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As we all expected, cases are being brought and decided on the issue of whether the COVID-19 pandemic and related governmental shut down orders trigger force majeure clauses in commercial leases and operate to excuse the performance of commercial tenants. While commercial leases and the force majeure clauses contained in such leases vary widely, the recent decision from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois in In re Hitz Restaurant Group, 616 B.R. 374, 2020 WL 2924523 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2020) may provide guidance to parties and help them to resolve similar disputes without resorting to the courts.
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By Ann E. Ryan and Adrienne B. Koch
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some tenants were able to negotiate termination agreements with their landlords. But even though a landlord may agree to terminate a lease to regain control of a defaulting tenant’s space without costly and lengthy litigation, typically a defaulting tenant that otherwise has no contractual right to terminate its lease will be in a much weaker bargaining position with respect to the conditions for termination.
By Erik Sherman
Disaster — a seemingly closed economy, crashed supply chains, tight labor availability, and many millions out of work — turned into rising values, some hot sectors, and rising rents and increased stability by 2021. Stepping into 2022 should be a good deal less jarring. And yet, there might be changes and surprises. Here’s what experts see as coming up.
By Stewart E. Sterk
When, at the culmination of environmental review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), a municipality resolves to require a developer to ameliorate environmental impacts, can anyone other than the municipality itself enforce the requirement?
By Anthony Davies
The law firm office cannot remain unchanged, therefore, as if frozen in time set to some date prior to the onset of pandemic, when all the terms and meaning have all changed. In fact, the office must now provide benefits or an experience the lawyers and staff cannot get at home.