Butzel Long Attorney Discusses Issues Facing New York's Commercial Real Estate Market On Panel of Industry Leaders

Friday, February 12, 2010
New York, NY - Butzel Long real estate attorney Robin Levitt Topol, Esq. recently joined a group of industry leaders to discuss a wide range of issues facing New York's commercial real estate industry.

Speaking to a group of legal and business professionals at the 2010 Lex Mundi Real Estate Practice Group North America Regional Meeting, Ms. Topol discussed the effects of insolvencies on landlords, tenants and lenders the best tactics for renegotiating leases and how tenants can make the most of their position in the current market.

She noted several issues that tenants can raise in re- negotiating existing leases, including updating the base year for operating expenses and tenant’s pro rata share, placing caps on operating expenses, extending the lease term, auditing operating expenses, and re-evaluating services and utilities, subletting the space and for large tenants, encouraging a landlord to appeal the property taxes.

“In this economic downturn a lot of tenants have financial concerns and it is important for them to carefully analyze their situation and possibly renegotiate their lease,” said Robin Levitt Topol, who practices in Butzel Long’s New York office. “It’s critical for a tenant to assess current market conditions, know the provisions of the lease and understand abatements, deferrals and any other rent concessions that they can perhaps use as negotiating tools.

“In a time of distress, there is a greater incentive for all parties to work together. Lenders don’t want the property back and landlords don’t want vacant space or new fees associated with a new tenant, so they are more likely to work with the tenant in place to reach a solution that makes the most sense.”

“Robin's very presence on this panel, comprised exclusively of Lex Mundi member firms, demonstrates the caliber of industry knowledge and legal skill provided by the attorneys at Butzel Long,” said Philip J. Kessler, chairman of the firm. “As we continue to expand in New York, her knowledge and broad-based real estate experience will be invaluable.”

In addition to Ms. Levitt Topol, the panel included Karen Farnsworth Einsidler, Vice President of Investment and Real Estate Counsel for The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America Lawrence Reilly, Esq. of Day Pitney LLP and Andy Weiner, Esq. of Morrison & Foerster, LLP.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long, established in 1854, is one of America’s leading law firms, with 220 attorneys and offices in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Michigan, New York City, Washington, D.C., Boca Raton and Palm Beach, Florida, as well as Alliance offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City and Monterrey. The firm represents clients from diverse industries on a regional, national and multi-national level and is the sole Michigan member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Visit the Butzel Long website at www.butzel.com.
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