Mr. Griffin is a member of the firm and co‑leader of the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group. He also serves on the Municipalities and Local Agencies, the Real Estate Developers, the Racing and Gaming, and the Science and Technology Industry Teams. His legal practice focuses on municipal, commercial and corporate law. Selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America, Mr. Griffin has extensive experience handling private and public financing transactions, with special emphasis in various types of commercial and real estate related transactions involving industrial development agencies, housing authorities, and application of the Empire Zone and Empowerment Zone programs. He also focuses on structured financings involving straight-lease transactions and bond transactions involving industrial development agencies and has significant knowledge and experience in working with these programs and the overlay of other local, state and federal benefits.
Mr. Griffin currently counsels approximately 26 IDAs throughout the state acting as transaction counsel and often acting as general counsel on IDA operational issues (e.g., compliance; corporate governance; employment issues; formation of affiliated entities; development of spec buildings, industrial parks and infrastructure; litigation; environmental compliance; etc.).
Mr. Griffin has served as bond counsel to the U.S. Virgin Islands and as such drafted the authorizing legislation and closed on the first non-housing private activity bond in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has formed and advised municipal water and sewer districts, acted as counsel to Seneca County as part of the Seneca Army Depot closing, advised municipalities on forming, utilizing and redefining the boundaries of Empire Zones and Empowerment Zones and the use of local development corporations and urban renewal agencies as part of a development plan. His practice also includes utility rate negotiations and funding of electrical infrastructure as well as brownfield redevelopment. He has worked with the federal EDA grant program, entitlement city funding, small cities block grant funding and related section 108 loan programs as well as other federal grant and loan programs.
Professional & Community Activities
Mr. Griffin wrote the “Harris Beach Economic Development Handbook: Transactions Involving Industrial Development Agencies and Zones.” He is an active member of the New York State Economic Development Council. More recently, he has spoken on the interplay of IDA benefits and the Empire Zone program, Brownfield Cleanup Program and federal programs like New Market Tax Credits regionally.
Mr. Griffin has extensive experience with state appropriations and assists lobbyists on behalf of his clients to obtain the targeted funding.
Mr. Griffin is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, American Economic Development Council, New York State Economic Development Council, Seneca Knit Development Corporation, and the New York State Bar Association.
In January 2000, Mr. Griffin founded The Friendly Sons & Daughters of St. Patrick of the Fingerlakes Region, an organization which raises money for various charities. He is also actively involved with the Greater Rochester YMCA in the development of growth plans and new facility financings.