John F. DeStefano

Of Counsel

Washington, D.C.
T +1.202.861.1742
F +1.202.861.1783


John DeStefano’s familiarity with stewarding wealth serves a direct benefit to his high-net-worth clients. John draws on his background in private equity finance and portfolio management at a multibillion-dollar foundation to advise public company executives, emerging growth company founders and private investors across the country on building and sustaining a family legacy over multiple generations.

John also provides a rare blend of the practical and theoretical aspects of law, serving as Of Counsel with the firm and as a law professor at a private law school in North Carolina, where he teaches and publishes in the areas of wills and trusts, estate planning, income tax, and estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax.

John utilizes an outcome-driven approach to legacy planning. He begins by listening to each family’s unique wishes and goals – often including family asset preservation, tax-efficient wealth transfer and impactful philanthropy – then designs a custom legacy plan focused on accomplishing those outcomes. His approach continues with annual family summits that keep the family’s legacy plan on an optimal course to realizing its mission. Throughout the process, he collaborates with each family’s investment advisors and accountants, supports trustees with trust administration and provides creative solutions to irrevocable trust modifications, trustee changes and sensitive family dynamics to enhance structures clients may already have in place. Following this comprehensive and disciplined approach to wealth stewardship increases a family’s chance of long-term success – which is what John hopes for every client.

Recognitions and Memberships


  • Best Lawyers in America® Tax Law: Ones to Watch (2022)
  • Supreme Court of Florida Pro Bono Service Silver Pin (2017)
  • Supreme Court of Florida Pro Bono Service Bronze Pin (2016)


  • American Bar Association: Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
  • The Florida Bar: Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section


  • The John Carroll Society (Archdiocese of Washington)

Prior Positions

  • U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida, Economic Crimes Section: Law Clerk (2013)
  • U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Enforcement Division, Asset Management Unit: Law Clerk (2012)


  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • Florida
  • District of Columbia


  • LL.M., Taxation, University of Florida Levin College of Law, 2015; Book Award in Estate Planning
  • J.D., University of Florida Levin College of Law, 2014
  • M.S., Finance, University of Florida, 2009
  • B.S., Finance, University of Florida, 2008; Warrington Finance Scholar