Economic Development

Fueling Growth in the South

Burr & Forman's manufacturing experience dates back to the early 1900's when founding partner, Walker Percy, represented Tennessee Coal and Iron (now U.S. Steel Corporation) in an antitrust case. Over the years our manufacturing industry experience has evolved to include economic development and state and local tax incentives, plant operations and infrastructure, employment, union avoidance, production equipment contracts, commercial contracts, mergers and acquisitions, financing, supply chain and logistics and litigation and dispute resolution.

Our unique manufacturing capabilities have played a critical role in attracting major economic development projects to locate and expand in the South, resulting in $18 billion in capital investment and the creation of more than 27,000 jobs. Our practitioners have created a cross-disciplinary, client-focused industry team to support our many manufacturing clients.

Site Selection

For over 20 years, we have represented manufacturers and supported site selection consultants in multi-state and intra-state site evaluation and location. Our team provides data, analysis and advice on everything from environmental conditions of the site to the surrounding area's demographics and available labor market. Additionally, we have built, and continue to maintain, close working relationships with an extensive network of professional site consultants who provide supplementary insight and value to our manufacturing clients.

Our attorneys have worked as part of the site selection teams for projects such as:

  • Mercedes-Benz U.S. International manufacturing plant (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
  • KIA Motors manufacturing plant (West Point, Georgia)
  • SSAB (f/k/a IPSCO Steel) steel mill (Mobile County, Alabama)
  • ThyssenKrupp Steel mill (Mobile County, Alabama)
  • Kronospan manufacturing plant (Oxford, Alabama)
  • Jack Daniel's Cooperage project (Lawrence County, Alabama)


Incentive Negotiation

Burr's Manufacturing Industry Group is known for its extensive hands-on experience negotiating incentives packages for our clients. We have served as company counsel on a large number of the significant incentives packages negotiated in the Southeast. In addition to the projects listed above, we've represented existing clients in incentives negotiations for major plant expansions.

A particular strength of the group is our knowledge of the various types of incentives finance, including tax credit and bond financing, conservation easements, state and federal home loans, industrial revenue bonds, public and private ventures and letters of credit and other securitizations involved in closing these specialized transactions.

Incentive Implementation

Beyond the incentive negotiation process we continue representation of our manufacturing clients through the critical incentive implementation process. Our practitioners are skilled at ensuring that state and local governments and utility providers deliver the promised incentives in a timely manner and to the satisfaction of our clients. 

Choice of Entity and Tax Structure

Our business and tax attorneys provide guidance to the start-up company for issues relating to choice of business entity, corporate governance and tax structures.


Our Construction group possesses extensive experience representing owners from start-to-finish with all aspects of their construction needs in economic development projects. This involves negotiating project manager/general contractor agreements, overseeing the bidding process, negotiation of contractor packages, resolving claims, change order, and pay request disputes. We have developed and implemented extensive claims management processes for large economic development projects.

Real Estate

Our real estate attorneys have extensive experience in working through title, survey, and other due diligence issues which impact the automotive industry, including negotiating easements and other agreements with railroads, leases and licenses with on-site and off-site automotive suppliers and warehouses, and lease-purchase agreements with governmental entities.

Environmental Permitting

We advise our manufacturing clients on permit requirements and related regulatory compliance. This involves:

  • Identifying environmental regulatory issues
  • Identifying the sequence of permits
  • Negotiating permit content and timing with regulatory officials
  • Advising on compliance with related regulatory obligations


When necessary we represent clients in third party environmental permit challenges. We also frequently work with our manufacturing clients to identify consultants and coordinate and review completed work to assure it meets local environmental requirements and time limits.

Infrastructure Contract Negotiation

We have extensive experience negotiating infrastructure contracts with the providers of electricity, natural gas, water and sewer, and telecommunications services.

Government Relations

While we do not represent any state and local governments or public utilities, we have established a solid working relationship with them over the years. We often act as a conduit between our clients and state and local governments and public utilities.

Our Attorneys

C. William Daniels, Jr.
Partner ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8236
(251) 344-9696
Ronald Farley
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5185
(205) 244-5633
Richard Fishman
Retired Partner ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
Eric Hatten
Partner ~ Jackson, Mississippi|
(601) 709-3442
(866) 443-1581
George Marchese
Of Counsel ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5117
(205) 714-6817
Warren Matthews
Partner ~ Montgomery, Alabama|
(334) 241-7000
(334) 262-0020
Norman Orr
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5142
(205) 224-9453
William Thuston
Managing Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5143
(205) 244-5712
Brian Watson
Partner ~ Orlando, Florida|
(407) 540-6629
(321) 249-0529

Experience Matters

Brief sentence defining representative matters.

  • Remediation Projects

    Counsel in voluntary remediation of drycleaner contamination and tenant dispute.
  • Environmental Related Agreements

    Facilitated methane gas-to-energy transaction between municipal landfill and industrial facility.
  • Remediation Projects

    Represented clients in voluntary remediation projects, state agency-directed cleanups and brownfield transactions/remediation projects.
  • Federal False Claims Act

    Represented litigants in federal False Claims Act case involving RCRA, FIFRA, TSCA, CAA and CWA violations at chemical manufacturing facility.
  • Investor-Owned Utilities

    Advised an investor-owned utility regarding federal air quality control regulations, carbon sequestration project, and “green attributes” of renewable power production.