We have a core group of attorneys who focus specifically on economic development incentives.  In fact, Vorys has one of the largest state and local economic development incentives practices based in a law firm.

Our work spans the nation, having consulted on incentives deals in more than 30 states, for companies of all sizes.  Some of the largest, fastest-growing companies in the U.S. count on our firm to advise them throughout the country on site-selection and incentives matters, while we also regularly advise businesses and governments that are using incentives for the first time. 

Depending on the needs of a particular economic development project, we call upon our attorneys with extensive experience in public finance, real estate, local government, environmental law, zoning and land use law, state and local tax, federal tax and executive agency and legislative lobbying.

We regularly design cutting-edge economic development incentives structures and influence state and local policies.  Our processes and approach have proven to be effective on a wide variety of complex projects across industries and project types.

Our clients include developers, expanding businesses and political subdivisions, each of which has specialized needs in the area of economic development incentives.  Our professionals have the experience and capability to respond to these specialized needs to create solutions for all types and sizes of clients.

News & Insights




  • Client

    Our firm has developed one of the largest multi-state economic development incentives practices based in a U.S. law firm.  We’ve grown this practice by doing right by our clients.  See what our clients have to say about how we’ve helped them secure and use incentives.

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Why Vorys

  • We have seen a recent trend among large companies with sophisticated economic development teams moving toward utilizing lawyers who do economic development incentives work on a full-time basis, rather than in-house lawyers, public finance lawyers, real estate lawyers, or other lawyers who do economic development incentives work on a part-time basis.  Companies that use incentives regularly have learned from experience that incentives lawyers who do that work on a daily basis provide greater value and efficiency than those who only moonlight in incentives work.    
  • Our experience allows us to transfer what we learn from one state to another.  For example, we regularly find ourselves working with state and local governments to revise their form agreements to address items the state or local government has not considered.
  • Our work is client-driven.  When negotiating incentives agreements, we put a strong emphasis on enhancing our client’s ability to maximize the value of an incentive while protecting the company against risk. 

Who We Represent

Expanding Businesses

Our firm has a long history of assisting businesses in securing local, state and federal economic development incentives to support expansion, consolidation and new construction projects.  We advise and provide counsel to both domestic and international companies, and we have worked with clients across the country to secure billions of dollars in incentives.  For example, Vorys lawyers:

  • Represented a West Coast-based Fortune 10 company as incentives counsel in 13 states from coast to coast and from north to south, including data center facilities on the West Coast, an office tower in the Northeast, an office tower in the Mid-Atlantic and various other facilities throughout the U.S.
  • Served as site selection counsel for a large tech company in connection with its decision to invest $20B+ in new semiconductor chip fabs in Ohio
  • Served as incentives counsel in connection with most of the largest incentives packages in the history of the State of Ohio
  • Represented a European Fortune Global 100 company in the purchase and redevelopment of a large manufacturing facility in one Midwest state and in the establishment of a $500M+ manufacturing facility in another Midwest state
  • Served as special counsel to a Fortune 200 company to co-lead a multi-state site selection project for a 3,000+ employee corporate headquarters facility
  • Represented a large international manufacturer in a multi-state site selection search for a new, $200M+ manufacturing facility in a Southeast state
  • Represented a Fortune 25 company in the establishment of high-tech, automated distribution centers across the country, including in Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio
  • Represented a West Coast-based Fortune 200 company in two multi-state site selection projects for $200M+ high-tech facilities located in Midwest and Southeast states.
  • Led the establishment of an internal economic development incentives team for a large international manufacturer and continue to guide that team’s efforts in projects through the United States
  • Assisted clients in securing incentives for the construction of approximately 100 distribution center facilities comprising approximately 50 million square feet (enough space for more than 800 football fields) throughout the United States
  • Drafted or assisted in drafting 26 statutory amendments related to economic development incentives

Real Estate Developers

Our firm has represented some of the largest commercial and residential developers in the world in complex transactions involving economic development incentives.  In so doing, our attorneys have developed creative incentives structures that are specific to each project, which allow our clients to develop and market property to potential buyers or tenants in a competitive manner. 

The members of our incentives team understand real estate development.  For example, one of our professionals developed real estate when he was president of a private equity fund/family office; one of our professionals is a NAIOP corporate board member and former president of NAIOP of Ohio and NAIOP Central Ohio; and one of our professionals is active in leading NAIOP Central Ohio’s government affairs committee.

Our firm’s representative engagements in this area include the following, among others:   

  • We designed and implemented an innovative joint economic development-based structure to facilitate the use of assignable community reinvestment area tax exemptions for the construction of a major industrial park in central Ohio.
  • As noted above, we have led the incentives work for the development of approximately 100 distribution centers comprising approximately 50 million square feet throughout the U.S.  That work has mostly been for our developer clients.
  • We have served as developer’s incentives counsel in connection with the establishment of at least nine major industrial parks.
  • Our attorneys assisted prominent Ohio-based homebuilders with large residential developments using tax increment financing and new community districts.
  • We represented a community development entity and a related qualified active low-income community business in closing a $35 million leveraged New Markets Tax Credit transaction to anchor the redevelopment of a blighted area.
  • We represented the developer in one of the largest, most complex urban redevelopment projects ever planned in Ohio, a project with more than a dozen different sources of incentives collectively worth more than $100 million.

Political Subdivisions and Economic Development Organizations

Three members of our incentives team are former in-house government lawyers.  We regularly advise political subdivisions on issues such as the use of tax increment financing and other types of economic development financing to support the construction of public infrastructure improvements and private development, the offering of community reinvestment area and enterprise zone tax exemptions to encourage expansion and construction, the use of federal funds in compliance with the American Rescue Plan Act and other federal laws, and the creative use of special programs such as municipal incentives based on job creation.

Our attorneys also sometimes advise economic development organizations in seeking to win major projects and in negotiating or renegotiating complex economic development incentives agreements. 

Our engagements in this area include the following matters, among others:

  • We served as special counsel to help a city win a site-selection contest for a 1,400-employee corporate headquarters facility and construct $50M+ of public improvements to leverage the headquarters and related development.
  • Our attorneys advised a Central Ohio municipality and prepared necessary legislation and agreements in connection with a TIF/CRA-driven redevelopment of its main street corridor.
  • We advised an Ohio community in negotiating a unique combination of incentives, including electricity price and services incentives, that led to the construction of one of the largest hydroponic greenhouses in the U.S.

Data Center Developers

We have worked on data center and other economic development projects in multiple states, and in doing so our attorneys have supported our clients’ billions of dollars of investment by helping secure property tax abatements, special data center sales tax exemptions and other economic development incentives.  Collaborating closely with the business teams, we have been able to successfully reduce utility risks and costs (particularly water and electricity risks and costs) and navigate the zoning, permitting and approvals processes. 

In addition to tax incentives, our multidisciplinary team brings together a deep bench of experience in addressing challenges unique to data centers, including those involving (1) real estate, including zoning and water use issues; (2) energy and renewables, including permitting and securing power; (3) construction, including addressing workforce and other local requirements; (4) state and local tax; and (5) environmental matters. 

Working in communities throughout the United States, we have successfully addressed entitlements and incentives while addressing local community questions to create a supportive approval process.  By understanding the business, community and legal issues, we help clients navigate the multitude of challenges facing data center projects.  We are proud of our ability to work collaboratively with the local community, while understanding how to protect our clients’ proprietary and confidential information.  For example, on data center projects, we have:

  • Negotiated a number of flexible, scalable property tax abatement agreements, PILOT agreements, TIF agreements, sales tax exemption agreements and development agreements while protecting the identity of our clients.
  • Represented a West Coast-based Fortune 10 company in the development of a $500M+ data center facility in a Mountain West state
  • Collaborated with multiple local community districts to secure water needs committed through a complex and comprehensive development agreement
  • Successfully sought legislative changes
  • Prepared innovative agreements to protect clients’ long-term and multi-billion dollar investments

  • Subscribe to
    Development Incentives Quarterly

    We created Development Incentives Quarterly to update subscribers on the changing landscape of economic development incentives, including tax credit changes and other opportunities.  Our economic development incentives clients include developers, political subdivisions and growing businesses from across the country, so the newsletter includes information from a variety of perspectives.

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