John S. Kiernan, Co-Chair of the Litigation Department at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, was elected President of the New York City Bar Association yesterday evening. He succeeds Debra L. Raskin as the 67th president in the Association’s 145-year history.
Mr. Kiernan has been Co-Chair of Debevoise’s Litigation Department since 2002 and Chair of its Ethics Committee since 1994. Previous Debevoise partners who led the City Bar include Francis T.P. Plimpton, Oscar M. Ruebhausen and Barbara Paul Robinson. Mr. Kiernan’s practice has included a wide range of commercial and quasi-commercial litigations, arbitration, risk analyses and negotiations involving private disputes, governance and fiduciary duties, intellectual property rights, class actions or other mass claims, and actions by and against government entities.
Mr. Kiernan is the fourth individual at Debevoise who holds or will soon hold a prominent leadership position within the legal profession. Currently, partner David W. Rivkin serves as President of the International Bar Association, the world's leading organization of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. In addition, partner Donald Francis Donovan serves as President of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), which has long played a leading role in the field of international commercial arbitration and, more recently, investor-state arbitration, and whose biennial congress is widely regarded as the most important gathering of international arbitrators and arbitration practitioners. Further, Deborah Enix-Ross, Senior Advisor to Debevoise’s International Dispute Resolution practice, has been nominated as Chair of the House of Delegates, the policy-making body of the American Bar Association, for the 2016-2018 term. The position is the second-highest office within the ABA, one of the world’s largest voluntary professional organizations, with nearly 400,000 members and more than 3,500 entities.
At the City Bar, Mr. Kiernan has served on the Executive Committee and chaired several committees, and was on the Board of Directors of the City Bar Fund. He was appointed by New York’s then-Chief Judge to serve on a Committee on Non-Lawyers and the Justice Gap. He is the Board Chair of Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York and Chair of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (“CPR”). He previously chaired the Boards of Legal Services NYC, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Volunteers of Legal Service, the Justice Resource Center and the New York City Bankruptcy Assistance Project (which he co-founded). He was the Mayor of Pelham Manor, NY, from 1999-2001 and is currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU School of Law.
The New York City Bar Association, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the legal profession, promoting reform of the law and access to justice, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association, through its 24,000 members, continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.
“I am honored to be elected President of the New York City Bar Association,” said Kiernan. “For many years, I have witnessed and admired the City Bar’s positive impact on the justice system, on the legal profession and on the people not just in New York, but those nationally and around the world.”
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. We deliver effective solutions to our clients’ most important legal challenges, applying clear commercial judgment and a distinctively collaborative approach.