S. John Kelly

Of Counsel
P:(412) 281-5423
F:(412) 281-8264


John Kelly is an experienced tax professional with a strong corporate background. Mr. Kelly came to Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky (SMGG) in 2016 and focuses on the practice areas of tax, commercial transactions, and corporate law.

Mr. Kelly’s background is in manufacturing, service, retail, high tech, software, financial services, oil and gas, healthcare, transportation, telecommunication, recreation, and international business.

Born in New York and raised near Pittsburgh, Mr. Kelly began his tax career with a national CPA firm in Pittsburgh then shifted to a local law firm before working for Eastman Kodak where he served as Tax Counsel for five years. Most recently, he worked for Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless as Assistant General Counsel-Tax for twelve years.

Mr. Kelly handles tax planning and disputes covering federal, state, and local tax law. He has represented buyers and sellers in M&A deals ranging from $200K to $26B, involving both publicly traded and privately held businesses. Mr. Kelly has also successfully represented individual taxpayers before the IRS resulting in large tax loss carryforwards, refunds, and reductions. For specialized industry clients, Mr. Kelly has collaborated across industries to convince the IRS to eliminate burdensome, industry-specific tax, record keeping for customers, and issue favorable depreciation guidance.  In addition, to advising private clients, Mr. Kelly provides local tax advice to a large municipality.

Mr. Kelly and his wife live in the South Hills.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Pittsburgh Tax Club

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Recognition & Awards


  • J.D., cum laude, law review, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • B.A., with distinction and honors, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Tax Court