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Our Attorneys

John E. Christopher "Justice delayed is justice denied." – William E. Gladstone

John E. Christopher is a Founding Partner of Fraternal Law Partners. He helps fraternal clients navigate the legal challenges of non-profit organizations, including seeking and maintaining tax-exempt status, corporate governance matters and grant-making. He also advises national fraternities and sororities, their chapters and their foundations diverse issues including corporate governance and fund stewardship, domestic and foreign grant-making, maintaining the corporate integrity of affiliated organizations, policy and procedure drafting and review, self-dealing and excess benefits transactions review and guidance, and representation of organizations facing IRS audit, issues related to risk management and housing issues. He is a frequent contributor to the Fraternal Law Newsletter, a quarterly publication dedicated to the legal issues relevant to Greek life organizations. He regularly presents at conventions and leadership institutes on issues related to taxes and tax exemption, corporate governance and other topics.

Christopher has been named an Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star by Law and Politics Media and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for nonprofit organizations and taxation since 2007. He is a member of the Ohio State, Kentucky and American Bar Associations. He pledged Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity in 1985 and activated in the spring of 1986. He serves on the board of directors and as treasurer of Old Main Holdings, a nonprofit corporation serving Phi Kappa Tau’s housing organizations. An active member of the fraternal community, Christopher currently serves as treasurer and as a member of the board of directors of the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence. He has served on many volunteer boards and committees within his home community. His passion is coaching youth sports, particularly lacrosse, and was the head coach of the 2018 state champion Mariemont Junior High School Boys Lacrosse team.

Christopher has practiced law since 1994. He earned his J.D. from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University (cum laude, 1993) and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from the University of Florida (1994). He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky (B.A., 1990) where he was a chapter officer, a member of the Interfraternity Council and served on the board of the Southeastern Interfraternity Conference.

Before helping found Fraternal Law Partners, John was a partner in the Cincinnati office of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.

Quick Facts


225 West Court Street

Cincinnati, OH 45202


Practice Areas:


Non-Profit Organizations


Real Estate





United States Tax Court



1994, LL.M. (Taxation), University of Florida

1993, J.D., Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law (cum laude)

1990, B.A., University of Kentucky



Listed in the Best Lawyers in America in Charities / Non Profits

Listed in the Best Lawyers in America in Taxation

Friend of Distinction Award, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity (2017)

Community Affiliations

NIC Foundation

Board of Directors, 2013 – present


Old Main Holdings

Board of Directors, 2012 – present


Mariemont School System Lacrosse Program


Head Coach Mariemont Junior High School Boys Lacrosse Team


Former Assistant Coach Mariemont High School Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team


Former Assistant Coach Mariemont Junior High School Girls Lacrosse Team


Former Assistant Coach Mariemont and Terrace Park Youth Girls Lacrosse Team


Former Assistant Coach Mariemont and Terrace Park Youth Boys Lacrosse Team


Former Member of Foundation Advisory Network of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation


Former Board Member of Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati Foundation


Former Trustee of Hyde Park Community Methodist Church


Former Board Member of St. Aloysius Orphanage


Former Treasurer of Mariemont Pack 1 Cub Scouts and den leader


Former Board Member of Southern Ohio Youth Girls


Lacrosse Association


Ohio Bar Association Mentor, 2013 – present


Ohio State Bar Association


Kentucky Bar Association


Cincinnati Bar Association


Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity – Member


Publications & Publications

Legal Update, BKD Not-for-Profit Education Program – Cincinnati, OH, May 2018


Keynote Speaker, Fraternal Housing Association Annual Conference, September 2017


Legal Update, 2017 PFA Convention, September 2017


Deductible or Not? How to Maximize Your Giving, 2017 Greek Housing Conference, April 2017


IRS and House Corporations, 2017 Phi Delta Theta House Corporation Summit, February 2017