“I believe in building trust by learning each client’s goals and objectives and placing those considerations at the foundation of the relationship.”
Michael Tyszko practices in the firm’s business and tax practice groups, where his practice focuses on economic development incentives, including brownfield and other tax credits, in addition to a broad range of business matters. Mike’s interest is in learning about each client’s unique circumstances and working in a cooperative manner to provide valued advice and effective solutions.
Economic Development and Tax Credits
Mike helps clients avail themselves of various economic development incentives, including tax credits, that may be available for real estate development projects and other business ventures.
Some of the areas in which Mike has represented clients are:
- New York State tax credits under the Brownfield Cleanup Program
- Federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits
- Federal investment tax credits for renewable energy
- Federal Opportunity Zones program
As of the fall of 2020, Mike has had primary responsibility with the firm in client matters corresponding to more than $250 million in total tax credits.
In these matters, Mike helps clients understand the impact of the various incentives on their project bottom line, works with the client team to prepare the calculations and supporting documentation required, and represents taxpayers whose are chosen for audit by the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance (“DTF“). Where clients disagree with the DTF’s audit findings, Mike helps clients appeal the audit results, and he has successfully negotiated a number of significant settlements with the state on behalf of clients.
Mike has also served as “project counsel” to real estate development projects, having recently represented a brownfield and historic tax credit project in Buffalo, New York with all aspects of development including establishing the construction manager relationship, obtaining construction financing, securing certain tax exemptions with the local industrial development agency, and tenant lease negotiations, in addition to the tax credit portions of the project.
Mike works with businesses and business owners in all phases of the enterprise lifecycle, including formation and structuring, governance and planning matters, and transactions including the acquisitions and sales of closely held businesses. Mike builds relationships with his business clients that go beyond legal advice to act as a sounding board and trusted advisor regarding the business issues they face. In these areas, he has worked with clients in diverse industries ranging from professional practices and environmental consulting firms to food service & hospitality businesses and an international dealer of high-end musical instruments.
Some of Mike’s representative business matters include:
- Helping a growing local coffee company prepare for future growth into new locations and new lines of business by converting their general partnership into a limited liability company as provided under New York law and separating café and roasting operations into subsidiary entities under a holding company.
- Structuring a joint venture between two businesses in the entertainment & film industry, including negotiation of terms regarding use of the partners’ intellectual property in the deal and the rights of the parties with respect to new intellectual property created.
- Representing a local dentist in winding up his solo practice and establishing a relationship to practice part-time with a colleague’s existing practice.
- Representing the buyer of an environmental consulting firm, including negotiation of terms and drafting the documents, designing and carrying out due diligence, and addressing related licensing and tax matters.
- Assisting multiple restaurant-owner clients to resolve internal ownership disputes by negotiating the consensual buyout of one or more partners, with experience representing both buyer and seller in these situations.
- Working with a large group of attorneys, accountants, bankers, business receiver, and other stakeholders to develop a plan to carry out a complex estate litigation settlement involving ownership interests in business entities, commercial lending obligations with guarantees, real property, and trusts.
Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
As the amount of business conducted online continues to increase over time, so does the need to address data security and prepare for the inevitability of cyber-crime. Mike helps clients prepare and develop best practices for compliance in these areas, and helps clients respond in the unfortunate event of a data or privacy breach.
Mike has counseled clients with respect to New York’s cybersecurity regulations applicable to financial institutions and insurance firms as well as the application to New York enterprises of European Union privacy laws and the rules being enacted by other states. Mike has experience with internal data privacy and cybersecurity protocols and creating the related policy documents that may be necessary to comply with applicable law. He also helps clients respond to security issues. This includes insurance matters related to cybersecurity and the compliance and reporting obligations that may be triggered by a data privacy breach.
Community and Background
Mike is a Syracuse native. He has been involved with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County (“VLP“) since he was a law student, and in 2018 he received the Pro Bono Champion Award from the VLP for his efforts in providing pro bono legal services to business and other clients through VLP programs.
Mike serves as the chair of the board of directors of the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble and he also plays in the ensemble’s percussion section. He also served for several years on the board of directors of the Central New York Jazz Arts Foundation, most recently as the board vice president. Mike regularly volunteers his time as a musician for a variety of community events. These include Volunteer Lawyers Project fundraisers, Syracuse University College of Law and local bar association events, and performances with the firm’s band—The Verdict—at the Redhouse Arts Center’s annual corporate battle-of-the-bands fundraiser.
Mike graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Syracuse Law Review and was co-chair of the college’s pro bono advisory board. Prior to joining the firm, Mike served as law clerk to the Honorable Frederick J. Scullin Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. During law school he served as a judicial intern to the Honorable David E. Peebles of the same court. Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Michigan, where he was a Stamps Scholar. He currently resides in Westvale with his wife, Chelsea, and their dog, Nelson.
- CNY Jazz Arts Foundation – Board of Directors
Syracuse University College of Law, J.D. magna cum laude, May 2015
Editor-in-Chief, Syracuse Law Review
Co-Chair, Pro Bono Advisory Board
University of Michigan, B.M. Instrumental Music Education, April 2010
Stamps Scholar Society
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York