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Taylor A. Gast

Associate
313 South Washington Square
Lansing, MI 48933-2114
T 517.371.8238
F 517.371.8200

Overview

Taylor Gast helps businesses of all sizes and at all stages of development grow and solve problems as a member of Foster Swift's Business and Tax practice group. He provides practical and thoughtful advice on issues including technology law, data privacy and cybersecurity, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, employee benefits, and contracting. Taylor’s breadth of legal expertise complements his focus on providing practical guidance to help businesses grow and address challenges. Taylor is based in Lansing and counsels clients in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and throughout Michigan.

Data Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Technology Law

Taylor has significant experience with issues that arise at the intersection of business, technology, and the law. He helps businesses of all sizes prevent, prepare for, and respond to data privacy and security incidents, including data breaches. He has assisted organizations in consistently communicating with customers, employees, investigators, state attorneys general, and agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after a data privacy incident occurs. Taylor has experience designing, installing, and maintaining proactive cybersecurity and privacy programs for a variety of companies. Additionally, Taylor is proficient with the many sector-specific regulations affecting data privacy including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, HIPAA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and the multitude of state legislation passed in recent years, as well as foreign rules like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Taylor regularly assists with business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) contracting and procurement within and outside of technology-heavy industries, as well as related intellectual property issues, the UCC, licensing agreements, and joint development agreements.

Startups, Entrepreneurs, and Emerging Growth Companies

Taylor enjoys working with entrepreneurs to identify complex issues and break them down into clear business decisions and action items. He has significant experience forming businesses and working through the issues that startups and emerging growth companies encounter, including entity selection, raising capital, protecting assets, and exiting through a sale of the business or a succession plan.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Taylor works with clients to purchase and sell businesses. He counsels clients on structuring and tax implications, negotiating letters of intent, due diligence, purchase documents, and closing issues.

Taxation and Employee Benefits

Taylor handles a broad range of tax issues for business clients. He has experience with state and federal income tax audits and disputes related to corporate income tax, state sales and use tax, and a range of other issues. Taylor frequently advises clients on employee benefits issues, ERISA, and executive compensation, including non-qualified deferred compensation plans.

Affiliations

Memberships & Affiliations

Legal Affiliations:

  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Business Law Section Member
    • Information Technology Law Section
    • Intellectual Property Section Member
    • Taxation Section Member

Professional Affiliations:

  • International Association of Privacy Professionals Member

Community Involvement:

  • Michigan Technology Network—Lansing
  • Arts Council of Greater Lansing
  • Impression 5 Science Center

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Helped a large, multinational software company respond to a data security incident involving all of its users by determining whether the incident constituted a “breach” under relevant laws and regulations, resolving complex conflict of law issues, assessing who should be notified, navigating regulatory investigations, and mitigating the potential costs of litigation.
  • Advised countless entrepreneurs on forming their businesses, growing them through outside investment, and sustaining them as they added employees and negotiated contracts, handling other legal issues as they arose.
  • Assisted an innovative technology manufacturing client in partnering with a globally-recognized brand by licensing its proprietary technology to create a new jointly-developed product.
  • Advised Michigan-based clients with sales activity throughout the United States on compliance with sales, income, and other federal, state, and local taxes, and worked to negotiate settlement of past liabilities, mitigating significant potential audit costs.
  • Worked with a client to understand the options for withdrawing from public pension system, execute withdrawal from public pension system, and create a more solid foundation to grow its business in the future.
  • Helped a growing business client choose between several non-qualified deferred compensation plans, discussed the plans’ tax implications, and worked with the client to begin plan administration, allowing them to better incentivize and retain key employees.

Communications

Publications

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News & Events

Speaking Engagements

News

Media

Intellectual Property

Data Protection, Cybersecurity and Third Party Vendor Management: Introduction
Data Protection, Cybersecurity and Third Party Vendor Management: Shifting Focus

Small Business Resources

Vendor Management