“My military experience strengthened my ability to build teams to develop and achieve goals – a skill that has served my clients exceptionally well.”
John serves as Counsel in the firm’s Government Relations practice group where he assists a diverse group of domestic and international clients with economic development advice and government affairs representation at the local and state level.
As a key leader of the firm’s Economic Development Team, John has experience assisting manufacturers, real estate developers, and warehouse/distribution facilities with securing state and local tax incentives, grants, and tax exemptions. John specializes in finding cost savings and up-front money for his clients through various incentive arrangements and vehicles to include abandoned building tax credits, energy grant programs (state and federal), fee-in-lieu of tax agreements, historical tax credits (state and federal), income tax credits, property tax credits (i.e. bailey bill and others), multi-county business parks, port volume increase tax credits, retail and textile revitalization credits, state and local grant programs, state job development/retraining tax credits, and other individualized arrangements. His economic development knowledge coupled with his government relations experience makes John a valuable asset in developing new comprehensive incentive packages, improvements or extensions of existing incentive packages, creation of workforce development strategies, and any required statutory changes to help advance his client’s goals.
As a key member of the firm’s Government Relations Practice Group and the former General Counsel and Vice President of Government Relations with the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, John has experience assisting manufacturers and other businesses with legislative and regulatory matters before the South Carolina General Assembly, the Governor’s Office, various state agencies, and local governments. For over three years, John represented and advocated for the South Carolina manufacturing industry on tax, economic development, environmental, energy, labor & employment, legal reform, and workforce development issues.
In 2021, John successfully helped draft and lead a coalition to pass the South Carolina COVID-19 Liability Immunity Act to protect businesses from frivolous lawsuits related to COVID-19. In 2020, he was also able to build a coalition and successfully pass the South Carolina Business License Tax Standardization Act that streamlines the State’s business license tax compliance requirements easing compliance burdens on businesses and clarifying what business income is excluded from the tax. He is also responsible for amending legislation to preserve $645 million in annual state manufacturing sales tax exemptions.
John finds purpose in every action he takes. Leaning into his work ethic, attention to detail, and family history in law, John offers passionate complex problem solving to his clients. Seeing the chance to help people as the reason he practices law, John works closely with clients, learning their goals and quickly assessing the risks they face. With impeccable organization, John assembles the right team who will represent his clients with the highest amount of integrity, while delivering the most optimal results in the most efficient manner possible.
When he’s not in the office, John enjoys spending time with his wife (Rachael) and their two young children (Piper & Jack) and you can find them around town at the local parks, the Riverbanks Zoo, or fishing on various rivers, lakes, and ponds around the state. As a former Division I Athlete and member of the Army Men’s Swimming Team, John still enjoys swimming and any type of physical exercise. He is a huge college football fan and loves the Alabama Crimson Tide, South Carolina Gamecocks, and the Army Black Knights.
John earned his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law and his B.A. from the United States Military Academy.
Service has always been a core value of John’s. Prior to law school, John served in the United States Army where he was deployed on five combat rotations overseas. After serving our country, John takes great pride in serving the State and his local community by serving with various veteran organizations, state working groups, and with his church (Shandon Baptist). In 2021, John helped the South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs create the first statewide veteran and military spouse hiring event with a match-making component to make the event efficient for both job seekers and employers. He continues to volunteer his time to help grow this effort and has helped plan four more hiring events around the state for 2022.