May 18, 2024

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Lance Tyson joins Greenberg Traurig as counsel

4 min read
Lance Tyson joins Greenberg Traurig as counsel

Lance Tyson has joined Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s Chicago public finance and infrastructure practice as counsel, bringing a broad range of experience representing and working for local governments.

Having worked as chief of staff to the Cook County Board president and legislative counsel to then-Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, run for office as the Democratic Party’s slated candidate for the 10th district and served on the Cook County Sheriff’s Merit Board, Tyson brings a wealth of inside knowledge to his practice areas at the firm. Those include public finance, real estate, banking, tax credits, public investment funds and government affairs.

“Really understanding how things get done… that’s part of being able to take the representation of our clients’ interests to a whole new level,” Tyson said. “To look internally at how the process is done — it’s not always through the front door, sometimes it’s through the back door — and to understand how you get there and how to navigate.”

Lance Tyson has joined Greenberg Traurig, LLP as counsel, where his wife, Lorraine, is also an attorney in the firm’s public finance and infrastructure practice.

Greenberg Traurig

He has also worked at law firms Miller Canfield and Kutak Rock, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“It’s really knowing how to count, and what I mean by that is just the power of the legislative branch, whether it be the City Council in Chicago or the state of Illinois and the General Assembly or the Cook County commissioners — that’s where the power lies,” he added.

Franklin D.R. Jones, Jr., co-chair of the firm’s public finance and infrastructure practice, said Tyson is joining a versatile practice that ranges across airports, ports and shipping, social infrastructures, higher education, cities such as Chicago — which the firm will represent as disclosure counsel on the $1.25 billion bond measure that recently passed the City Council — as well as other sectors.

“We recognized a long time ago we needed to build up our public finance capacity in the city, and Lance is a great addition to helping us do that,” he said. “Several years ago, we rebranded the practice to public finance and infrastructure because we realized the struggles that the cities and states that we represent were having getting big projects done. And we have managed to come up with solutions to help people do that, but it takes people like Lance who are skilled practitioners but also understand how government works.” 

The firm’s Chicago office includes more than 180 lawyers, and globally, Greenberg Traurig employs nearly 3,000 attorneys, Tyson noted — any of whom “I can always pick up the phone and reach out to and get help with solving my mission,” he said.

“We’re able to tap into resources from Miami to Atlanta to Houston and really give a comparative analysis as to how [clients can] issue their offering documents and what policies and structures and materiality [to choose], and how that’s defined in this jurisdiction versus that,” Tyson added. 

“I’ve been partner in other firms, and clearly, that was small ball,” he said. “Where I’m at now, this is the big boys, and I’m ready go.”

Tyson joins his wife, Lorraine, who has been at the firm since 2016. She is a Chicago shareholder and also a member of Greenberg Traurig’s public finance and infrastructure practice. Lorraine Tyson, who has extensive section 103 tax experience, has been practicing law for over two decades, always in public finance.

Rising from smaller school district deals to P3 work, she went on to get her LLM in tax from Northwestern University and has more recently been serving as bond counsel, “providing tax opinions on very high-profile transactions with the city of Chicago and state of Illinois,” Lance Tyson noted.

The public finance power couple have complementary strengths and weaknesses as lawyers, he said, bringing both high-level technical proficiency and access to the market to bear on behalf of Greenberg Traurig’s clients.

Tyson said he’s aiming to position his practice to address the changes wrought by generational change expected to bring retirements among the traditional firms that typically serve as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel and disclosure counsel.  

There’s also the Chicago deal to tackle. Mayor Brandon Johnson’s plan calls for over $1 billion of general obligation and Sales Tax Securitization Corporation bonds, funded by letting certain tax increment financing districts expire, to go toward affordable housing and economic development programs. Tyson said their practice will be looking to “make sure it’s focused plainly on material items,” among other things. 

“The administration was able to successfully get that passed, and we’re certainly thankful that they did,” he said. “So that’s going to be our assignment, [from] which we’ll be able to lay the foundation for subsequent transactions. We’re looking forward to that.”