Taylor Gast helps businesses and organizations of all sizes and at all stages of development grow and solve problems. He provides practical and thoughtful advice on issues including technology law, data privacy and cybersecurity, startups, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, 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, municipalities and organizations 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 organizations. 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 is a frequent speaker, writer, and interviewee on the subject of cybersecurity and data privacy for audiences in Michigan and elsewhere.
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 frequently works with entrepreneurs to identify complex issues and break them down into clear business decisions and action items. He has significant experience forming LLCs, Corporations, and other business entities, 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 transaction structuring, tax implications, negotiating letters of intent, due diligence, purchase and sale documents, and both pre- and post-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 business taxes, state sales and use tax, and a range of other issues. Taylor also advises clients on employee benefits issues, ERISA, and executive compensation, including non-qualified deferred compensation plans.
Honors & Recognitions
"Top 5 Under 35" Award, Ingham County Bar Association, 2020
Memberships & Affiliations
- State Bar of Michigan
- Business Law Section Member
- Information Technology Law Section
- Intellectual Property Section Member
- Taxation Section Member
- International Association of Privacy Professionals Member
- Michigan Technology Network—Lansing
- Arts Council of Greater Lansing
- Impression 5 Science Center
- 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.
Recent Blog Posts
BizTech Law Blog
- Cyber Insurance: Is it right for you?
- Legal Cybersecurity Hotline Launched
- Using Vendor Management to Protect Your Business's Data
- Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Are You Compliant?
- Updates on Federal and State Privacy Legislation and the FTC’s Authority
- How are Businesses Preparing for Proposed Federal Data Privacy Legislation? Part Two: Conduct a Data Assessment and Address Risks
- Michigan Marijuana Retailers: Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Risks
- SEC-Regulated Companies Should Address Cybersecurity to Avoid Enforcement Risks
- Are Boards of Directors Responsible for Cybersecurity?
Tax Law Blog
- Key Details of the Paycheck Protection Program Under the CARES Act, Foster Swift Legal Update E-blast, April 3, 2020
- COVID-19 Stimulus: A Guide to Business Relief Packages and Tax Relief, Foster Swift Legal Update E-blast, March 27, 2020
- Governor's Executive Order Provides Exemption for Michigan Agriculture, Foster Swift Agricultural Law News E-blast, March 24, 2020
- Plain English/What You Need to Know - Michigan EO 2020-21 on Suspension of Activities for Manufacturers, Foster Swift Legal Update E-blast, March 24, 2020
- How does the Coronavirus Impact your Contracts?, March 17, 2020
- Municipalities Held Hostage: Addressing the Rise of Ransomware, The Review (Michigan Municipal League), January 7, 2020
News & Events
- Nonprofit Formation and Operation, Arts Council of Greater Lansing, smARTS Workshop, November 4, 2019
- Preparing for Havoc: Data Breaches, MICPA: CPE Mega Conference, October 22, 2019
- Data Privacy and Breach Response, Michigan Municipal League 2019 Convention, September 27, 2019
- Troubleshooting Sales Tax Nexus Post-Wayfair, Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA), June 6, 2019
- Developments in Data Privacy Laws, Capital Area IT Council, 2018
- Cyber-Security: It's Not If, It's When, October 4, 2017
- Gast Quoted on Cybersecurity Hacks in Election Campaigns, Corp! Magazine, January 23, 2020
- Firm Launches Cybersecurity Hotline, October 1, 2019
- Foster Swift Sponsors River Run's Corporate Challenge, August 29, 2019
- Foster Swift Attorneys to Present Accelerator Award at CMU Competition, April 9, 2018
- 4 Greater Lansing hacks already, who's next?, Lansing State Journal, July 13, 2017
- Foster Swift Welcomes Four New Attorneys, December 7, 2015
- Business & Tax
- Business Contracts
- Business Law
- Employee Benefits
- Entity Selection, Organization & Planning
- Real Estate Law
- General Counsel
- Startup Entrepreneurial Emerging Development (S.E.E.D)
- Tax Law
- Technology Law
- Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Transactions & Alliances
- Michigan Tax
- Securities Law
- State and Federal Audits and Tax Disputes
University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2015, magna cum laude
University of Michigan, B.A. Political Science, 2010
Bar and Court Admissions