Kieran J. Shanahan



Professional Experience

Kieran J. Shanahan, originally from McLean, Virginia, is a former federal prosecutor and an experienced litigator with extensive trial court experience in federal and state courts around the country. He is also a Certified Mediator with substantial Alternative Dispute Resolution experience.  As a Principal in Shanahan McDougal since 2001, Kieran handles a wide variety of cases, including banking matters, business disputes, employment and construction matters, as well as class action, administrative, and federal white collar defense matters.  He also handles corporate compliance, professional licensing, and internal investigations for professionals and corporations under regulatory scrutiny. His non-litigation experience is substantial and includes general business, corporate and banking advice to small and medium size companies.

Kieran is a 1979 graduate of East Carolina University (BSBA cum laude) and UNC School of Law (1982).  During law school, Kieran served as an Editor on the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulations and was a member of the prestigious Holderness Moot Court Bench.  Kieran spent over five years as an Assistant United States Attorney, serving in both the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Northern District of Georgia, where he concentrated in the investigation and prosecution of white collar crime. In 1989, Kieran received the Directors Award from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and was recognized as one of the most outstanding federal prosecutors in the country.  Kieran has been chosen as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers” in America by the National Trial Lawyers, is a peer selected “Best Lawyers in America” honoree, has been recognized as a North Carolina Super Lawyer, was elected to Business North Carolina Magazine’s “Legal Elite”, and has been chosen “A Leader in the Law” in North Carolina. He has also been named one of the Irish Legal 100, an annual compilation of the most distinguished legal professionals in the United States who share one common bond: pride in their Irish roots.

Kieran has an AV® Peer Review Rating (preeminent) from the Martindale Hubbell International Law Directory.  This designation is considered the height of professional excellence for an attorney who has usually practiced law for many years and is being recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.

Public Service

In 2013 Kieran took a leave of absence from the firm to serve then Governor Pat McCrory as his Secretary of the NC Department of Public Savety where he oversaw law enforcement, emergency management, its prison system, and the NC National Guard.

Kieran was appointed to the East Carolina University Board of Trustees by Governor Pat McCrory in December 2014 and was elected Vice Chairman of the board in July 2015. He was elected to be Chairman of the Board in 2017. He previously served on the board from 2011 to 2013. Kieran also served as Chairman of the American Heart Association’s 2016 Triangle Heart Ball, is Chairman of the N.C. Property Rights Coalition, is a member of the Centennial Authority, which oversees the PNC Center in Raleigh, and is also a member of the Federalist Society. Kieran is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina and has served on the Board of Trustees  of Bennett College for Women.  A lifelong Republican, Kieran served four elected terms on the Raleigh City Council, was Finance Chair for the North Carolina GOP, and was a delegate to the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Republican National Conventions.

Among the most prestigious awards given by the Governor of North Carolina is The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. It is awarded to those who display exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities. Kieran, and his wife Tina, received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2016.


Kieran is married to Christina (Tina) Alvarado Shanahan, a Rear Admiral in the US Navy (RC) and a Multiple World and National Champion equestrian.  They have three children: Kate, Jimmy, and Patrick.

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Recommendation from John G. Armel, Financial and Operations Executive at Armel Consulting

“In over forty years of business experiences, Kieran Shanahan and his firm are the best that I have seen. The professional and leadership abilities are unsurpassed. The support that is provided and technical expertise are outstanding.”