Summary

Christopher “Kit” Houston is a member of Taft’s Construction and Real Estate practice groups. Kit has vast experience and expertise in negotiating and drafting construction contracts employing various delivery models, including IPD, DB, DBB, CMAR, CMMP, and PPP. While Kit’s practice is focused on construction contract drafting, he has a rich history in general real estate and development issues. As a part of his real estate practice, Kit advises clients on legal issues encountered with acquisitions, development, land use and zoning, financing, commercial leasing (office/retail/industrial), and title. Specifically, Kit acts as outside counsel to a major multi-state hospital network, where he negotiates medical office leases, ground leases, and purchase and sale agreements. Kit formerly served as the vice president of a reputable title insurance agency, and he has advised oil and gas exploration companies on issues related to the development of the Utica Shale. Utilizing his knowledge of title and energy issues, Kit currently advises clients pursing solar developments in Ohio and Kentucky. In recognition of his achievements, Kit has been designated an Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star each year from 2016 through 2022 – a distinction awarded to only 2.5% of all attorneys in Ohio under the age of 40 – and Best Lawyers, Ones to Watch, since its inception in 2021.

In addition to his real estate practice, Kit serves as general counsel for many of his business clients where he provides legal advice on all issues affecting their growing market shares, including issues related to federal and state regulatory compliance, corporate governance, and contract negotiations. Where his business clients encounter legal issues outside of his expertise, Kit leverages the collective knowledge of Taft’s attorneys to provide full-service legal guidance. Similar to his counseling of private sector clients, Kit serves as the Village Solicitor of a local municipality where he provides legal guidance to the village in all aspects of government representation and governance.

Early in his career, Kit gained extensive experience in the courtroom where he handled federal and state court litigation matters dealing with a vast range of legal disputes involving commercial real estate, construction, breach of contract, advertising and First Amendment law, and other complex multi-district litigation.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, Kit was a professional pilot. He currently holds his commercial multi-engine pilot certificate, as well as various flight instructor and other ratings. His FAR 121 experience combined with his knowledge of avionics and the aviation industry makes him the ideal attorney for any aviation issue.

Awards

  • Honoree, Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Real Estate 

    (2016 - 2022)

  • Honoree, Best Lawyers® "Ones to Watch" (2021-Present)

Education

  • University of Cincinnati College of Law (2011)

    summa cum laude

  • University of Tennessee-Knoxville (2005)

    cum laude

Admissions

  • State - Ohio
  • State - Kentucky
  • Federal - Southern District of Ohio
  • Federal - Eastern District of Kentucky
  • Federal - Western District of Kentucky

Notable Matters

  • Counsel for Kentucky based hospital network with a $1 billion+ construction portfolio (with multiple single projects in excess of $200mm) advising on construction contract drafting and related issues.
  • Counsel for Ohio based multi-state hospital network advising on real estate issues related to network’s 900+ properties under lease or ownership.
  • Counsel for higher education organization constructing $200mm facility.
  • Member of team for large manufacturer implementing IPD projects, with four projects valued in excess of $800mm.
  • Counsel for commercial developer with purchase, due diligence and development of more than 100 parcels in an eight state region.
  • Counsel for numerous landlords and tenants in the negotiation and preparation of commercial leases.
  • Successfully defended a Fortune 500 billboard company at the trial court and appellate court level in a lawsuit brought by an environmental organization in regard to the constitutionality of a regulatory structure for the permitting of electronically changeable LED billboards.
  • Counsel for business client on a range of legal matters affecting its seven entities selling and transporting goods from warehouses in a seven state region.

Speeches and Publications

Co-author, “A Drafter’s Checklist: Prefabrication Contracts,” Taft Law Bulletin, Feb. 18, 2022.

Review of Oil & Gas Law XXVII, Dallas Bar Association, 2012 (co-authored written materials and served as lecture panel member for Ohio law).

Professional Affiliations

  • Cincinnati Bar Association

    Member

  • Kentucky Bar Association

    Member

  • Ohio Bar Association

    Member

Community Involvement

  • Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati

    Board Member

  • Lean Construction Institute, Ohio Valley Chapter

    Core Group Member

  • Hamilton County Central Committee

    Elected Member

  • Anderson Board of Zoning Appeals

    Former Member (2015 - 2016)

  • Volunteer Lawyer’s Project

    Member