David J. Colligan

David Colligan practices in the area of corporate and business law, timber law, commercial real estate transactions, business succession planning and cooperative apartment law.  As a young lawyer, Mr. Colligan’s practice concentrated in the banking field and involved litigation including foreclosures and collection matters. He also has a great deal of experience in bank form drafting and consumer credit matters which eventually led to him being elected as Chair of the Banking Law Committee of the Erie County Bar Association in 1985.  At that time his strong background in commercial business matters and contracts led him to develop a clientele involving successful entrepreneurs and other closely held business interests.  His experience with entrepreneurs and their growing companies resulted in him joining Western New York Venture Association where local companies raise venture capital to fuel the growth of their companies and in 2004 he was invited to join the Board of the Western New York Venture Association on which he now serves.

As a result of Mr. Colligan’s avocation of maple syrup making he began to educate himself on trees and forestry matters.  He began to lecture extensively on forestry law issues, wrote many articles on legal issues related to timberland owners in such magazines as Forest Owner, the magazine of New York Forest Owners Association; Tree Farmer, a magazine of the National Woodland Owners Association, and authored an article entitled “Forest Land Taxation in the New Millennium: Stewardship Incentivized” which appeared in the Denver University Law Review, Volume 78, No. 3 in 2001.  Through these efforts he successfully converted his hobby into an important area of practice for the firm.

The firm’s expanding timber and forestry law practice caused Mr. Colligan to establish this website, dedicated to the legal issues surrounding forest land ownership and timber production.  Mr. Colligan’s timber law practice has continued to expand and he was invited to speak at an international timber law investing seminar held in the financial district of New York City in December of 2006 on the topic of “Multiple Revenue Sources from Timberland”. As a result of representing a diverse and extensive landowner clientele, Mr. Colligan’s practice has expanded into all areas of natural resource law including oil and gas, FERC hydroelectric, relicensing, windmills and mining.

Mr. Colligan’s community service has been extensive.  He is a founding trustee of the Buffalo City Honors foundation.  He is a director of the Buffalo Green Fund and chair of the Reforest Buffalo effort.  He is a chair of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, an organization dedicated to preserving and restoring Buffalo’s Olmsted designated parks; the first Olmsted Park System completed in this country.  He is also a board member of the Western New York Venture Association working on a sub-committee to try to regionalize angel investing strategies.  David also served as co-chair of Re-Tree WNY, a coalition of groups formed under Keep Western New York Beautiful Inc. to help Western New York recover from the October 13, 2006 snowstorm which devastated the tree resources in many of the communities and towns of Western New York.  He formerly served as sub-committee chairman of the Regional Consensus Committee, a coalition of Niagara Power Plant stakeholders working to relicense the Niagara Power Plant focusing his effort on the creation of the Niagara River Greenway; and was formerly a director of the Empire State Forest Products Association.

Mr. Colligan’s community services have been well recognized.  In 2002 the Buffalo Newsnamed him a “Citizen of the Year” in recognition of his efforts to reforest the City of Buffalo.  In 2003, Mr. Colligan received the prestigious “Heiberg Memorial Award” for an outstanding contribution to the fields of forestry and conservation in New York State given by the New York Forest Owners Association.  Re Tree WNY received the 2008 National Arbor Day Foundation program award that Mr. Colligan accepted in Nebraska City, Nebraska on April 26, 2008.


  • State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D., 1977
  • State University of New York College at Geneseo, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1974

Admitted to Practice

  • New York State, 1978
  • United States District Court, Western District of New York, 1978
  • United States Supreme Court, 1984

Practice Areas

  • Corporate Law
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Natural Resource Law
    • Oil & Gas Law
    • Wind Energy Law
  • Timber and Forestry Law