John W. Flora

John W. Flora


John Flora has practice expertise ranging from serving as lead counsel of a publicly-held Fortune 500 company to representing private companies and their owners from business formation through succession. Much of the business work has involved agricultural ventures and cooperatives. John has substantial experience in negotiating and consummating business transactions. Service to non-profit organizations related to tax and business issues, has also involved serving as General Counsel for many years to the Bridgewater Retirement Community, a Virginia CCRC. His practice also specializes in estate planning, farm succession and wealth management. In all these areas, John brings to bear substantial technical expertise in federal and state taxation law. As both a technician and an advisor, John is effective in helping clients resolve complex tax and people problems, particularly in the areas of business and farm succession, and estate planning and administration.

John has been a member of the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren since the commencement of his legal career.  He has been active in the local church, and at the district and denominational level, including a ten year stint as a member of the denomination’s Brethren Benefit Trust, and currently serving on the Board of Bethany Theological Seminary. In recent years he has contributed his time assisting in many community capital campaign fundraising efforts.

John and his family have preserved and maintained an 1820s historic home on the North River.  Yard and maintenance work provides a much needed break from the mental rigors of a law practice. John also enjoys snow skiing and hiking.


  • Served as business advisor and lead counsel to “start up” poultry cooperative structured to help 130 farm families and 450 employees
  • Counseled many start-up agri-business ventures that have attracted substantial capital from traditional lenders to community and private equity funding sources to fuel rapid growth into national food markets
  • Served as lead counsel in over 20 mergers and acquisitions by publicly held poultry corporation and two major divestitures of its corporate subsidiaries (transactional values ranging in size from $1 million to $80 million)
  • Served as lead counsel to first wind farm developer in Virginia
  • Negotiated and consummated taxable and tax-free transactions with public companies on behalf of private business clients
  • Assisted hundreds of landowners in preserving farm land and resources above and below the ground by negotiating conservation easements, wine farm leases, natural gas/fracking leases, solar leases and water rights agreements
  • Served as lead counsel to publicly held corporation during its successful defense of a hostile takeover attempt by Tyson Foods and during its negotiation with and acquisition by Pilgrim's Pride Corporation
  • Successfully handled an estate tax refund case through successful defense at the Federal District Court, IRS appeal to the Fourth Circuit, and settlement of the appeal with the Department of Justice
  • Assisted many philanthropic individuals create significant Charitable Lead and Dynasty Trusts to balance tax savings, philanthropy and family asset stewardship
  • Assisted hundreds of families in developing estate and financial plans as well as providing estate administration advice focused on minimizing family conflict and administrative cost


  • Virginia


  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, Trusts and Estates, 2012 - 2022, Tax, 2018-2022 (Copyright by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC)
  • Named Best Lawyers® Charlottesville Tax Law “Lawyer of the Year,” 2019, 2021 (Copyright by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC)
  • Selected to “Legal Elite,” Virginia Business
    • Taxes/Estates/Trusts/Elder Law, 2009 - 2015, 2017 - 2018
    • Taxes/Trusts/Estates, 2001 - 2008, 2019 - 2020
  • Selected to “Virginia Super Lawyers,” Tax, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2006 - 2010, 2012

AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used under in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

News & Events

Upcoming Speaking Engagements
  • March 8, 2014:  John will present a program at The 18th Annual Advanced Real Estate Seminar in Williamsburg, regarding "Fracking in the Old Dominion"
    • Approved and done in southwest Virginia, rejected in Rockingham County and projected to occur in the Taylorsville Basin
    • Lessons learned from Bergton and how this "game-changer" may impact your real estate practice
Recent Speaking Engagements
  • February 6, 2014:  John will be spoke at The New Agriculture Education Council's Winter Learning Series regarding Legal Issues with Farmland Leasing
Professional Involvement
  • Member of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Bar Association
    • President in 1995
  • American Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
    • Past Chairman of Tax Section
  • Virginia State Bar
    • Past Chairman of Tax Section
Community Involvement
  • Blue Ridge Community College Foundation 
    • Chair (2003-2006)
    • Campaign Steering Committee (2014-2017)
  • Harrisonburg/Rockingham Free Clinic (2000-2008)
  • Community Tax Law Project
    • 25 years on Board, now on Advisory Board
  • Rockingham Memorial Hospital Planned Gifts Committee
    • Chair (1985–1990)
  • Rockingham Memorial Hospital Foundation (1984 – 1988)
  • Bridgewater HealthCare, Inc.
    • Board Member and Chair (2011, 2012, 2019 - 2020)
  • Brethren Benefit Trust
    • Chair (1992 – 1998)
  • Bethany Theological Seminary
    • Board Member
    • Institutional Advancement Committee, Chair
  • Shenandoah Telecommunications Co.
    • Board Member
    • Compensation Committee, Chair
Practice Areas Education

The Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary
Williamsburg, Virginia
LL.M., Taxation, 1981

The Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary
Williamsburg, Virginia
J.D., 1980

College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, Virginia
B.A., 1977

Highlighted Recognitions

Best Lawyers of 2020 Badge