Paul J. Kiernan - Holland & Knight, LLP

Paul J. Kiernan

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2012
Phone: 202-663-7276

Paul J. Kiernan is a trial lawyer and appellate who focuses on administrative-agency litigation, real-estate disputes, corporate-governance litigation and local government law. He represents businesses, developers, institutions, lenders, hotels, landlords,  and tenants on land use, condemnation, development and property-management disputes and matters involving distressed real estate. 

Mr. Kiernan has substantial experience in general commercial litigation, commercial and international arbitration and government contract litigation. He handles complex contract and business litigation. 

Mr. Kiernan serves as executive partner for Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C. office. Previously, he served as practice group leader for the firm's Mid-Atlantic Litigation Group and on the advisory board for Holland & Knight's Women's Initiative.

Among his recent matters, Mr. Kiernan has:

  • represented corporation in valuation and fraud suits brought by withdrawing shareholders
  • defended companies sued for failed land development project
  • defended a commercial building owner in suit brought by neighboring owner over restaurant fumes
  • defended company owners sued in fraudulent conveyance action
  • represented policyholder in D&O insurance coverage suit
  • filed suit on behalf of a foreign airline when new Department of Transportation rules threatened to disrupt the National Hockey League season
  • represented the owner and operator of a power plant against a local government seeking to curtail its operations
  • defended trade association in contract dispute
  • represented a major downtown landlord in a lawsuit testing the interpretation of tax and CAM provision of commercial lease
  • argued appeals on behalf of land owners seeking to defend government approvals when challenged by neighboring owners
  • represented commercial developers in a Maryland mixed-use project affected by the real estate downturn
  • worked with a quasi-public development agency on eminent domain issues for revitalization of a shopping area in the District of Columbia
  • helped commercial landlord deal with tenant on percentage-rent and occupancy claims
  • represented foreign company seeking to block enforcement of vacated arbitration award
  • represented major retail tenant in dispute regarding terms for lease extension
  • represented a national retailer resisting displacement from its downtown site
  • represented a hotel company in arbitration with hotel owner
  • represented class of mentally retarded and disabled citizens seeking proper treatment from District of Columbia agency 

Mr. Kiernan's reported decisions include: Kohn v. McGuire Woods, 2013 WL 4312272 (3d Cir. 2013); Adkins Limited Partnership v. O Street Management LLC, 56 A.3d 1159 (D.C. 2012); U.S. v. Old Dominion Boat Club, 630 F.3d 1039 (D.C.Cir. 2011); Wolff v. Westwood Management, LLC, 558 F.3d 517 (D.C.Cir. 2009); Rumber v. District of Columbia, 487 F.3d 941 (D.C.Cir. 2007); TermoRio S.A. ESP v. Electrificadora, 487 F.3d 928 (D.C.Cir. 2007); U.S. v. Robertson Terminal Warehouse, 575 F.Supp.2d 210 (D.D.C. 2008); AutoZone Development Corp. v. District of Columbia, 484 F.Supp. 2d 24 (D.D.C. 2007); Evans v. Fenty, 714 F.Supp. 116 126 (D.D.C. 2010); Alexandria City Council v. Mirant Potomac River, LLC, 643 S.E.2d 203 (Va. 2007); Westbard Apartments, LLC v. Westwood Joint Venture, 181 Md.App. 37, 954 A.2d 470 (2007); Quincy Park Condo Unit Owners v. District of Columbia, 4 A.3d 1283 (D.C. 2010); Economides v. D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment, 954 A.2d 427 (D.C. 2008); Watergate East Committee Against Hotel Conversion v. D.C. Zoning Commission, 953 A.2d 1036 (D.C. 2008); Basken v. Board of Zoning Adjustment, 946 A.2d 356 (D.C. 2008); Embassy Real Estate Holdings v. D.C. Mayor's Agent, 944 A.2d 1036 (D.C. 2008); Franco v. National Capital Revitalization Corporation, 930 A.2d 160 (D.C., 2007); Lowrey v. Glassman, 908 A.2d 30 (D.C. 2006); Simon v. Circle Associates, Inc., 753 A.2d 1006 (D.C. 2000); National Cathedral Neighborhood Association v. Board of Zoning Adjustment, 753 A.2d 984 (D.C. 2000); Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County v. Washington, D.C. SMSA L.P., 522 S.E.2d 876 (Va. 1999); Chevy Chase Land Co. v. U.S., 733 A.2d 1055 (Md. 1999); Burka v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 894 F.Supp. 28 (D.D.C. 1996); District of Columbia v. Group Insurance Administration, 633 A.2d 2 (D.C. 1993).

Mr. Kiernan served as a law clerk to The Honorable Daniel J. O’Hern of the New Jersey Supreme Court during the 1983-84 Term. He was an associate and partner at the Washington firm of Dunnells, Duvall, Bennett & Porter and became a partner at Holland & Knight in January 1994. In July 1997, Mr. Kiernan moved to Wilkes, Artis, Hedrick & Lane to head its Litigation Group. He returned to Holland & Knight in September 2000. He became executive partner in July 2008.

Rutgers The State University of New Jersey New BrunswickBA 1980Harvard Law SchoolJ.D. 1983

Case History

Other Court Admissions
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
    • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Office Location

800 Seventeenth Street, NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
United States

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation
Litigation - Real Estate