Commercial Office and Retail Leasing: What Tenants and In-House Counsel Need to Know

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will prepare counsel for commercial tenants for leasing issues unique to office and retail leases and best practices to protect tenant interests. The panel will examine and compare office and retail leasing transactions, identify their key similarities and essential differences, and address the critical issues unique to these types of lease agreements.


Office and retail leases are among the most common forms of commercial real estate transactions, and both require a broad understanding of lease law. Although there is substantial overlap between office and retail leases, there are also many material differences. These differences can be subtle, and the concepts are unique and significant enough to warrant careful review and consideration by savvy counsel.

Key issues include permitted use provisions, annual rent increases, assignment and subletting terms, default and remedy provisions, and tenant and landlord obligations concerning operating expenses, maintenance and repairs, and indemnity provisions. Careful and precise drafting of these provisions is critical to avoiding or resolving potential disputes and protecting clients' interests.

Listen as our authoritative panel of real estate practitioners provides crucial insights for counsel in drafting and negotiating office and retail leases.



  1. Overview
  2. Letters of intent
  3. Credit and security under leases
  4. Tenant space planning considerations
  5. Build-out of leased premises, determination of commencement date, and work letters
  6. Use of premises, exclusive use and radius provisions, continuous operation and kick out clauses, hours of operation
  7. Responsibility for real estate taxes and operating expenses/common area maintenance; operation expense exclusions and caps
  8. Tenant self-help rights
  9. Indemnity provisions
  10. Assignment and sublet provisions; SNDAs, permitted transfers, and estoppel certificates
  11. Real estate tax consideration
  12. Alterations
  13. Casualty and condemnation
  14. Final thoughts and practical considerations


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the specific areas of concern when drafting retail and office leases?
  • How much should a tenant negotiate an LOI?
  • What are some common tools to provide tenants with flexibility in meeting future space planning needs?
  • How can counsel best balance specificity and flexibility in classifying the tenant's business when negotiating exclusive rights?
  • What are typical operating expense exclusions?
  • What are the potential gross sales carve-outs when rent is based on the tenant's revenue?
  • What basic indemnity issues should tenants be aware of?
  • How should tenant and landlord obligations be defined concerning operating expenses, maintenance, and repairs?
  • What exit strategies should tenants consider upfront in a lease negotiation?


Freeman, F. Julian
F. Julian Freeman

Cox Castle & Nicholson

Mr. Freeman is an experienced real estate transactional attorney, recognized within the real estate community as a...  |  Read More

Korenaga, Corin
Corin M. Korenaga

Cox Castle & Nicholson

Mr. Korenaga is a transaction real estate attorney whose practice focuses on acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, and...  |  Read More

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