John H. Birkeland


Denver, Colorado

Phone: 303.299.8225

Fax: 303.298.0940

Areas Of Emphasis


  • LL.M. Taxation, New York University, 1973
  • Juris Doctor, University of Iowa College of Law, 1968
    • magna cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
    • Editor, University of Iowa Law Review
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Iowa, 1966

John Birkeland has more than 40 years of experience in representing individual and business taxpayers in transactional tax planning and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) disputes.

John is a member of Sherman & Howard’s Tax & Probate Department. He has published extensively in the areas of real estate tax planning and the taxation of small- and medium-sized business entities. John is also an expert on the Colorado and Federal tax law relating to conservation easements. John is a past president of the Tax Section of the Colorado Bar Association and of the Denver Tax Association.


  • Routinely provides advice to companies of all sizes regarding federal and state income tax issues, including tax advice concerning the acquisition and disposition of business entities and assets.
  • Advises clients on tax and real estate aspects of conservation easements.
  • Routinely counsels clients facing audits and represents them in administrative proceedings before the Internal Revenue Service and the Colorado Department of Revenue.
  • Routinely advises on and prepares partnership agreements and operating agreements for a variety of business concerns.
  • Provides tax advice concerning the structure and operation of private equity limited partnerships.
  • Routinely counsels clients on commercial real estate transactions.

Professional Activities

  • Colorado Bar Association
    • Tax Section
      • Former Chairman
  • Former President, Metro Denver Executive Club
  • Former President, Denver Tax Association
  • Former Trustee, Board of Trustees, Denver Botanic Gardens


  • Best Lawyers in America, Tax Law, Colorado (2005-2023)
  • Super Lawyers (2006-2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year,” Tax Law (2017)