Shawn M Griffin, Harris Beach Law Firm, attorney, rochester NY, New York City NY, White Plains NY

Shawn M. Griffin

D: (585) 419-8614

Rochester, NY
99 Garnsey Road
Pittsford, NY 14534
(585) 419-8800

New York, NY
100 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005
(212) 687-0100

White Plains, NY
445 Hamilton Avenue
Suite 1206
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 683-1200

New York
U.S. District Court, New York - Western District
State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law
JD, 1989
cum laude
State University of New York at Buffalo
MBA, 1989

Saint Bonaventure
BBA, 1986
magna cum laude


“We help change communities and enhance their economies through the use of economic development incentives and tools. We often explore unique financing structures that benefit the municipalities with which we work to get projects completed efficiently and on time.”

Shawn focuses on municipal, commercial and corporate law.  He represents clients in private and public financing transactions, with special emphasis on various types of commercial and real estate related transactions involving industrial development agencies, urban renewal agencies, local development corporations, land use, zoning and federal, state and local incentives.  His structured financing experience includes straight-lease transactions and bond transactions involving industrial development agencies with an increasing use of increment financing and unique incentive structures.  He brings his experience to bear in working with these programs and the overlay of other local, state and federal benefits.

Shawn counsels IDAs throughout New York state acting as transaction counsel and often acting as general counsel on IDA operational issues such as compliance; corporate governance; employment issues; formation of affiliated entities; development of spec buildings, industrial parks and infrastructure; litigation and environmental compliance.

Shawn has developed unique structures for increment financing, use of New Markets Tax Credits and related benefit programs.  PILOT Increment financing has become a specialty with district concepts and unique funding and borrowing structures developed on a case-by-case basis.

In the past, he 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.  He has been involved in annexation and condemnation actions.  His practice also includes utility rate negotiations and funding of electrical infrastructure as well as brownfield redevelopment.  He has worked with the federal Economic Development Administration grant program, entitlement city funding, small cities block.


  • “Harris Beach pllc Economic Development Handbook: Transactions Involving Industrial Development Agencies and Zones.”
  • Shawn has spoken on the interplay of IDA benefits and the Empire Zone program, Brownfield Cleanup Program and federal programs such as the New Market Tax Credits.


  • del Lago Resort & Casino, a $425 million casino in Tyre, New York; lead company counsel.
  • City of Yonkers IDA and economic development agencies: Yonkers Raceway, Ridge Hill and Stew Leonard Drive are all developments where Shawn was lead economic development counsel.  Shawn was bond counsel on the refinanced and new affordable housing projects throughout Yonkers, as well as on the waterfront projects. He has been involved in these projects since 1997 working with three mayors and their respective administrations in creating a Yonkers Renaissance.    
  • Shawn has work on increment financing at Eastview Mall in Victor, New York and each of the Rochester regional malls owned by Wilmorite.
  • Shawn has developed unique financing structures for New Rochelle urban renewal and the Garvies Point project in Glen Cove.


  • National Association of Bond Lawyers, member
  • The Friendly Sons & Daughters of St. Patrick of the Finger Lakes Region, founder
  • New York State Bar Association, member
  • New York State Economic Development Council, member
  • Seneca Knit Development Corporation, member