From by Equity Retail Brokers

With the onset of the global pandemic, questions related to lease clauses involving force majeure—literally, “superior force” but often interpreted as “acts of God”—loom in retail real estate: Does the pandemic qualify as a force majeure event? If so, are tenants justified in declining to pay rent? What protection do these clauses provide to landlords?

David Goodman, a Principal at Equity Retail Brokers, sat down with Bart I. Mellits, Chair of the Real Estate Department at national law firm Ballard Spahr, to explore this territory. The Philadelphia attorney is a 35-year veteran of real estate law and one of the country’s foremost authorities on force majeure and related legal defenses. Having represented big-box retailers and national REITs alike, Mellits understands perspectives on both sides of the negotiating table.

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