Photo of Brian T. Gallagher

Brian T. Gallagher





Michigan State University College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 2008

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, B.B.A., with high distinction, 2005

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals

  • Sixth Circuit

U.S. District Court

  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • Western District of Michigan

As an experienced benefits and executive compensation attorney, Brian Gallagher helps employers navigate the complicated and ever-changing legal landscape of ERISA and the Tax Code. Brian works closely with employers of all sizes in many different industries to design and maintain their benefit plans, ensure compliance and develop practical solutions when mistakes inevitably do occur.

Brian is currently serving as the Chair of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Michigan and previously chaired its Employee Benefits Committee. Named a 'Rising Star' for Employee Benefits by Michigan Super Lawyers, Brian is also very engaged in the local Lansing community, serving on the boards of numerous local nonprofits.


Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2023-present

Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star for Employee Benefits, 2014, 2017-present

Top 5 Under 35, Ingham County Bar Association, 2013

10 Over the Next Ten, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Grand River Connection, 2013

Associate Editor, Michigan State Law Review, 2007-2008

Dean Charles H. King Scholars Program, Michigan State University College of Law, 2005-2008

Jurisprudence Awards: Contracts I & Deferred and Executive Compensation

Professional Activities

State Bar of Michigan, Taxation Section Council, 2017-present; Chair, 2023-present; Vice Chair, 2022-2023; Treasurer, 2021-2022; Secretary, 2020-2021; Chair, Employee Benefits Committee, 2015-2017

American Bar Association, Co-Chair, Subcommittee for Tax-Exempt and Governmental Plans, Employee Benefits Committee, Tax Section, 2018-present

Ingham County Bar Association

Civic, Cultural & Social Activities

Underground of Good, Co-Chair, 2017-2021

Highfields, Inc., Board of Directors, 2009-2015, 2020-Present; Board Chair, 2013-2014

Grand River Connection, Board of Directors, 2011-2016; President, 2013-2016

Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2014-2016


"Tax and Employee Benefits Talk: Frequent Tax Issues Facing HR & Updates on SECURE 2.0," Miller Canfield 2024 HR Spring Training

"Impact of Long-Term, Part-Time Employee Rules on Exempt Organization Plans," ABA Employee Benefits Committee Meeting, San Francisco, CA, January 19, 2024

Impact of Recent Noncompete Guidance on 457(f) Arrangements, ABA Tax Section Virtual Fall Meeting, October 19, 2023

"Breaking Down the SECURE 2.0 Act," Miller Canfield 2023 HR Spring Training

Overview of Key SECURE 2.0 Act Provisions, Co-Presenter with Samantha Kopacz, SBM Employee Benefits Committee, April 6, 2023

SECURE 2.0 Update, American Bar Association (ABA) Employee Benefits Committee, San Diego, CA, February 10, 2023

"Retirement Plan Considerations for Estate Planning Professionals: An Update on SECURE and SECURE 2.0," Greater Lansing Estate Planning Council, January 10, 2023

"ERISA Fiduciary Litigation Update: Actuarial Equivalence Litigation and the Fallout from Hughes v. Northwestern," Michigan Tax Conference, Plymouth, MI, May 26, 2022

"Exempt Organization and Governmental Plans Update: Tax-Exempt 457(b) Plan Corrections and Pending Legislative Changes Under SECURE 2.0," ABA Tax Section, Washington, D.C., May 13, 2022

"Employee Benefits in Transactions," State Bar of Michigan (SBM) Tax Section Fundamentals of Taxation Program, Detroit, MI, November 13, 2019

"Treasury/IRS JCEB Technical Sessions Overview," ABA Tax Section, Washington, D.C., May 10, 2019

"Notice 2019-9: Interim Guidance on IRC 4960," ABA Tax Section, Washington, D.C., May 10, 2019

"Open Issues and Concerns Regarding Section 4960 and Notice 2019-9," ABA JCEB Technical Session Meeting with Treasury Department and IRS, May 9, 2019

"Employee Benefits-Related Tax Issues," Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) Tax Law Series, Ann Arbor, MI, October 2017

"Employee Benefits Aspects of Mergers & Acquisitions," SBM Tax & Business Sections Joint Meeting, September 19, 2017

"Life After Determination Letters," Michigan Tax Conference, May 19, 2016

"Correcting Mistakes in Retirement Plan Administration," Plante Moran Training, East Lansing, MI, December 16, 2014


"An Overview of the Secure 2.0 Act" (co-authored with Samantha Kopacz, Katina Gorman and Samuel Parks), Michigan Tax Lawyer, Summer 2023

"An Overview of the SECURE Act," Michigan Tax Lawyer, State Bar of Michigan, 2020

"Section 4960: Unpleasant Surprises and Unanswered Questions for Tax-Exempt Entities with 457 Plans," The Tax Lawyer, American Bar Association, 2018

"United States v. Windsor: Implications for Employee Benefits," Michigan Tax Lawyer, State Bar of Michigan, 2013