John H. Cornell - Community Development Finance - Nixon Peabody LLP

John H. Cornell, III

John Cornell represents investors, syndicators, developers and lenders in transactions involving federal and state tax credits and other incentives.

What do you focus on?

Currently, my practice focuses on the three main areas below. I’m passionate about tax credit investing and am a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

Fund formation, finance and administration

I focus in fund formation and securities law for clients in the tax credit area. Most recently my team successfully completed a $150,000,000 institutional tax equity fund for a national sponsor of low-income housing tax credit investments. I represent many fund sponsors in negotiating warehouse and bridge credit facilities, in secondary market transactions and in general corporate matters. I took a leading role in developing the industry’s position on the Dodd-Frank financial reforms.

Historic rehabilitation

I have extensive experience in transactions involving the historic rehabilitation tax credit. My team recently represented a bank investor in the rehabilitation of a historic hospital complex in New York City, which is being converted to luxury apartments. We are also representing a developer chain in the historic rehabilitation of school building in Fall River, Massachusetts which is being converted tomixed use project. Many of my HTC deals are combined with new markets tax credits and state tax credits.

Renewable energy

I also focus on representing developers and investors in renewable energy transactions. Our team successfully represented a developer in a series of utility scale solar PV installations sited on capped landfills just recently. I am also working on an innovative clean energy fund family for solar and fuel cell investments.  

What do you see on the horizon?

We have been following tax reform initiatives as well as the new IRS guidance on historic rehabilitation tax credit transactions. We are developing strategies to help clients deal with the new guidance and I will be co-chairing an industry conference to explore these issues.


  • “Structuring Historic Deals — Considerations and current trends,” IPED’s Historic Tax Credit Summit, Washington, DC, June 16, 2022
  • “Information–Incentives for Successful Preservation Projects – Part I and Part II,” Michigan Historic Preservation Network's 40th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference, Webinar, September 22, 2020


John H. Cornell, III



Phone: 617-345-1127

Fax: 866-947-1691

Boston College Law School, J.D., magna cum laude

Boston College, A.B., magna cum laude


John Cornell is a member of the Boston Bar Association.
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