Clients can trust me to deliver deep knowledge and sound legal advice backed by years of  tax and transactional experience. I know the small and large challenges businesses and individuals face from succession planning to complex transactions to investment management, and am prepared to serve as your legal partner for a legacy of growth.


Michael E. Kearney is a renowned transactional attorney and Holley Driggs shareholder based out of the Las Vegas office. His nationally recognized reputation and experience in taxation include federal income taxation, including partnership taxation and captive insurance company taxation and he has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America for six consecutive years (2013-2019) for his work in mergers and acquisitions. In addition, Michael has substantial experience in state and local tax issues; gaming law matters; real estate acquisition, finance, and development and health care law.

Practice Groups:

Mergers & Acquisitions
Real Property

Bar and Court Admissions:

State Bar of Nevada
State Bar of California
Unites States Tax Court
United States District Court, Nevada
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Nevada Gaming Control Board

Publications & Published Opinions

Tax Traps at the Border,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 15, 2013
“Private Equity’s Vegas Vacation,” Law360, October 20, 2011
“Gaming Bankruptcies Don’t Miss the Tax Benefits in Debt for Equity Exchanges, “ Nevada Gaming Lawyer, September 2011
“The United States of Indebtedness Income and Related Bad Debt Deduction,” Communique, March 2010
Baxter v. U.S., 633 F. Supp. 912
Stieha v. U.S., 89 T.C. 784


New York University School of Law (LL.M. in taxation)
MBA, University of Santa Clara School of Law
University of Nevada, Reno

Representative Cases:

Buyer’s counsel—$75,000,000 purchase of riverboat casino
Buyer’s counsel to private equity group—$125,000,000 purchase of slot route
Borrower’s counsel to casino company—$115,000,000 senior secured credit facility
Borrower’s counsel to issuer—$50,000,000 subordinated notes offering
Buyer’s counsel to national homebuilder—$65,000,000 purchase of a local homebuilder
Buyer’s counsel to national homebuilder—$300,000,000 purchase of a local homebuilder
Buyer’s counsel to national homebuilder—$150,000,000 purchase of a local homebuilder
Issuer’s counsel to casino company—$85,000,000 private equity investment by PE fund
Borrower’s counsel to casino company—$300,000,000 secured credit facility
Issuer’s counsel to private gaming machine manufacturer—$45,000,000 equity investment by game manufacturer
Buyer’s counsel to private equity group—$25,000,000 purchase of casino
Counsel to purchaser—$25,000,000 purchase of stock in casino
Initial purchasers’ local counsel—$1,600,000,000 Senior Secured Notes Offering
Gaming counsel to bank syndicate—$158,000,000 credit agreement restructuring
Seller’s counsel to medical group—$30,000,000 sale to ACO
Seller’s counsel to national logistics company – $300,000,000 sale to public company.
Purchaser’s counsel to investor group – $200,000,000 casino acquisition.

Regarded as one of the best tax attorneys in Nevada, Mr. Kearney has built formidable relationships with top attorneys and accountants across the Silver State and the Western region. He served as Chairman of the Tax Section for the State Bar of Nevada.

Speaking Engagements 

“2013 Legislative Developments”, Nevada State Bar 20133 Annual Convention
“Partnership Tax Developments”, Nevada Society of CPAs, Hawaiian Association of Public Accountants
“State Taxes-Pecking at the Margins”, State Bar of Nevada
“The Top 10 State and Federal Tax Traps”, Association of Corporate Counsel, Las Vegas Chapter
“Criminal Tax Issues”, Nevada Society of Certified Public Accountants
“Section 1031 Exchanges”, National Business Institute
“Choice of Entity”, Construction Financial Management Association “Structuring Gaming Ventures”, Gaming Financial Management Association “Nevada Sales and Use Tax”, National Business Institute
“State Gaming Regulation of Partnership and LLCs”, CCH Ninth Annual Partnership Tax Planning Forum
“Drafting LC Operating Agreements”, National Business Institute
“Tax Issues in Foreclosure and Bankruptcy”, Southwest Tax Conference


Best Lawyers in America-Mergers and Acquisitions Law, 2013-2019
AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale Hubbell