Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sutherland’s problem-solving approach to retail real estate ensures that complicated and contentious matters are resolved efficiently and effectively.

Crafting complex retail development and leasing deals often resembles putting together a puzzle. Sutherland attorneys know how to fit all the pieces together into a perfect whole, from leases and loans to joint venture agreements to lending documents. Our attorneys work with clients on all the different retail product types, including enclosed mall, strip center, stand-alone retail, power centers, community centers and street retail. Our diverse retail development and leasing practice represents developers and retailers with purchase and sale, financing and leasing transactions in virtually every major market in the United States.

While we negotiate and document technical legal concepts contained in loan, lease and purchase documentation, such as indemnities, waivers of subrogation, exculpation provisions, and the like, we excel in the truly important provisions of these deals such as CAM and other rent provisions, use clauses, including exclusivity and other use restrictions, work letters and development agreements and assignment and sublease provisions. We recognize where challenges and unforeseen issues can creep in, and we use provisions that ensure our clients don’t find hidden surprises down the road.

Our perspective is holistic and we regularly represent landlords and tenants, buyers and sellers and lenders and borrowers. This allows us to recognize issues that are not important to the other side and quickly reach compromises. Yet our value goes far beyond purely legal counsel. For example, we know how retail projects can fit into mixed-use facilities. We cooperate and collaborate well with all the other players involved with retail deals—brokers, architects and engineers—to ensure that clients realize their business objectives.

Why Sutherland
Long-standing relationships.
Our relationships typically are long-term, and many clients tap our experience for multiple matters.

National and international reach. We represent national and regional developers, institutional investors and big-box end users in purchase, sale, financing and leasing transactions in virtually every major U.S. market. We work regularly on foreign investments in United States real estate, as well as large-scale development overseas by foreign and domestic clients.

A reliable team. Regardless of the size and complexity of a matter, we are sensitive to the need for continuity in case management and our depth allows our real estate lawyers to provide stable working relationships.

Speed. We know the intense time pressures often involved in retail transactions and understand that many transactions will not be consummated until every document is thoroughly negotiated and documented. We pride ourselves on our dealmaking attitude and our ability to work with all parties, including the other side’s lawyers, in a non-adversarial and cooperative manner.

The inside track. We know the industry players and how they view the world. This allows us to provide our clients with an advantage when dealing with national, regional and local retailers.

Thought leaders. Our real estate lawyers are active members of key legal and professional associations, including the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, NAIOP, ICSC, ULI, PREA and national, state and local bar association sections and committees.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Leases
  • SNDAs
  • Reciprocal easement and operating agreements
  • General development matters
  • Acquisitions and dispositions
  • 1031 like-kind exchanges
  • Financing transactions
  • Joint ventures
  • Environmental matters
  • Disputes and bankruptcies
  • Construction contracts
  • Zoning and land use matters

Take Action
Economic tumult, regulatory shifts and environmental constraints can define or restrict moves in the retail real estate sphere, making it difficult for clients to know what decision is best. Sutherland provides the legal knowledge and business savvy to guide clients to the right opportunities.

Selected Experience
Sutherland represents Ben Carter Properties in multiple retail developments throughout the Southeast.
Sutherland represented Ben Carter Properties in the acquisition, development, leasing and financing, and disposition of several regional retail and mixed-use projects and handled the assemblage of 30-plus parcels in metro Atlanta for the development of a landmark luxury project.

Sutherland represents the Sembler Company in major retail developments throughout the Southeast and Puerto Rico.
Sutherland represented the Sembler Company, a regional developer of retail and mixed use facilities in the development, purchase and sale of projects in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Puerto Rico consisting of more than 5 million square feet of retail space.

Sutherland counsels retailer in developing U.S. stores and establishing its retail program in Mexico.
Sutherland advised one of the country’s largest retailers in acquiring and developing retail stores across the United States and in establishing its retail program in Mexico.