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John P. Slagter

Cleveland, OH | D 216.696.5863 | F 216.592.5009 | M 216.570.3700

John Slagter chairs the Tucker Ellis Business Department.

Passionate about real estate and development, John has dedicated his 30-year career to protecting clients’ property rights and achieving their goals. Practicing in all facets of real estate – including acquisition, disposition, leasing, finance, construction, eminent domain, and real property tax – John represents national and regional clients in industry sectors including commercial, office, retail, industrial, and residential.

Notably, John devotes a significant part of his practice to land use and zoning, where he delivers unparalleled solutions in protecting and advancing property rights. He represents clients on a daily basis in matters involving applications for site approvals, variances, conditional use approvals, rezonings, economic development incentives, and litigation related to these issues. He develops and implements strategies to overcome objections by governmental authorities and community activists to secure approvals for his clients in some of the most controversial and difficult cases. John is actively involved in the real estate community on a local and national level, including his engagement as a frequent speaker, writer, and contributor on real estate and land use issues.

John also provides valuable insight to public companies, middle market businesses, and private equity and venture capital clients. He draws on his years of experience as a successful business manager and leader in providing strategic business advisory counsel. He skillfully identifies solutions to clients' most difficult business issues and guides them through their toughest decisions. He takes the time to understand clients' business objectives, as well as anticipate unforeseen issues that may negatively affect the health of a business.

John is ranked in Chambers USA in the area of Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (Ohio). One client remarks that he is “extremely knowledgeable on zoning law and counsels us through the process step by step,” while another client adds that John “has a deep understanding of the law and a good commercial perspective.”

education & admissions


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D., 1991)
  • John Carroll University (B.A., 1988)

state admissions

  • Ohio, 1991

federal admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
publications & events

Speaking Engagements

  • "Your Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness Was Denied – Now What?", Panelist, 2020 In-House Counsel Summit Webinar, Tucker Ellis LLP (December 2020)
  • "Eminent Domain/Just Compensation Issues for Infrastructure Takings," Moderator, 42nd Annual Real Estate Law Institute, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (November 2020)
  • "The Art of Persuasion," Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio (December 2019, December 2018)
  • "Tips from the Bench for Real Estate Lawyers," Moderator, 41st Annual Real Estate Law Institute 2019, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio (November 2019)
  • "Fighting City Hall: Legal Strategies for Project Approval," ICSC U.S. Law Conference, San Diego, California (October 2019)
  • "Land Use, Takings and Zoning Law," Advanced Commercial Real Estate Seminar, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, Ohio (October 2019)
  • "Pay Less Taxes – Preserving Your Property Rights," Tucker Ellis Commercial & Industrial Property Real Estate Forum, Cleveland, Ohio (September 2019)
  • "Leadership Development," Moderator and Presenter, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio (2018)
  • "Land Use Law," International Council of Shopping Centers National Law Conference, Orlando, Florida (2018)
  • "Law Firm Profitability," panelist, Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, Cleveland, Ohio (2017)
  • "World War Z: Surviving the Zoning Apocalypse," Old Republic Land Title Seminar, Columbus, Ohio (2016)


  • "Spring Cleaning Your Ohio Property Tax Liability," Tucker Ellis Client Alert (February 2020)
  • "5 Techniques to Master the Craft of Effective Communication," Crain's Cleveland Business (July 2017)
  • "The Art of the 'Short-Term Deal' – Negotiate Like Trump," Properties (June 2016)
  • "Ohio Supreme Court Protects Property Rights When Zoning Laws Change," Properties (April 2014)

Media Quotes

  • "Commercial Foreclosure Activity Is Picking Up," Crain's Cleveland Business (January 2015)
  • Chambers USA
    • Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (Ohio) (2021)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers® (2004-2021)
    • Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers (2012, 2015, 2016)
    • Top 50 Cleveland Super Lawyers (2012, 2015, 2016)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2007-2022)
    • 2020 Cleveland Lawyer of the Year (Land Use and Zoning Law)
    • 2017 Cleveland Lawyer of the Year (Land Use and Zoning Law)
    • 2016 Cleveland Lawyer of the Year (Litigation – Real Estate)
    • 2013 Cleveland Lawyer of the Year (Litigation – Real Estate)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Rating
  • America's Top 100 Attorneys® Lifetime Achievement
    • Land Use & Eminent Domain Litigation (Ohio)
    • Real Estate Law (Ohio)

in the community
  • International Council of Shopping Centers
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Society of Benchers
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Board of Directors
    • Real Estate and Litigation Sections
    • Legal Fee Dispute Committee
    • Real Estate Institute Planning Committee
  • American Bar Association
    • Litigation, Real Property, and Construction Law Sections
  • Ohio State Bar Association
    • Real Estate and Litigation Sections
    • Governmental Law Subcommittee, Past Chairman
    • Council of Delegates for Real Estate Law Committee
  • Akron Zoo, Co-Vice Chair, Board of Directors
    • Executive and Governance Committee
  • Akron Zoo Foundation, Chair
  • The 50 Club of Cleveland
  • YMCA of Greater Cleveland
    • Executive Board of Directors, Immediate Past Board Chair
    • Executive Committee
    • Governance Committee
    • HR Committee, Chair
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