John’s practice has afforded him extensive experience in commercial real estate transactions of all types, including acquisitions, financings, development, construction, leasing and disposition. Early in his career, his practice was focused principally in the areas of oil and gas, estate planning/probate and commercial real estate, though in those days his principal exposure to commercial real estate came largely from representing financial institutions engaged in making mortgage loans secured by commercial real estate.
During the difficult stretch of years in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, John was able to gain invaluable experience from seeing first-hand the difficulties that can present themselves in distressed or “down” markets, for during that period of time the real estate lending practice in Texas became largely a real estate loan workout practice. Subsequently, he began to focus additionally and heavily on the acquisition, development and leasing aspects of commercial real estate projects, principally in connection with retail and mixed-use centers, representing developers and owners, as well as national retailers, family-owned businesses and other end users of all types. John conservatively estimates that, over the course of his practice, he has negotiated retail leases collectively covering space in excess of ten million square feet. More recently, his practice has expanded to include the acquisition and development of residential communities, but his practice remains diverse in that he routinely continues to be on both sides of all types of commercial real estate transactions, representing sellers and buyers, landlords and tenants, lenders and borrowers, owners and contractors.
John was born in San Angelo, Texas, and was raised a West-Texan in the rural ranching community of Sonora, Texas. He attended The University of Texas at Austin, where he received a BBA with Honors in Accounting and, subsequently, his JD from The University of Texas School of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section, the Austin Bar Association, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA). John is a Martindale Hubbell/Lawyers.com AV Preeminent top-rated lawyer, and, in May of 2016, he was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to a 6-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
John and his wife, Ellen, have two sons, Web and Patrick. John and Ellen are past Presidents of the Westlake Chap Club, and John served for many years as a football, basketball and baseball coach for his boys’ youth-league teams through the West Austin Youth Association. John presently serves on the UT Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee, Ashbel Smith Circle, and regularly serves as Vice-Chair for the Capitol Area Council, Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award. When he and Ellen are not attending a UT sporting event with one or both of their sons, you can find John out for a run on Lady Bird Lake in Austin, on a fishing trip with family and friends in the mountains of Colorado or along the Texas coast, or honing his golf game at Austin Golf Club, where he has been an active member since its inception in 2000.