Allison Kernisky is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Tysons and Miami offices and a member of the firm's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice. As a member of the firm's Securities Enforcement Defense Team and White Collar Defense and Investigations Team, Ms. Kernisky focuses her nationwide practice primarily on securities litigation, with an emphasis on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) enforcement matters. She routinely defends business entities (including public and private companies, corporate directors and officers, broker-dealer firms, registered investment advisers and their associated registered persons, mutual funds and hedge funds) in SEC and FINRA matters, other federal and state governmental investigations and enforcement actions, internal investigations, securities and consumer class actions, shareholder derivative actions, merger and acquisition (M&A) disputes, and FINRA investigations and arbitration claims.

Ms. Kernisky also handles consumer fraud and other complex business litigation. She also has significant experience advising clients on matters of regulatory compliance.

In addition, Ms. Kernisky has successfully represented plaintiffs and claimants in complex business-to-business disputes, and breaches of representations and warranties and other M&A-related claims. She has extensive experience in e-discovery as well.

Ms. Kernisky has also handled a number of pro bono representations, including successfully appealing Social Security disability claims and assisting several nonprofit clients to acquire or reacquire tax exempt status as 501(c) organizations with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). She has initiated two pro bono projects within the firm to assist Legal Services of Greater Miami Inc. (LSGMI) with its Social Security disability appeals and its fair housing clients.

Ms. Kernisky is editor for the Holland & Knight SECond Opinions Blog.

During law school, Ms. Kernisky served as articles and comments editor for the University of Miami Law Review.

Representative Experience

  • Insider Trading: Represented a number of individuals suspected of insider trading by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), often employing sophisticated analyses of the client's trading to rebut any inference that it was based on material, nonpublic information; also represented corporations in investigations concerning potential insider trading by their officers and employees
  • Financial Reporting and Disclosure: Represented public companies and their officers (CEOs, CFOs and controllers) in SEC investigations concerning the accuracy of their financial statements and other public disclosures
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML): Represented broker-dealer firms in investigations by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) of potential AML violations, including the adequacy and enforcement of their compliance procedures
  • Market Manipulation: Represented high-speed algorithmic trading firms in SEC investigations into potential market manipulation; represented pharmaceutical executive in SEC investigation into potential market manipulation
  • Trading Practices and Trade Reporting: Represented broker-dealer firms in FINRA investigations of their trading practices, including compliance with the markup rule, inter-positioning, trade allocation and cherry-picking
  • Offering Fraud: Represented entities and individuals in SEC investigations of potential fraud in the offering of securities
  • Mutual Funds: Represented advisers to mutual funds and fund board members in SEC investigations concerning performance advertising, compliance procedures, best execution, commission recapture and the receipt of soft dollars
  • FINRA Trading Inquiries: Represented public companies in responding to trading inquiries
  • FINRA Arbitration: Defended broker-dealer against customer suitability claims
  • Internal Investigations: Conducted and assisted a number of internal investigations, typically concerning financial reporting

  • Defended cruise line, pharmaceutical companies, high-tech equipment manufacturers, financial institutions, utilities, media companies and medical device manufacturers in federal securities class actions
  • Obtained dismissal for a nationwide homebuilder in a shareholder derivative action
  • Resolved merger litigation for medical device manufacturers, insurance provider and consumer audio electronics manufacturer
  • Defended casinos, media companies and health product companies in consumer class actions

  • Failed accounting software implementation dispute: For a multibillion-dollar financial services firm, sued a global software provider; minutes before opening statements to the jury, the matter resolved for more than seven times the defendant's highest previous offer
  • High-value products liability and consumer fraud claims: For one of the largest manufacturers of ink, pursued claims against international and domestic defendants for consumer fraud, misrepresentations and products liability valued at approximately $20 million


  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Maryland, B.A., English Literature
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Virginia
Court Admissions
  • All State Courts in Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • American Bar Association
  • Women's Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County, Board Member, 2013-2015
Honors & Awards
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2021
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star Award, 2017
  • Dean's Certificate of Achievement in the Elements of Law Course, 2002 
  • Walker Digital Legal Assistant Scholarship, 2000


Speaking Engagements