board of Directors (1980 – 1982)

Military Service – USAR, 394th MI Det. (1969 – 1971)