Photo of Brian T. Gallagher

Brian T. Gallagher

Senior Counsel




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 Treasurer 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

Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star for Employee Benefits, 2014, 2017-2021

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; Secretary, 2020-2021; Treasurer, 2021-present; 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


"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," American Bar Association (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 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