J. Christian Tennant Counsel

Christian is a member of the firm's taxation and employee benefits practice group. His practice focuses on state and local tax and represents both individuals and businesses.

He has significant experience with Virginia taxes and taxes imposed by other states, business tax planning, and lobbying efforts in the Virginia General Assembly. Christian has handled administrative audit appeals before the Virginia Department of Taxation and various Virginia localities. He is also counsel to taxpayers who have sought judicial remedies in challenging tax assessments.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods, Christian worked in the Virginia Department of Taxation’s Policy Development office. During his tenure there, he evaluated audit protests received by the department, represented the Department of Taxation before various committees and subcommittees of the Virginia General Assembly, and monitored how changes to the Internal Revenue Code affected Virginia. In addition, he was often charged with drafting new tax legislation for the governor of Virginia, members of the General Assembly, and various agencies of the Commonwealth. Many of the provisions Christian drafted are now codified in the Code of Virginia.

Christian authored the chapter on Virginia Taxation in the 2017 edition of the Virginia Law and Practice: A Handbook for Attorneys published by Virginia CLE Publications.  Christian has also authored a variety of articles involving all aspects of state and local tax issues for the Multistate Tax Report, published by BNA’s Tax Management, Inc. and for State Tax Notes, published by Tax Analysts, Inc. 


Counsel to more than 400 taxpayers in the largest income tax case in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Skillfully represented clients in challenging tax assessments, including assessments of Virginia individual income tax based on an individual’s state of residency.

Effectively represented clients challenging local Virginia taxes such as the real property tax, personal property tax, business professional and occupational license (BPOL) tax, and machinery and tools tax.

Co-authored numerous briefs before the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Developed creative legislative solutions to Virginia tax issues.

  • Virginia
  • University of Richmond School of Law, JD, 1998
  • James Madison University, BBA, Accounting, 1995

Member, Board of Governors, Taxation Section, Virginia State Bar, 2008-2014

Chairman, Taxation Section, Virginia Bar Association, 2009-2010

President and Director, The Community Tax Law Project, 2009-2015

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