John was born in Norfolk, Virginia and graduated from Kempsville High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Upon graduation from high school, he attended the University of Virginia, where he graduated with Distinction. After leaving the University of Virginia, John continued his education at the Washington & Lee School of Law where he wrote for the Law Review and graduated with a Juris Doctorate.
John began his legal career with the firm of Jett, Berkley, Furr and Padgett in Norfolk, Virginia as a maritime attorney. The firm merged with McGuireWoods, LLP, an international law firm with over 1,000 lawyers in 21 offices. John currently serves as the managing partner of McGuireWoods’ Norfolk office and is the head of its Transportation Industry Team.
During his legal career, John has worked with a wide range of corporations in every phase of corporate existence. His clients and projects have included the Virginia Port Authority, the construction of the largest private container terminal in North America, the salvage of the Titanic wreck site and the sale of luxury passenger liner SS United States. During John’s legal career, he has been recognized by his peers as one of the best corporate and transportation lawyers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has, also, been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America in Transportation Law, Corporate Law and in Mergers and Acquisitions, and a Recognized Practitioner in national shipping regulations by Chamber’s USA.
John was the President of the Norfolk Rotary Club in 2011-12.
John is a graduate of the Rotary Leadership Institute and is a member of the Paul Harris Society. John also served as an Assistant Governor, and as Chair of the District 7600 Foundation Grants Committee.
John has served in leadership roles in many other community organizations, including Chair of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, Chair of the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance, Chair of the Tidewater Community College (TCC) Board and Chair of the State Council for Higher Education (SCHEV).
John was active in youth recreation serving as a coach for a variety of youth sports, including the coach of an All-star baseball team that placed second in the Virginia Little League Tournament. John graduated from both Lead Hampton Roads and the Civic Leadership programs. John has received various leadership awards, including the Julien Hirst Leadership Award from the Chamber of Commerce, the Order of the Red Triangle from the YMCA, was designated as a Leader in the Law by his colleagues, and was the recipient of the Virginia Community College Award for Exemplary Service as a Board member.
John is married to Lee Ann Padgett, is the father of two sons and lives in Norfolk, Virginia.