As chair of the Economic Development Practice Group, Chris Grissom practices primarily in the areas of economic development, state and local tax planning and controversy work, and state and local tax and non-tax incentives. Through his tax controversy, planning and incentives work, he deals with a wide variety of industries including pulp and paper, software technology, automotive, telecommunications, and textile manufacturers.
In his economic development practice, Chris assists business clients in obtaining, negotiating, and documenting economic incentives for job creation and capital investment in Alabama and other states. He frequently works with local industrial development agencies and various state agencies, including departments of economic and community development, revenue, transportation, and environment in the development of effective tax incentives strategies for attracting businesses. Chris has represented Brose Tuscaloosa, North American Lighting, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Rex Lumber, and POSCO AAPC in the location of their plants in Alabama. He also represents several automotive suppliers in Alabama on a variety of matters.
Chris is an active member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama and is on the Advisory Board for the North Alabama Industrial Development Association. Chris has also been a leading member of several overseas industrial recruiting delegations that served as successful initiatives for Alabama's economic growth.
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® Litigation and Controversy – Tax, 2011-2023 Tax Law, 2009-2013, 2015-2023 Project Finance Law, 2023 Municipal Law, 2023 "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation and Controversy – Tax, Birmingham, 2018 Listed in Alabama Super Lawyers "Rising Star," 2011 Counsel to Verizon on Alabama infrastructure expansion Assisted Verizon with expansion of its wireline and wireless Alabama infrastructure footprint in cities and counties statewide. The growth and expansion initiative, involving municipal franchises, pole attachment agreements, and small cell ordinances, will assist Verizon in expanding its infrastructure to accommodate 5G, as well as Smart City technologies that, in turn, will support robust wireless and fiber access for the state’s growing economy. Counsel to Samuel Associated Tube Group Counsel to Canadian-based Samuel Associated Tube Group on locating a $29 million manufacturing facility in Birmingham, Alabama. The planned 284,000-square-foot facility will allow the company to consolidate area operations and accommodate future growth. Bradley’s team assisted with negotiating the incentives package and provided counsel with respect to real estate and local tax issues. Samuel Associated Tube Group manufactures steel tubing used in agricultural, sports and automotive assembly. The project will add another 50 new employees to the almost 200 current Birmingham workforce. Counsel to National Cement Counsel to National Cement on the $250 million construction of a new kiln for the company’s Ragland facility. The reinvestment in equipment and technology will ensure the facility will remain competitive for decades to come. Our team assisted with the negotiation of the city, state and county’s incentives package, as well as the construction contract and addressing environmental permits. Counsel to Warrior Met Coal Represented Warrior Met Coal on the development of a new “world class” mine located on the Blue Creek reserves in West Alabama. Warrior Met anticipates an investment of approximately $550 million to $600 million over the next five years to develop the new mine, creating over 350 new jobs. The team successfully negotiated a tax abatement incentives package for the Brookwood-based company. Warrior Met produces metallurgical coal for the steel industry. Counsel to Truck & Wheel Group Counsel to Spanish automotive supplier Truck & Wheel Group in locating a $30 million tire and wheel assembly facility in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, their first facility in the U.S. The facility is one of the most technologically advanced assembly facilities of its kind in the world. The team negotiated the incentives package and provided counsel with respect to real estate, corporate, construction, choice of entity and state and local tax issues. The plant is expected to bring more than 70 jobs to the Tuscaloosa area. Counsel to Rex Lumber Counsel to Rex Lumber to locate a $110 million state-of-the-art lumber manufacturing operation in Pike County, Alabama. The project is expected to create approximately 100 competitive-wage jobs with an estimated annual production of 240 million board feet. The team successfully assisted in negotiating the incentives package and provided counsel with respect to real estate, corporate, choice of entity and state and local tax issues. Rex Lumber ranks among the 10 largest softwood lumber producers in the United States. Counsel to Pack Health Counsel to Pack Health in locating the start-up’s new headquarters in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Pack Health is a new and innovative digital health coaching platform for chronic disease management that partners with industry leaders— including insurance companies, employers, health systems, manufacturers, and nonprofit associations— to help individuals with 20+ chronic conditions build healthy habits, navigate the healthcare system, and achieve better health outcomes. Successfully negotiated the state and local incentives package that will locate approximately 175 employees over four years at the new headquarters on First Avenue North. Counsel to Verizon on Alabama infrastructure expansion Assisted Verizon with expansion of its wireline and wireless Alabama infrastructure footprint in cities and counties statewide. The growth and expansion initiative, involving municipal franchises, pole attachment agreements, and small cell ordinances, will assist Verizon in expanding its infrastructure to accommodate 5G, as well as Smart City technologies that, in turn, will support robust wireless and fiber access for the state’s growing economy. Counsel to Shaw Industries Represented Shaw Industries in a $250 million expansion of their Andalusia facility. The project included construction for the expansion, installation of new equipment, and improvements in ergonomics, safety and energy efficiency. Assisted Shaw in negotiating a comprehensive incentives package with the state, county and city. Counsel to CAE Counsel to CAE on a new Fixed-Wing Flight Training Center located at the Dothan Regional Airport in Alabama. The state-of-the-art facility is expected to employ over 100 people with a capital investment of $75 million. Counsel to Hyundai Heavy Industries Counsel to Hyundai Heavy Industries and its subsidiary Hyundai Electric Systems Alabama, Inc., in locating a $90 million manufacturing plant to Montgomery, Alabama, their first manufacturing facility in North America. The team successfully negotiated the project agreement, as well as the incentives package, with the State of Alabama and the local governments and provided counsel with respect to real estate, corporate, construction, labor and employment, choice of entity and state and local tax issues. Counsel to HYSCO Represented HYSCO, a Korean-based steel parts supplier to Hyundai Motor Manufacturing and Kia Motor Manufacturing, for its $28 million facility expansion in Greenville, Alabama. Provided representation in securing statutory and non- statutory incentives for the 174,000-square-foot project. Counsel to North American Lighting Counsel to North American Lighting in connection with its location of a $21 million automotive lighting manufacturing facility in the Muscle Shoals area, including negotiation of a project agreement with the state and the local governments. Counsel to CBC INGS America As counsel to CBC INGS America from 2013 to the present, successfully negotiated the incentives package and all other associated agreements with the State of Alabama and local governments to locate a $30 million automotive plant in Lauderdale County, Alabama, with 125 employees. The team also provided counsel with respect to real estate, corporate, construction, and state and local tax issues. GKN Westland Aerospace, Inc. v. Alabama Dep't of Revenue, Ala. Admin. L. Div. Dkt. No. BIT 10-988 (July 25, 2011) Represented GKN Westland Aerospace in the first reported case in Alabama pertaining to the calculation of the 199 deduction, as such deduction relates to separate versus consolidated Alabama income returns. Ex parte VFJ Ventures, Inc., No. 1070718 (Ala. S.Ct. Sept. 19, 1008), cert. denied Dkt. No. 08-916 (U.S. S.Ct. Apr. 27, 2009) Represented VFJ Ventures, Inc., in the first reported appellate challenge to an intangibles and interest expense add-back statute. Kimberly-Clark Corp. & Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. v. Alabama Dep’t of Revenue, __ So. 2d __, Case No. 2061117 (Ala. Civ. App. Mar. 21, 2008) Currently represent Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc., in the Department of Revenue’s appeal from a pro-taxpayer Alabama Court of Civil Appeals decision on a business/non-business income classification issue. AT&T Corporation v. Surtees, 8 So. 3d 950 (Ala. Ct. Civ. App. 2008) Represented AT&T in an appeal of an Alabama business privilege and corporate shares tax assessment in which a part of both statutory schemes was held unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause by the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and by the circuit court on remand. Redman Homes, Inc. v. Surtees, 933 So. 2d 1100 (Ala. Civ. App. Nov. 18, 2005), Dkt. No. 2031079 (Nov. 18, 2005) Represented Redman Homes in its appeal regarding whether the statute of limitations of a putative class was tolled for purposes of filing franchise tax refund claims. Knauf Fiber Glass GMBH v. State Dep’t of Revenue, Ala., L. Div. Dkt. No. CORP. 05-970 (11/30/2006) Represented Knauf Insulation in an appeal of an Alabama income tax assessment in a case of first impression determining whether payment of certain types of state taxes and related taxpayer activities prohibited throwback of the out-of-state sales back to Alabama. Ex Parte Jefferson Smurfit Corp., 951 So. 2d 659 (Ala. 2006) Represented Jefferson Smurfit in a case of first impression, obtaining a favorable decision in determining whether a taxpayer may amend its notice of appeal to add additional refund claims under the Alabama Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights.