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Negotiating Commercial Leases: How Owners & Corporate Occupants Can Avoid Costly Errors 2012

Author(s): Patrick G. Moran, Michael E. Meyer, John Busey Wood
Practice Area: Banking, Ethics/Professional Responsibility, Real Estate
Published: Oct 2012
ISBN: 9781402418730
PLI Item #: 35568
CHB Spine #: N602, N603

Arthur E. Pape owns The Pape Law Firm in Wheaton, Illinois. He represents developers, lenders and other investors in real estate. He has been a principal in a small real estate development company and real estate counsel in the law division of a money center national bank. He was elected to American College of Real Estate Lawyers in 1986 where he founded and was first chairman of its Insurance Committee. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1997 (being named by it as "Chicago Best Lawyers Real Estate Law Lawyer of the Year" for 2012), in Who's Who in Legal, International Who's Who of Business Lawyers since 2005, has been an Illinois Super Lawyer since 2005 and was selected as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Illinois for two consecutive years. Mr. Pape is a member of Lambda Alpha International, an honorary land economics society. He writes and lectures extensively on topics of interest to real estate lawyers and is an Adjunct Professor in The John Marshall Law School's Masters of Real Estate Law Program where he teaches a course on insurance as it relates to real estate transactions. 

Dana Bell

As a member of Jones Lang LaSalle's Lease Administration group, Dana currently leads the national Lease Audit Services group. The group performs desktop and field audits of operating and other pass-thru expenses on behalf of more than 25 corporate clients. In 2011 the Lease Audit Services team recovered more than $2 million on behalf of its clients, who also realized more than $2.5 million in future savings as a result of the team's efforts.

Dana serves as the subject matter expert on operating expenses for the national Lease Administration team and has led the development of the team's desktop audit training program, internal operating policies and procedures, and the desktop audit checklist and analysis template.

Prior to her current assignment, Dana led the growth of the Pittsburgh Lease Administration team from a team of 3 to more than 80 serving over 50 clients, whose combined portfolios consisted of over 8,000 leases with more than $2 billion in rents managed and its establishment as the firm's national Lease Administration hub.

Previous Experience
Prior to joining Jones Lang LaSalle in 2002, Dana was a regional controller for a national commercial real estate firm in Pittsburgh, PA.  She managed the Property Accounting group for the largest commercial office property in Pittsburgh as well as a national portfolio of office and retail properties.

Education and Affiliations
Dana graduated at the top of her class from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and Accounting. 

Dana is a Jones Lang LaSalle Club Award Winner. The Jones Lang LaSalle Club award is presented to employees who consistently model the company's values and culture, and who achieve outstanding accomplishments.

David J. Siegel is a partner in the Chicago real estate group of Sidley Austin LLP.  Mr. Siegel joined the firm in 1994, and his practice includes real estate acquisition, disposition and leasing transactions of all categories, with a particular focus on the representation of clients in the accounting, consumer products, industrial and development sectors.  Mr. Siegel has represented clients of all types in a variety of complex matters, including purchases and sales of industrial sites and office buildings, build-to-suit office building and warehouse/distribution center leasing, development projects including shopping centers, utility substations and petroleum service stations, dispositions of utility generating stations and petroleum terminals, property joint-use arrangements, sale-leaseback transactions, and multi-state acquisitions and dispositions of real estate.  He is the author of articles regarding matters such as subdivisions and other governmental controls of real estate and office leasing, and has spoken and lectured on a wide variety of real estate law topics, including purchases and sales, leasing and development issues.  Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Siegel earned a B.A. from University of Michigan in 1991, and obtained his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1994.

Deborah Kuo

As the Vice President of Real Estate & Facilities, Deb is responsible for leading the Exelon organization and practice area that provides portfolio strategy, transactions, project and occupancy management, facilities operations, and lease administration services for Exelon and Exelon Generation.

Professional Background
Deb joined Exelon as the Portfolio Manager for Exelon's real estate portfolio, adding progressive responsibilities in her roles as Director of Planning and Strategy, Director of Real Estate & Facilities, and Director, Merger Integration. Before joining Exelon, Deb was a Senior Manager with Deloitte's management consulting practice, where she advised Fortune 100 corporations and commercial real estate industry clients on strategic, operational, financial, and technology issues relative to their real estate and business operations and real estate portfolios. Deb began her career in commercial real estate with Rubloff, moving into property management roles at JMB Properties, Compass Management & Leasing, and Miglin-Beitler

At Exelon, Deb led the development of Exelon's Chicago headquarters, a project which attained Platinum LEED-CI, the largest project at the time, to achieve this recognition. With the successful merger of Exelon and Constellation Energy, Deb is now leading the development of the Constellation business unit's headquarters in Baltimore, in addition to managing Exelon's real estate & facilities practice area

Deb received her bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and her master's degree in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, with concentrations in strategy, marketing, and real estate. She has been featured on numerous publications and organizations: American Institute of Architects (AIA), BOMA, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), CoreNet, Corporate Realty and Design Institute, International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Kellogg Graduate School, Law Seminars International, National Governors' Association, PEW Center on Global Climate Change, RETech, and the US Green Building Council.

Ellen B. Friedler is the managing partner and a founding partner of Strategic Leasing Law Group, LLP.  Prior to starting her new firm, Ellen was the chair of the leasing group at Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg. For the last 30 years, she has focused on retail and office leasing and related matters, representing landlords and tenants as well as assembling and training a group of highly experienced legal professionals in commercial leasing. Before joining Neal Gerber Eisenberg, Ellen was a Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of Rosenberg & Liebentritt, P.C., where she was the head of the firm’s retail leasing and telecommunications practices. Rosenberg & Liebentritt served as in-house lawyers for Sam Zell and various enterprises in which Mr. Zell had an interest. Ellen received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1983.

Eric A. Oesterle, partner

Mr. Oesterle is a partner at the Chicago law firm of Miller Shakman & Beem LLP. Previously he was a partner at the Chicago office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP (Dentons US LLP). He has more than 40 years of litigation experience in a wide range of complex commercial matters including bankruptcy, breach of contract, class action, construction, employment, environmental, fiduciary duty, franchise, fraud, higher education, insurance coverage, legal malpractice, lender liability, patent, real estate, theft of trade secret and other matters in both federal and state trial and appellate courts, and in arbitration and mediation proceedings throughout the country.


B.S., University of Michigan, Chemistry, 1970

J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1973

Eric Fuglsang practices primarily in the area of commercial real estate. His practice focuses on commercial leasing and asset management, commercial real estate finance, and commercial sales and acquisitions. Mr. Fuglsang has extensive experience in the representation of landlords, institutional owners, asset managers, investors, developers, and tenants in all facets of commercial leasing and asset management activities, the representation of both lenders and borrowers in commercial financing transactions, including modifications and workouts of troubled loans, and the representation of sellers and purchasers in connection with the acquisition and disposition of commercial office, industrial and retail properties (both individually and on a portfolio basis) including distressed assets.

Education and Honors

DePaul University College of Law (J.D., 1997)
  • Graduated in the top five percent (5%) of his law school class, earning a Dean's Scholar distinction and an American Jurisprudence Award for Civil Procedure.
  • DePaul Law Review (Member). Order of the Coif (Member). Phi Kappa Phi (Member). Delta Mu Delta (Member).
Elmhurst College (B.S., highest honors, 1994) - Degree: Economics and Business Administration.

Bar Admissions
Illinois, 1997

Court Admissions
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1997

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2013: Real Estate Law).
  • Selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers®-Rising Stars Editions 2007-2011 (Real Estate).
  • Leading Lawyers Network (Member).

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association (Member, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section).
  • Illinois State Bar Association (Member, Real Property Section and Local Governmental Law Section).
  • Chicago Bar Association (Member, Local Government Committee).
  • Building Owners and Managers Association - "BOMA" (Member, Chicago Chapter).

M. Rosie Rees joined the firm in 1994 and is a partner in the firm’s real estate department. The emphasis of Ms. Rees’ practice is shopping center leasing on behalf of both landlords and tenants.

Ms. Rees has published many articles and given many presentations on the subject of retail leasing.


The clients she has represented include: JMB Realty Corporation, Related Companies, Schnitzer West, Urban Retail Properties Corp., RREEF Management Company, AnnTaylor, Inc., Brooks Brothers, and Guess?, Inc.


Pircher, Nichols & Meeks Power Women In Real Estate


PNM Partners, Sheldon Halpern and Rosie Rees to Lead Webinar on Mixed-Use
Development Leases
February 25, 2014

Pop-Up To Permanent
Shopping Center Business, September 1, 2011

Landlord Lien Waivers and Subordinations
California Centers, May 1, 2010

Avoiding the 'Dark' Side of Temporary Uses
California Real Estate Journal, November 9, 2009

Trouble in Lease Land: A Guide to Retail Lease Workouts (Part Three)
Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy, August 1, 2009

Trouble in Lease Land: A Guide to Retail Lease Workouts (Part Two)
Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy, July 1, 2009

Trouble in Lease Land: A Guide to Retail Lease Workouts (Part One)
Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy, June 1, 2009

Illinois Court Extends Guarantor Liability To month-To-Month Leases
Midwest Real Estate News, June 25, 2006

The Exercise of Free Speech at Shopping Centers
California Centers, May 1, 2005

The Exercise of Free Expression in Shopping Centers
Illinois Real Estate Journal, October 14, 2004


State Bar of Illinois, Member since 1981
International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Member


Leasing and Development
Real Estate


Illinois, 1981


J.D., with honors, Loyola UniversityLaw School, 1981

B.A., English, Linguistics, Speech and Theater, with high honors, Northeastern Illinois University, 1973

Michael D. Rechtin, Jr. is a partner in the firm’s Real Estate Group. His practice focuses on commercial real estate, specializing in office, data center, headquarters, industrial and retail leasing, build-to-suit transactions, acquisitions, dispositions, financings, joint ventures and development. Mr. Rechtin has worked extensively in the data center field and understands its many unique features. Mr. Rechtin represents on a local and national basis publicly-traded companies, pension funds and pension fund advisors, investment advisory groups, local and national commercial developers, real estate entrepreneurs and professional services firms.

Mr. Rechtin’s recent experience includes:

  • Recent major data center tenant representations with a value well in excess of $1,000,000,000:
    • National data center counsel for a Fortune 50 media conglomerate including a 9.6 megawatt Hillsboro, Oregon data center ($450,000,000 value) and a 8.4 megawatt Northern Virginia data center ($300,000,000 value)
    • Fortune 35 company in a 6.3 megawatt Northlake, Illinois data center ($250,000,000 value)
    • Nationally-recognized website and domain name provider in a 3 megawatt Northern Virginia data center ($100,000,000 value)
    • National financial services firm in a 1.4 megawatt Chandler, Arizona data center ($60,000,000 value)
  • Currently representing the owners of the following downtown Chicago and suburban office buildings in their leasing and management work: John Hancock Building, 55 W. Monroe, 100 N. LaSalle, 200 S. Wacker, 150 N. Michigan, 191 N. Wacker, 200 W. Jackson, Schaumburg Corporate Center and One Oakbrook Terrace.
  • In the largest suburban Chicago office lease of 2012, represented a tenant leasing an entire Class A building (300,000 square feet) in Schaumburg, Illinois for its world headquarters. Transaction won the 2013 NAIOP Chicago "Suburban Office Transaction" of the year.
  • Represented the largest tenant at 330 N. Wabash in Chicago (former IBM Building) in a 273,000 square foot headquarters office lease. Transaction won the Crain’s Chicago Commercial Real Estate “Innovative Deal of the Year.”
  • Represent numerous companies (financial services, high tech and manufacturing) as tenants and licensees in retail/colocationdata center facilities ranging from 250 kilowatts to 2 megawatts.
  • Represent several landlords, developers and private equity firms in their data center development, leasing, ownership and operation strategy.
  • Represent numerous publicly traded companies and large professional services firms nationally on their real estate holdings.
  • Outside general counsel to one of the nation's leading triathlon and cycling training and coaching providers (Mr. Rechtin is also an avid triathlete).

Education and Honors

  • University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business (Certificate, 2013)Certificate of Executive Management.
  • University of Notre Dame Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1992)Dean’s List.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S., 1989)

Bar Admissions

Illinois, 1994

Michigan (inactive), 1992

Professional Recognition

Listed in Chambers USA® (2013-2014: Real Estate).

Illinois Leading Lawyer (Commercial Real Estate, 2005-2014).

Professional and Civic Activities

  • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University Graduate School of Engineering, Evanston, Illinois.
  • American Bar Association (Member; Real Property, Estate and Trust Law and Business Law Sections).
  • Illinois Bar Association (Member).
  • North Branch Works (Secretary and Member of the Board of Directors).

Selected Presentations/Publications

Mr. Rechtin is highly regarded for his expertise and is well known throughout the Chicago brokerage and legal communities. Mr. Rechtin has lectured on the following topics:

  • Presenter, “Commercial Leasing: Changing Lease Forms and Negotiating Tactics in the New Improving Economy,” PLI-Negotiating Commercial Leases, November 18, 2013. 
  • Presenter, “Acquisition and Dispositions, Journey Through the PSA, and More,” PLI 15th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute, October 28, 2013. 
  • Presenter, Bisnow Media presents the Second Annual Data Center Investment Conference & Expo, Washington, D.C., June 19-20, 2013. 
  • Presenter, “Leasing: Data Center Leases and Other Current Trends and Issues,” 7th Annual Specialized CLE for In-House Counsel, Phoenix, Arizona, June 13, 2013.
  • Panel Moderator, “Data Center Boom,” Bisnow Real Estate Chicago, January 29, 2013.
  • Presenter, “Changing Lease Forms and Negotiating Tactics in the New Improving Economy,” PLI Negotiating Commercial Leases: How Owners and Corporate Occupants Can Avoid Costly Errors, November 16, 2012.
  • Presenter, “Commercial Leasing,” PLI 14th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute, October 29, 2012.
  • Panel Moderator, “Data Center Boom,” Bisnow Real Estate Chicago, December 8, 2011.
  • Presenter, “Commercial Leasing,” PLI 13th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute, October 31, 2011.
  • “How Safe Is Your Client’s Data Storage?: Issues and Expertise in Data Center Leasing,” Quarles & Brady LLP Real Estate Law Training and Continuing Legal Education, June 23, 2011.
  • “Safeguarding Leasing Broker Commissions,” presented to each of Jones, Lang, LaSalle, The John Buck Company and Transwestern in 2009 and 2010.
  • “News Trends in Lease Agreements from a Landlord’s and Tenant’s Perspective,” Grubb & Ellis Company 2007 National Conference, January 2007.
  • “Review of Leasing Issues,” Leasing for Facilities Manager (IFMA), April and September 2006.
  • “Negotiating Office Lease Letters of Intent,” TCN Worldwide, April 2006.
  • “Tenant Improvement Work Letters,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the Practicing Law Institute.


Tracy L. Kepler is Senior Litigation Counsel for the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), where she concentrates her practice in the investigation and prosecution of attorney disciplinary matters. Ms. Kepler currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of the National Organization of Bar Counsel (NOBC), a non-profit organization of legal professionals whose members enforce ethics rules that regulate the professional conduct of lawyers who practice law in the United States, Canada and Australia. She has previously served as the NOBC's Secretary from 2011-2012, and as Director-at-Large from 2009-2011. Ms. Kepler is the NOBC Liaison to the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism and CPR-SOC, and has previously served as Liaison to the ABA Standing Committee Ethics & Professional Responsibility and to the ABA Standing Commission on Legal Assistance Programs (CoLAP). She is currently a member of the Advisory Committee of CoLAP. Ms. Kepler is an active member of the ABA and its Center for Professional Responsibility and a frequent presenter of ethics related topics to various national, state and local organizations.

Prior to joining the ARDC in 2000, Ms. Kepler served as Regional Counsel for the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services. She is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and received her law degree from New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts.

John Busey Wood is a member of the commercial real estate group in the New York City office of the national law firm Akerman LLP and advises public and private companies on national real estate transactions, development of mixed use and retail projects, retail centers and portfolio property master and ground leasing. For over 40 years Mr. Wood has represented owners and tenants in the design and negotiation of commercial leases covering in excess of 100 million square feet of retail, industrial, office and mixed use projects. These experiences, coupled with a unique blend of professional disciplines, resulted in his being featured on the Wall Street Journal Report and in articles on the impact of commercial leases on commerce and being referred to by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times as “the father of the modern killer lease.” His has extensive national experience in developable land, property acquisitions, and large scale retail and office developments.  He is a noted authority on ground leases and sale/leasebacks and helped lead a national team on a purchase, sale and master lease transaction involving 327 super market properties. Among noteworthy projects, Mr. Wood directed the legal team in a national portfolio acquisition with a value in excess of $2 billion and he participated in the development, leasing and financing of over 4 million square feet of regional shopping malls and retail centers nationwide. He negotiated what is considered the largest ground/space lease transaction of its kind in the history of New York City, containing more than 1.6 million square feet and including “fast-track” reconstruction, construction financing, permanent financing and options for fee acquisition. Mr. Wood is a licensed Class “A” commercial real estate broker, a Certified Public Accountant and holds B.B.A. (Accounting and Economics), M.B.A. (Accounting and Finance) and J.D. degrees.

Mr. Wood frequently lectures on commercial leasing, transaction structuring and master leasing at Columbia University-ISDE Graduate Law and Economics Program and at the New York University Graduate School and Schack Real Estate Institute. He also lectures at PLI, where he is the New York and national Chairman of the Milton Friedman Leasing Lectures, and at the executive and annual meetings of the ABA and AICPA.  Mr. Wood has frequently served as a “party selected” and Federal arbitrator and is an American Arbitration Association - National Neutral - Commercial Panelist. 

Mr. Wood is the senior author of the national treatise Negotiating and Drafting Office Leases, published by Law Journal Seminars-Press and supplemented 2 times per year ©1994. He is the author of the textbook, Navigating The Dangerous Shoals of a Commercial Lease, published by New York University Graduate School, ©1992-2012 and hosts the commercial leasing educational websites and which are utilized to supplement his lectures. Mr. Wood is listed in Who's Who In Law and Registry of Global Business Leaders and NY Super Lawyers 2004-2018.  Mr. Wood is AV Preeminent® peer rated by Martindale-Hubbell and was peer-nominated and elected an American Bar Foundation Fellow.

Mike Meyer has developed a national reputation as one of the preeminent leasing attorneys in the United States. He regularly represents many of this country's leading financial institutions, accounting firms and law firms in connection with major lease transactions throughout the United States. Representative of the major leases he has done for tenants recently include City National Bank headquarters lease (525,000 sq.ft. in Los Angeles, CA), Sempra headquarters lease (300,000 sq.ft. in San Diego, CA), Nestle USA headquarters lease (205,833 sq.ft. in Arlington, VA), ICM Partners headquarters lease (111,591 in Los Angeles), and Northern Trust’s headquarters lease (450,000 sq.ft. in Chicago, IL). Recently he won a $5.6 million dollar Fair Market Rental Rate arbitration award for Capitol Records. In 2017, he served as President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Mike served for ten years as a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) in Los Angeles. He has served as judge pro tem in the Los Angeles Municipal Courts and presently serves as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. He developed the definition of fair market rental rate which, in one form or another, is used in numerous major lease transactions, and has been intimately involved in many arbitrations/mediations involving fair market rental rates.

In 2011, Mike was named Real Estate Lawyer of the Year by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mike has been named CoreNet Global's Real Estate Professional of the Year; the Los Angeles Business Journal named him one of the 25 Most Powerful Attorneys in Los Angeles; he was named one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California by the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the San Francisco Daily Journal.

The respected English legal directory Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business has repeatedly ranked Mike in California's top tier for real estate law.

He has served on the board of directors of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Los Angeles Police Foundation, and LA Sports & Entertainment Commission.

Mike has presented various seminars to BOMA, PLI, State Bar of California and the American Bar Association. He is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.