Thoughtful, conscientious and results-oriented commercial real estate attorney with approximately twenty (20) years of in-house and law firm experience, including drafting and negotiating complex retail, office and warehouse leases and comprehensive real estate transactional work, including drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements, conducting due diligence and handling closings. Experience with drafting and negotiating a variety of contracts, including construction agreements, service agreements, supply and installation agreements and software licensing agreements. A team player with strong business acumen. Ability to think critically and creatively to resolve negotiation impasses and solve problems. Operates with a strong sense of urgency and thrives in a fast-paced and collegial environment.
Drafted and negotiated complex full service, NNN, gross, ground, and build-to-suit office leases and data center shell leases and related documents (license agreements, listing agreements, commission agreements, assignments, terminations, consents to subleases and assignments, NDA's, subordination agreements, ).
Investigated, analyzed and provided guidance to Accounting, Asset Management, Construction and Property Management to respond to and resolve tenant, construction and operational issues and billing disputes. Managed tenant default process, warranty claims and litigation and bankruptcy matters.
Reviewed joint venture agreements and provided analysis and guidance to Finance team and drafted and negotiated amendments with JV partner. Negotiated Master Telecommunication Services Agreement with hyper user in colocation setting.
Assisted Regional VP's and Property Managers with various development matters, including easements, permitting, etc. Supervised paralegal work, including assigning work, mentoring, assisting with goal setting, managing workloads and reviewing and approving work product.
· Substantial contribution to a record 4.9 million square feet of leasing in 2019, including 784,000 square feet of vacant space, representing the highest volume of leasing for the company since 2010, by drafting and negotiating 50+ leases and 100+ lease-related documents over an eight (8) month period.
Contributed to the successful management of challenges to the management of the company's properties posed by COVID-19 by participating as the Legal representative on a COVID-19 task force with Operations, Human Resources, Property Management and Asset Management and researching and analyzing federal, state and local COVID-19 restrictions impacting the company's property and provide guidance on such issues as: (i) de-commissioning buildings left substantially vacant due to stay-at-home orders, (ii) employing enhanced cleaning measures in common areas and tenant spaces; (iii) developing landlord responses to tenant inquiries and questionnaires related to landlord response to COVID-19 and notifications of positive cases; and (iv) providing rent deferrals and abatement to tenants.
· Provided increased legal protections to the company by updating and improving the company's standard lease and lease-related forms, lease language library and services agreement and trained users on updated forms and language.
· Contributed to the development of a new deal management system by facilitating meetings between relevant stakeholders to conduct in-depth review of the existing system to identify the needs of the Legal department and areas for improvement in connection with the process, information collection and documentation to be used to develop the new system.
· Laid off due to restructuring as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
· Recruited to bring the negotiation, drafting and management of retail, office, storage and distribution center leasing in-house. Responsible for drafting, negotiating and administering all retail, office, storage and distribution center leases for North America during largest growth period for the company to date, increasing store count from the 30+ to 175+ retail stores, including flagship stores in Baltimore, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia and expanding into additional office space in Baltimore, Austin, New York and Munich.
· Developed and implemented lease tracking system to track lease negotiations, internal approvals, execution process and distribution of copies of lease documents to various business units.
· Legal lead on task force overseeing the selection, conversion to and implementation of company's first lease administration system and third-party lease administrator.
· Hired, trained and managed in-country counsel in connection with the drafting and negotiation of retail leases in China, Europe, Australia and Korea and developed standard guidelines and sample language for in-country counsel to use to expedite the processing and review of leases and maintain consistency in global retail leases.
· Drafted and negotiated various agreements related to the development and operation of retail stores and office locations, including construction, professional services, supply, maintenance, recruiting and licensing agreements.
· Legal lead on steering committee to address FASB's final guidance on changes to the treatment of leases on corporate balance sheets and managed the conversion to a new lease administration system and a third-party lease administrator to ensure compliance with new guidelines.
· Increased efficiency and reduced internal lease approval and execution turnaround time by modifying procedures for processing international leases and training international retail teams on internal lease approval requirements.
· Legal lead on the development of a 1,000,000+ square foot distribution center in Tennessee, providing guidance to business teams; coordinating with subject-matter Legal specialists to provide advice and address issues; managing and coordinating work between local counsel, business teams and third-party project manager in order to negotiate agreements, file grant applications and evidence compliance with requirements in connection with obtaining various incentive programs, including a PILOT program.
· Legal lead on cross-functional team to bring direct retail business into Canada. Worked with in-country counsel and performed independent research to provide guidance to the Human Resources, Marketing and Retail teams regarding Canada-specific issues related to the opening of the store, bilingual store signage and hangtag requirements.
· Collaborated with the Global Retail team to develop the framework and drafted an agreement for the first exclusive relationship with an international distributor to develop branded retail stores in Latin America, which became the template for similar partnerships in other regions.
· Worked with outside counsel to develop a suite of construction form templates to transition from AIA standard forms and trained Procurement and Retail partners on proper use in RFP's and administration of agreements.
· Contributed to the increase of net operating income through the drafting and negotiation of complex retail leases with a variety of tenants, including big box, luxury brand and restaurant tenants, on behalf of owner and manager of factory outlet and full price shopping centers located throughout the United States.
· Managed collection litigation, including negotiation of rent relief agreements; representing the company at mediations; preparing discovery responses; and assisting outside counsel with deposition and trial preparation.
· Negotiated and drafted various commercial real estate documents, including broker agreements, confidentiality agreements and management agreements. Also negotiated and drafted various real estate development documents, including restrictive covenant, easement, utility, professional service and construction agreements.
· Analyzed loan documents for various loan pools and provided analysis and recommendations for compliance with leasing, reporting and management requirements.
· Performed integral role in the early payoff of mezzanine financing through the direct negotiation and/or management of outside counsel negotiation of sale agreements for the disposition of eighteen (18) shopping centers; drafted sale agreements; handled due diligence inquiries; researched and resolved title and survey issues; and assisted with closings.
· Assisted General Counsel with the merger of Prime Retail, Inc. and The Lightstone Group in December 2009, including review of merger agreement and preparation of exhibits; worked with outside counsel to resolve title and survey issues; and assisted outside counsel with the closing and post-closing obligations.
· Company sold in September 2010 to Simon Property Group.The Baltimore corporate office was closed.
· Drafted and negotiated office and retail leases, representing regional and national landlords and tenants.
· Drafted and negotiated commercial and residential real estate purchase and sale agreements, representing purchasers and sellers. Performed due diligence for clients, including researching and addressing title and survey issues and reviewing environmental assessment and providing guidance to clients.
· Researched and analyzed various real estate issues under Maryland law; drafted memoranda; and provided recommendation to clients.
· Drafted and negotiated various other real estate documents, including easement agreements, indemnification agreements and option agreements.
· Worked directly with clients in all aspects of legal representation.
· Represented 501(c)(3) organization in connection with refinancing of existing debt. Negotiated and drafted tenancy-in-common agreement, management agreement, loan commitment, loan agreement, promissory note, indemnity deed of trust and related loan documents; drafted legal option letters and handled loan closing.
· Pro bono representation of health care organization in connection with refinancing, including negotiation and drafting (or modification) of loan documents and handling of closing.
· Drafted and negotiated ground lease, development agreement and management agreement for development and construction of residential housing for Maryland public university.
Active member of Maryland State Bar.
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