Commercial Real Estate Leases: Selected Issues in Drafting and Negotiating in the Current Market - CLE, Continuing Legal Education - ALI
Commercial Real Estate Leases: Selected Issues in Drafting and Negotiating in the Current Market
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Why You Should Attend


A resurgence of leasing activity in the current real estate markets coupled with ever-present default issues require the real estate professional to be fully versed in new techniques. Careful planning, drafting, and strategizing are necessary to avoid the confounding problems from the past and create a template for the issues which have emerged from the troubled market.


This long running, highly praised course from ALI CLE, taught by the country’s top commercial leasing experts, has been updated and renewed to account for current market conditions. Composed of 12.5 hours of instruction, including one full hour of ethics, this CLE program on commercial real estate leases provides instruction on the key issues in negotiating leases of all types, including retail, office, and ground leases. Emphasis is placed on drafting and negotiating skills from the viewpoints of the landlord, tenant, and lender, while engaging the registrants with a panel discussion format.


Register today so you can stay current in the important developments in commercial leasing and enjoy ample opportunities to network with fellow practitioners and distinguished faculty.

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What You Will Learn

Our expert faculty members address the most important issues and topics confronting commercial leasing professionals in today’s market, including:

economic terms

common area maintenance charges and pass-throughs

work letters and construction Issues

satisfaction of lenders

assignments and subleases


office leasing

retail leasing

working out "distressed" leases

“green leases”

subordination, non-disturbance, and attornment agreements

defaults and bankruptcy

ethics and professional responsibility

Time is reserved throughout the program to address registrants’ questions.

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Who Should Attend

This course is designed for commercial real estate professionals, including attorneys for lessors and lessees, real estate brokers and agents, accountants, real estate developers, and commercial property owners.

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Planning Chairs

Richard R. Goldberg, Ballard Spahr LLP, Philadelphia

Mark A. Senn, Senn Visciano Canges P.C., Denver

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Peter Aitelli, Shartsis Friese LLP, San Francisco

Victoria Smouse Berghel, Attorney at Law, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Mark S. Hennigh, Greene Radovsky Maloney Share & Hennigh LLP, San Francisco

John S. Hollyfield, Norton Rose Fulbright (Fulbright & Jaworski LLP), Houston

Brad A. Molotsky, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, Brandywine Realty Trust, Radnor, Pennsylvania

Kathryn Cochrane Murphy, Krokidas & Bluestein LLP, Boston

Theodore I. Yi, Quarles & Brady LLP, Chicago

ALI CLE Program Attorney: Thomas M. Hennessey (

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Program Schedule


8:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:55 a.m. Welcome and Announcements
Video Webcast Segment A

9:00 a.m. Introductory Remarks and Course Overview - Messrs. Goldberg and Senn

9:10 a.m. The Letter of Intent and Why It is the Keystone for Your Transaction - Ms. Murphy and Mr. Senn
   •  Making your client's intentions clear
   •  What should be included and what omitted
   •  Binding nature - what should be binding and how to do it

9:30 a.m. The Most Important Terms in Today's Lease: Rent, Economic Terms, CAM - Messrs. Aitelli, Goldberg, and Hennigh
   •  Basic rent
   •  Cost recovery, CAM, and taxes
   •  Utilities and building services
   •  Office space measurement
   •  Gross-ups
   •  Options and expansion space
   •  Telecommunications
   •  Retail rent concepts

10:30 a.m. Networking and Refreshment Break

10:45 a.m. Rent, Economic Terms, CAM (continued)

12:30 p.m. Lunch Break
Video Webcast Segment B

2:00 p.m. Important Concepts in Retail Leasing - Ms. Berghel and Messrs. Goldberg, Hollyfield, and Senn
   •  Types of retail centers and different leasing strategies
   •  Co-tenancies
   •  Exclusives
   •  Supermarket leases
   •  CAM strategies
   •  Retail gross-ups

3:15 p.m. Networking and Refreshment Break

3:30 p.m. The Role for Ground Leases in Today's Marketplace - Messrs. Aitelli and Hennigh and Ms. Murphy
   •  Terms specific to ground leases
   •  Financeable ground leases

4:15 p.m. The Key Issues for Lenders in Commercial Leases - Mr. Hollyfield and Ms. Murphy
   •  Estoppels
   •  SNDA's

5:00 p.m. Questions and Answers

5:15 p.m. Adjournment for the Day; Networking Reception for Registrants and Faculty


8:00 a.m. Networking Session and Continental Breakfast
Video Webcast Segment C

8:30 a.m. How Should the Landlord and Tenant Deal with Assignments and Subleases? - Mss. Berghel and Murphy and Messrs. Molotsky, Senn, and Yi
   •  Maintaining control and limiting liability
   •  Subleases - complexities and difficulties
   •  Differences between office and retail

9:30 a.m. Do I Have the Right Insurance Coverage? A Primer for Lawyers - Mr. Goldberg

10:15 a.m. Networking Break and Refreshments

10:30 a.m. The Upside of Green Leases for Lessors and Lessees - Messrs. Hennigh, Molotsky, and Yi
   •  What are they?
   •  What provisions are modified?
   •  What is the tenant's cost?
   •  Are they real?

11:30 a.m. Leasing during Down Periods: How To Measure the Risk - Ms. Berghel and Messrs. Aitelli and Hollyfield

12:00 p.m. Questions and Answers

12:15 p.m. Lunch Break
Video Webcast Segment D

1:45 p.m. Preparing for Problems and the Worst Case Scenario: Security Deposits, Guarantees, Default, Litigation, and Bankruptcy - Ms. Murphy and Messrs. Goldberg, Hollyfield, and Senn

3:15 p.m. Networking Break and Refreshments

3:30 p.m. Ethical Issues - Faculty

4:30 p.m. Questions and Answers

4:45 p.m. Adjournment 

Total 60-minute hours of instruction: 12.5 hours, including one hour of ethics

Suggested Prerequisite: Limited experience in legal practice in subject matter or completion of Basic CLE Course in subject matter

Educational Objective: Acquisition of knowledge and skills to develop proficiency as a practitioner; maintenance of professional competence as a practitioner; provision of information on recent legal developments

Level of Instruction: Advanced

Click Here for MCLE Credit Information

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Here's what registrants have said about this course:
Lively, engaging, informative presentations. Format and interaction between participants was well synchronized.
This is an excellent program, with wise and pragmatic panel members—simply the best program I have ever attended.
Overall, an excellent panel that works together well. Great to get insight on what’s happening out there in the real world.
This program exceeded my expectations. The panel discussions were interesting and it was very enjoyable to hear the comments of clearly very experienced practitioners. All materials are excellent. Very good program! Thank you.
This is one of the best courses I have attended. Awesome faculty, very informative, lot’s of content. I am looking forward to reviewing the materials.
Excellent presentation as always. I especially appreciate the focus on practical issue suggestions and real-world observations. I’ve been to some seminars which are so focused on giving cutting-edge latest themes that the content has little to do with a practical, real-world practice. This presentation is a good balance of cutting-edge theory, with practical advice that I can take back and apply to most of my clients and associates.
This was one of the most content-specific and thorough courses I’ve ever attended. Very up-to-date and timely.
I really liked the free flow interactive format.
Good broad course that covers extensive body of law. For my purposes (expansion of practice into commercial leasing) the course was excellent. I suspect that over time I would want to attend a course that covered specific aspects in more detail, but for my purposes the course was excellent and the panelists were also extraordinarily knowledgeable and interesting.
Good written materials and referencing during presentations. Large panel, but each member contributed and added value. Good repartee among panel members—brought up excellent points and practice tips.
Written materials, especially examples are excellent!! Really appreciate flexibility of the courses also — I can make up parts of segments by listening to webcast.
This was a very informative and helpful guide to all areas of commercial leasing. Goldberg and Senn are pros — extremely knowledgeable and adept at conveying their knowledge in a way that can be understood. I thoroughly enjoyed the format and the content and will recommend the CLE as a ‘must’ for young attorneys like myself.
The administration of the seminar was outstanding — clear, concise, predictable, consistent, and competent.
This course was chock-full of very useful information. It was terrific having both landlord and tenants’ attorneys on the panel to get the counter arguments with regard to each of the subjects. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
I never attend local CLE programs and I only attend ALI-ABA Programs — best speakers, in-depth discussions. It makes my practice more sophisticated, which adds value to me as a practitioner, and my clients will benefit. This is a great seminar – I recommend no CHANGES!!
Excellent program, a TON of valuable information here that I 'll be able to refer to frequently.

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