Managing partner Robert Steeg recently attended the invitation-only Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute (ACLI) at Georgetown Law School. The annual ACLI program, which was held April 19-21, 2017, brings together 150 private-firm lawyers, company in-house counsel, and non-lawyer leasing professionals for two participatory days of presentations and discussions that explore important, timely issues in commercial leasing today. The intensive program is designed to better prepare top leasing professionals to handle the ongoing challenges of sophisticated commercial leases and the myriad of issues that they present.

The 2017 program consisted of eight sessions ranging from one to two hours each. A panel of experts presented each session topic, and then six-person groups at each table separately discussed and evaluated a series of questions based on a fact-pattern that was included in the initial presentation. One person at each table acted as the “facilitator” who promoted discussion and analysis at the table, and another person served as the “reporter” for the table. At the conclusion of the session, each “reporter” presented the table’s analysis of the issues raised during the session.

As Rob said, “There was no hiding in the back of the room. As a result, all 150 participants remained fully engaged on each topic. I gained insights from the different perspectives and viewpoints presented by the various ‘reporters.’ Most valuably, I was able to see how the others have evaluated the issues, thus learning a variety of approaches and gaining some new understandings for Steeg Law clients.”

Commercial Leasing: Timely Topics and Key Take-Aways


  • Use a license, not a lease.
  • Carefully check insurance.
  • Try to provide for self-help remedies.

Street Retail

  • Carefully check restrictive covenants.
  • Keep the lease short and give the landlord a termination right.
  • Try to provide for swift exercise of landlord remedies.

Restaurant Leases

  • There is a need for specific provisions to govern specialized restaurant equipment.
  • Pay careful attention to issues of noise and operating hours.
  • Pay even more careful attention to the definition of the types of restaurants that the tenant is permitted to conduct, that the tenant has an exclusive right to conduct, and that the tenant is prohibited from conducting.


  • There is a need for a detailed, careful review of the prime lease.
  • Concentrate on a direct agreement with the prime lessor.


Filed under: Commercial Real Estate, Industry News, Leases
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