As Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Economic Development Practice Group and a key member of its Real Estate Practice Group, Tushar Chikhliker has represented a diverse group of companies, both domestic and international, in connection with numerous economic development projects in the US in the Southeast region including some of the largest economic development projects in the region’s history.
Tushar has represented companies across a wide array of industries including heavy and light manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical technology, and other life sciences, data centers, warehouse and distribution, agribusiness, headquarters and office, IT, research and development, alternative energy, and real estate development.
Tushar’s representation of his clients regularly extends to a myriad of incentive arrangements including local property tax abatement agreements. State job tax, development, and retraining credits, retail and textile revitalization credits, state and local grant programs, income tax, property tax, and sales tax exemptions, state and federal energy grant programs, state worker training incentives, port incentive agreements, utility-based incentive agreements and other arrangements aimed at sparking new success, or bolstering established success, for his clients in communities where they choose to invest.
Tushar has also assisted with the drafting of legislation providing for new economic development incentives or modifications to those already existing in the advancement of his client's interests. He has also counseled clients in working through freedom of information/public records act issues affecting economic development projects.
Tushar embraces the uniqueness of each company he represents and understands that in constructing and closing deals with his clients, there is no “one-size-fits-all” path to success. Whether working with in-house attorneys, financial or tax officers, outside consultants, or other company representatives, Tushar prides himself in explaining what can often be complicated legal and financial arrangements to his clients in practical terms which allow them to make prudent business decisions.
A key player in South Carolina’s business and legal communities, Tushar has previously served as a long-time Board member of the Board of Directors, as well as a three-time former Legislative Chair, of the South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association (SCEDA), the State's largest economic development trade group. Tushar also serves on the Board of Directors, and is a former Executive Committee member, of SCBIO, a statewide, not-for-profit, public/private life sciences industry association and economic development organization formed to actively promote, build, support, expand, and convene South Carolina’s life sciences industry.
Additionally, Tushar serves on the Board of Directors of the Central SC Alliance as well as the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, both of which are regional economic development alliances pushing the economic development initiatives of the regions they serve.
Within the firm, Tushar is a former chair, and current member, of the Firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee and is a past Chair of Recruiting and Retention.
A native of South Carolina, Tushar attended the University of South Carolina where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science with honors from the South Carolina Honors College. During his time at USC, Tushar earned multiple awards and recognitions including the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award – the most prestigious honor that can be given to a UoSC student, and awarded as a recognition of excellence in leadership, academics, and community service. Upon graduating from USC, Tushar earned his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law, where he served as Student Solicitor of the Law School Honor Council.
Community & Professional
- South Carolina Ports Authority, Port Ambassador, 2021
- S.C. Economic Developers' Association, Member - Past Board of Directors, Legislative Committee, Prior Legislative Committee Chair
- SCBIO, Board of Directors
- Central SC Alliance, Board of Directors
- Charleston Regional Development Authority – Board of Directors
- Central Carolina Community Foundation, Board of Trustees
- Committee of 100
- Partnership Board, University of South Carolina - Department of Political Science, Past Member
- University Associates, University of South Carolina
- South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Past Board of Trustees Member
- Harvest Hope Food Bank, Past Board Member
- John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court, Past Member
- Richland County Bar Association
- North Carolina State Bar
- Workshop Theatre of South Carolina, Past Board of Trustees Member
- Columbia Opportunity Resource, Past Board Member
- Leadership Columbia, Class of 2008
- Leadership Columbia Planning Committee, Past Member
- Leadership Columbia Alumni Association
- Shandon Neighborhood Council, Past Member
Examples of recent economic development projects in which Tushar has served as economic development legal counsel include:
- $155 million/1000+-job US electric vehicle manufacturing facility
- $380 million+/ 950-job Korean home appliance manufacturing facility; and
- $500 million+/multi-thousand job US pharmaceuticals facility; and
- $315 million/1,500-job US agricultural technology center facility
- $35 million/600-job US metal fabrication facility to support the aerospace, defense, energy, and marine industries
- Large US data center for a Fortune 15 multi-national company;
- Multi-county French tire manufacturing facility;
- Large US aircraft manufacturing facility;
- Large German van manufacturing facility;
- Multiple large-scale solar energy facilities
- Multiple mixed-use, commercial development, and revitalization projects
- Multiple infrastructure construction projects
In November of 2014, Tushar traveled to India as part of Governor Nikki Haley's delegation of South Carolina business leaders. On January 2nd, Columbia's The State newspaper reported "Interest in Haley led to more meetings on Indian trade mission, Commerce says."
The 18-member delegation of business and government officials had 90 meetings scheduled but ended up conducting about 120, S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said....
Hitt said having the private business representatives on the trip allowed the state to reach more business prospects and do a better job in selling South Carolina.
"If you went over there with all government people, you would not give them the impression of who you really were as a business state," he said. "You want a diversity of all types of people. You only get one first impression."
Greenville Business Magazine's Legal Elite of the Upstate, 2018
Best Lawyers in America© for Health Care Law, (2023-present)
In February of 2015, Law360 profiled Tushar for its "Minority Powerbrokers Q&A" series.
Tushar was recognized as a South Carolina Super Lawyer - Rising Star in Bonds and Government Finance Law for 2012. The State also recognized his professional and community involvement by selecting him as one of the newspaper's "20 Under 40" for 2011. He has served on the LeadershipNextSC Advisory Group and was a 2010 graduate of the Diversity Leaders Initiative, both of which have been established by the Riley Institute of Government, Politics, and Public Leadership at Furman University.
In 2008, Tushar graduated from the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Columbia program, is currently a member of the Leadership Columbia Alumni Association, and has served on the Leadership Columbia Planning Committee. He also has served on the Shandon Neighborhood Council. He has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Workshop Theatre of South Carolina and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Columbia Opportunity Resource.
Highlights of his career include:
- The State newspaper's 20 Under 40 List - 2011
- John Belton O'Neall Inn of Court
- Leadership Columbia
- Midlands Diversity Leaders Initiative - Riley Institute
- South Carolina Super Lawyer - Rising Star in Bonds and Government Finance Law (2012)
Writing and Speaking Engagements
- Host/Presenter, Webinar: Job Tax Credit in Tier III & IV South Carolina Counties, September 15, 2019
- Maynard Nexsen Economic Development Seminar: NC vs. SC, Presenter: South Carolina Grants, South Carolina Property Tax Incentives, November 6, 2015
- Realtors Seminar (2015) Presenter, Property Tax Basics and Incentives, Abandoned Building Revitalization and Retail Revitalization Acts - Maynard Nexsen PC
- "Minority Powerbrokers Q&A," Law360, February 23, 2015.
- Hard Dollars Seminar, September 6, 2013, Presenter, Program Requirements for State Grants – Maynard Nexsen PC.
- Greenwood Partnership Alliance Meeting, August 29, 2013, Blighted Big Boxes and Cast-Aside Construction: A Look at SC’s Retail Facilities and Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Acts.
- Legislative Update Seminar, June 21, 2013, Presenter, A Comparison of South Carolina vs. North Carolina Incentives – Maynard Nexsen PC.
- State Economic Development Incentives for the Agribusiness Industry, November 2, 2012, Presenter, FILOTs and MCBPs for Agribusiness – Palmetto Agribusiness Council.
- What You Need to Know to Help Your Company Succeed, October 17, 2012, Presenter, State and Local Incentives for Existing Industries in South Carolina – Association of Corporate Counsel, South Carolina Chapter.
- Incentives for Real Estate Developers: Commercial, Retail, Tourism, Multi-Family, October 5, 2012, Presenter, Closed Big Box/Textile Mills Revitalization Credits and Fee-in-Lieu/Multi-County Business Parks – Maynard Nexsen PC.
- SC Clean Energy Summit, July 18, 2012, Presenter, Alternative Energy State Tax Incentives – South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance.
- Selected Issues Regarding Spec Industrial Parks and Mega Sites, June 8, 2012, Presenter, Fee-in-Lieu and Spec Industrial Parks - Maynard Nexsen PC.
- Newbie Seminar, December 1, 2011, Presenter, Property Tax Basics and Incentives – Maynard Nexsen PC.
- Economic Development and Legislative Update Seminar, June 24, 2011, Presenter, MCBP – Advanced Issues – Maynard Nexsen PC.
- SC Journal of International Law & Business Symposium, February 25, 2011, Presenter, A Company Perspective: Common SC Economic Development Incentives – USC School of Law.
- SCATT Academy, February 3, 2011, Presenter, FILOTs and MCBPs – South Carolina Association of Auditors, Treasurers, & Tax Collectors.
- Economic Development School, July 1, 2010, Presenter, Economic Development and Tax Update – Maynard Nexsen PC.
- Project Finance: Financing the $10 Million - $15 Million Manufacturing Warehouse and Distribution Facility, April 21, 2010, Presenter, New Markets Tax Credit Financing – Maynard Nexsen PC.
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Across the Carolinas, food and beverage manufacturing is growing, with companies developing disruptive innovation and platforms. Join Nexsen Pruet for an industry update highlighting trends, challenges, and recent successes.
- Life Sciences Webinar Series Session 2 - Onshoring of the Industry- Targeted Economic Development Strategies
Nexsen Pruet's newest webinar series is focusing on Life Sciences companies in the Carolinas. These webinars will focus on various legal and regulatory issues that Life Sciences companies deal with on a daily basis. They are also designed to provide updates and strategies on how to deal with these issues.
- 01.04.2022 | Episode 82: James Chappell, SCBIO, President & CEO
Heather and Mathew are joined by special co-host Nexsen Pruet attorney Tushar Chikhliker for a crossover episode with The Buzz to introduce SCBIO’s new leader, James Chappell. After a nationwide search, James has been named as SCBIO’s new President & CEO to lead the organization’s great work in directing the flourishing life sciences industry in South Carolina. Tune in for this special episode to learn about James Chappell, the future of life sciences in the state and SCBIO’s development efforts at www.thepulsehealthcast.com
- State Bar: North Carolina, South Carolina
- U.S. District Court: North Carolina (Western), South Carolina