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In The News

Phillips Lytle Legal Elite Honorees  More

David J. McNamara Steps Out of Managing Partner Role at Phillips Lytle  More

David J. McNamara to Step Down as Phillips Lytle Managing Partner   More

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Press Releases

Six Phillips Lytle LLP Partners Named to Buffalo Law Journal “Legal Elite of Western New York 2016”  More

Sixty Phillips Lytle LLP Attorneys Named to the 2016 Upstate New York Super Lawyers® List  More

Phillips Lytle Among Highest Ranked Law Firms in Buffalo with Seven Top Listed Practice Areas in The Best Lawyers In America© 2017  More

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Speaking Engagements

Speaker, “Law Firm Expansion,” LawExchange International, April 2015  More

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Co-Author, “New York State Supreme Court: Dealing with the Needs of Business in the Commercial Division,” Update (Phillips Lytle Newsletter), January 2002  More

“Rights of a Deceased Partner’s Estate in Partnership Assets,” 24 Journal of Family Law 673, 1986  More

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David J. McNamara
Partner, Buffalo, New York City
(716) 847-5457, (212) 508-0419

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.


  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America©
  • Buffalo Business First, Power 250 List, Ranked #68, 2016
  • Buffalo Business First, Power 250 List, Ranked #55, 2015
  • Buffalo Business First, Power 250 List, 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 WNY, Business First of Buffalo and Buffalo Law Journal, 2013
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2007-2016
  • 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


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
Seneca Nation of Indians Court of Appeals
Seneca Nation of Indians Peacemakers’ Court
Seneca Nation of Indians Supreme Appellate Court


  • United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Board of Directors
  • Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, Board of Directors, Vice President
  • State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law Dean’s Advisory Council
  • Harvard Law School Leadership in Law Firms Alumni Association
  • Explore & More Children's Museum, "Play it Forward" Capital Campaign, Chair


  • National Kidney Foundation of Western New York, Inc., Board of Directors
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Citizens’ Academy, Board of Directors


  • 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)


  • Seneca Nation of Indians Judicial Training, 2014