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Michael J. Tierney

Primary Office
1500 Market St., Suite 3500E
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Direct(215) 575-7292
Fax(215) 575-7200


Michele Sherel
Direct(215) 575-7199

Michael Tierney concentrates his practice in a wide variety of corporate and real estate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity financings, fund formation, corporate governance issues, zoning, land use, and tax assessment appeals.

He represents companies and individuals in forming new businesses, structuring corporate governance arrangements, performing due diligence review and analysis in connection with proposed acquisitions and investments, and drafting and negotiating business agreements. Among other engagements, he was lead counsel representing the group of local investors who purchased The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and from The McClatchy Company for $562 million.

Additionally, Michael represents individuals and entities in obtaining necessary zoning, use, building, and other development-related permits, variances, and approvals from the relevant City or suburban agencies needed to build or modify a building or otherwise operate a business.  He also represents property owners appealing their tax assessments before City and suburban assessment boards and, if necessary, on further appeal.  Among other successful appeals, Michael recently secured a significant tax savings for a $100 million regional shopping mall.

After law school, Michael clerked for Magistrate Judge Peter B. Scuderi of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  He currently chairs Dilworth’s Lateral Hiring Committee.

Representative Experience

  • Represented the managing partners in their formation of a $50 million, agriculture-focused, private equity fund.
  • Represented the Philadelphia region's fastest-growing public relations firm in a joint venture with a $700 million private equity fund.  
  • Represented the local group of investors (Philadelphia Media Holdings, LLC) that purchased The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and related publishing properties from The McClatchy Company for $562 million, making the Inquirer the largest locally-owned newspaper in the country at that time.
  • Represented a medical device manufacturer in a $3 million strategic acquisition.
  • Represented various private equity funds in their investments in portfolio companies.
  • Represented one of the nation’s fastest growing privately-held companies ( Magazine) in its acquisition by a publicly-held company.
  • Represented one the largest REITs in the country (appx. 35 million sq. ft. under ownership) in the successful appeal of the real estate tax assessment for a $100+ million shopping mall.
  • Represented the chief of staff to the governor of Puerto Rico in a matter where the island's largest newspaper sued the governor and his cabinet for alleged First Amendment violations.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Vice-Chairman, Government Outreach Committee for the World Meeting of Families 2015 (Papal visit to Philadelphia)
  • Appointed by Governor Tom Corbett to the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board
  • Member, Romney Stars
  • Chairman, Finance Committee for Risa Vetri Ferman's successful reelection campaign for Montgomery County (PA) District Attorney
  • Member, Easttown Township Zoning Hearing Board
  • Chairman of the Board, Greener Partners
  • Board Member, Neumann University
  • Board Member, The Philadelphia Charity Ball
  • Member, Archdiocese of Philadelphia Real Estate Committee

Speeches & Presentations

  • Presenter, "My Client Just Received a Zoning Violation, Now What?" Pennsylvania Bar Institute 18th Annual Real Estate Institute, December 5, 2014.
  • Guest lecturer at Denison University's Organizational Studies Program, May 21, 2012.
  • Speaker, "What you need to know about Philadelphia's new Zoning Code," Dilworth Paxson, Philadelphia, May 3, 2012.
  • Spoke at NASDAQ’s closing bell on May 20, 2011 about the importance of philanthropy, commemorating the 130th anniversary of The Philadelphia Charity Ball.
  • Presented “Legal Liability Related to Social Media/Networking Web Sites – What Schools Should Know,” on November 30, 2009 to SEPCHE (Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education), a consortium of eight independent higher-education institutions in the Greater Philadelphia region.
  • Panelist at the Widener University School of Law’s fourth annual Dean’s Leadership Forum, hosted by Dean Linda L. Ammons on September 21, 2009.

Professional Recognition

  • Philadelphia VIP, Inc. (Volunteers for the Indigent Program), Volunteer of the Month, September 2013
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Alternate Biographies





  • J.D., Widener University School of Law, 1993
    • Articles Editor, Delaware Journal of Corporate Law
  • B.A., Chemistry, Denison University, 1989

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1993
  • New Jersey, 1993