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300 Linden Oaks, Suite 100, Rochester, New York 14625

Jeffrey M. Johnstone



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Jeff’s practice includes estate planning and administration, general business representation and federal and state tax matters.


  • Member Monroe County Bar Association, Business Law, Tax, Trusts and Estates Sections
  • Member Florida Bar Association Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Rochester Tax Lawyers Luncheon Group
  • Delegate, Moscow Conference on Law and Economic Relations (1990)
  • Co-Chairman, 20th Annual Tax Planning Institute (1979)


  • Harris, Chesworth, Johnstone & Welch, LLP (2015-Present)
  • Harris, Chesworth, O’Brien, Johnstone & Welch, LLP (2004-2015)
  • Harris, Chesworth & O’Brien (1994-2003)
  • Sheldon & Johnstone (1993-1994)
  • Bittker & Johnstone, P.C. (1989-1993)
  • Private Practice (1988-1989)
  • Lane, Johnstone, Sheldon & Neild, P.C. (1986-1988)
  • Johnstone & Sheldon (1984-1986)
  • Private Practice (1982-1984)
  • Goldstein, Goldman, Kessler & Underberg (1978-1982)
  • Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle (1974-1978)


  • Partnership/Marketing Committee of the Finger Lakes Museum
  • Director and Member, Feadan Or Pipe Band
  • Member, Planning Board of the Town of Brighton (1985-92)
  • Writer and lecturer on local history


  • Member, Board of Editors, Vol. 59, Cornell Law Review
  • Phi Beta Kappa


  • Lieutenant U.S.N.R., (1968-1971)


  • Forest owner


Jeffrey M. Johnstone was admitted to the bar in New York in March 1975 and to the bar of Florida in November 1982. He is admitted to the U.S. Court for the Western District of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the U.S. Tax Court. 

Mr. Johnstone graduated from Colgate University, cum laude, with High Honors in his major, in 1967. While at Colgate he was also inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

While attending graduate school, Mr. Johnstone joined the U.S. Navy and graduated from the U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He was commissioned an Ensign and served on active duty with the Naval Security Group as a Russian interpreter, reaching the rank of Lieutenant (O-3). While serving in the Navy, Mr. Johnstone received an M.A. in Russian Studies from Georgetown University. After the Navy, he entered Cornell Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell Law Review, and from which he graduated in 1974.

Upon graduating from law school, Mr. Johnstone became associated with the Rochester, New York, firm of Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle (now the national law firm of Nixon Peabody LLP) where he received a solid grounding in commercial litigation, real estate, administrative law, labor law and tax law. He subsequently headed the tax department at the firm of Goldstein, Goldman, Kessler & Underberg (now called Underberg & Kessler LLP), and founded Jeffrey M. Johnstone, P.C. in 1981, concentrating in business law, tax law and estate planning. He remained in solo and small firm practice until joining Harris, Chesworth & O’Brien, the predecessor of Harris, Chesworth, O’Brien, Johnstone & Welch, LLP, in 1994. Mr. Johnstone is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association, where he has served as head of the Tax Section, and in which he is a member of the Trusts and Estates, Business Law and Tax Law sections. He also is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Florida Bar Association.

Throughout his career, Mr. Johnstone has been actively involved in community affairs, including the Board of Trustees of the Ontario County Museum and Historical Society, the Finger Lakes Museum, the Planning Board of the Town of Brighton, the Lewis Street Center, and the Feadan Or Pipe Band.

Mr. Johnstone has been AV rated, the highest possible peer rating, from Martindale Hubbell, for many years. His practice is concentrated in estate planning, trusts, estate administration, corporations and business, not-for-profit entities, and federal and New York tax.