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Negotiating Commercial Leases 2014

Speaker(s): Christine Chipurnoi, Elizabeth J. Shampnoi, Gerald R. Uram, James A. Fenniman, John Busey Wood, Luis M. Martinez, M. Rosie Rees, Meyer Last, Michael A. Marra, Michael E. Meyer, Nancy Ann Connery, Neil Kessner, Robert J. Bergson, Theani C. Louskos
Recorded on: Nov. 6, 2014
PLI Program #: 50536

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 (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 Holland America headquarters lease (185,087 sq.ft. in Seattle, WA).  In November 2016 he won a five million dollar Fair Market Rental Rate arbitration award for Capitol Records against a very prominent New York developer.

Mike is considered one of the country's leading authorities on renewal rights, the establishment of fair market rental rates pursuant to arbitrations, the assignment and subleasing provision, and the inter-relationships between the tenant improvement agreement and the rent commencement date.  He 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—the most recent, involving Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman & Goodman, Screen Actors Guild, Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman, Nestle, Saban Entertainment and Sony with major landlords, including Jerry Snyder, Douglas Emmett, Equity Office, Heitman and Transpacific.

In a vote by his peers, which was published by Los Angeles magazine, he was ranked in the Top 100 of all the Super Lawyers in Southern California for the past five years.  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.  The guide has stated that he is "far and away the giant of the leasing field," a "great talent," a "commanding name as a leasing expert," "a tremendously skilled lawyer" and "the best leasing lawyer in town."  Clients quoted in the guide have said that Mike is "iconic," a "leading light of leasing" and that he "basically invented the commercial tenant practice."  Furthermore, the guide has said he is "an outstanding real estate attorney and perhaps one of the strongest experts around in leasing transactions.  He has been integral to a number of the state's largest recent deals."  "Clients praise the experience he brings to complex transactions."

He was named among the 500 Leading Lawyers in the United States by Lawdragon for five years.  He has been listed in Woodward White for Best of the Best for over 20 years and in 2014 was named Los Angeles Real Estate Lawyer of the year by Woodward White.  Mike is the Chairman of DLA Piper's Los Angeles offices.

Mike has been honored by the Weingart Center Association at "Striking Out Homelessness and Poverty," a benefit event at Dodger Stadium, for his extensive efforts to help victims of poverty return to work.  Proceeds from the event went to the Weingart Center in downtown Los Angeles to contribute to its work delivering high-quality human services and providing leadership and innovative solutions to break the cycle of homelessness and end poverty.  He is on the board of directors of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Sheriff's Youth Foundation, Los Angeles Police Foundation, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, and LA Sports & Entertainment Commission.

The Real Estate Southern California magazine published "The Laws of Baseball," an article focusing on Mike’s lifelong love of baseball and his service on the board of directors of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Mike has lectured to numerous city organizations, including real estate brokers, landlords and developer groups, interior design groups and real estate appraisers.  He also has presented various seminars to BOMA, PLI, CLE, CEB, American Arbitration Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, State Bar of California and the American Bar Association.  He is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.


  • California


  • J.D., The University of Chicago
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • University of Chicago Law School Alumni Association of Southern California, President (1980 – 1982)
  • Elected President in the first contested election in 20 years, Los Angeles County Bar Association (term to commence in 2017)
  • Board of Directors, Los Angeles County Bar Foundation
  • Board of Directors, New Otani America Corporation
  • Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Los Angeles Building Owners and Managers Association
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association
  • Los Angeles Country Club


  • Board of Directors, Jackie Robinson Foundation
  • Board of Directors, Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission
  • Board of Directors, Los Angeles Police Foundation
  • Board of Directors, Boy Scouts of America, Greater Los Angeles
  • Board of Directors, United Way (1992 – 1995)
  • Board of Directors, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (1995-2010)

Michael A. Marra, is Vice President for the Construction Division and has served with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) for more than fourteen years. Mr. Marra was appointed District Vice President of the AAA Philadelphia Office in September 2001.  He is currently responsible for expanding the use of AAA construction ADR services in the Mid-Atlantic and New England States.  In that role, he also interacts with the AAA’s clients who file construction and real estate cases and the neutrals who serve as arbitrators and mediators.   Mr. Marra also has national responsibility for developing the AAA’s construction caseload and works closely with construction industry associations through the AAA’s National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee (NCDRC).  In this capacity, Mr. Marra assists the corporate, legal and public sector communities in educating them on the various construction industry dispute avoidance and resolution techniques and in designing dispute resolution systems to meet their specific needs.  Mr. Marra is a frequent presenter on the subject of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Prior to his appointment as District Vice President, Mr. Marra spent fourteen years in the construction and insurance industries in both operations and sales.  Mr. Marra is a graduate of Temple University with a B.A. in Marketing.

Gerald R. Uram is a partner in Davis & Gilbert’s Real Estate Practice Group. He was also chair of the Real Estate Practice Group for 38 years, after formally establishing the group in 1974. Under his leadership, the practice received prominent recognition by publications that cover the legal industry, including Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Best Law Firms.  

Mr. Uram has handled headquarters leases for a number of major companies, including MasterCard International, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Advance Magazine Publishers (a Condé Nast company), Saatchi & Saatchi, MONY, The Segal Company, Meredith Corporation, the Associated Press, Lehman Brothers, Boston Consulting Group, Swiss Re and the National Football League, among others.  Mr. Uram also represents a number of New York City landlords, including SL Green, TF Cornerstone Inc., Oxford Properties Group, Westbrook Partners, Rockrose Development Corp., Trinity Church and Kato International.

For the last eight years, Mr. Uram has been recognized as a leading real estate lawyer by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2009-2016). Mr. Uram was also recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. in the area of real estate for three consecutive years (2013-2016). In addition, Mr. Uram has been recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America in real estate law (2011-2016) and was selected as a Super Lawyer by New York Metro Super Lawyers from 2006-2016 (Top 100 in 2008-2013, 2015).

He has also acted as an expert witness in several cases, including on behalf of Avon in its litigation with its former landlord, and Bates Advertising in its litigation with its landlord regarding free rent penalties for late delivery. Both Avon and Bates Advertising were successful in the actions.  Mr. Uram has lectured on commercial leasing practice before the Real Estate Board of New York and at New York Law School.


  • Represented Mayer Brown LLP in its lease at 1221 Avenue of the Americas in New York City for 187,000 rentable square feet.
  • Represented the National Football League in the relocation of its headquarters to approximately 170,000 square feet in midtown Manhattan.
  • Represented SJP Properties, landlord of the newly constructed 11 Times Square, in the leasing of approximately 400,000 square feet to the law firm Proskauer Rose LLP.
  • Represented Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. in three separate subleases totaling more than 200,000 square feet at 485 Lexington Avenue and 750 Third Avenue.
  • Represented Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. in the restructuring of a lease with Historic TW Inc. (an affiliate of Time Warner) of approximately 166,000 square feet of 1271 Sixth Avenue.
  • Represented The Segal Co. in the lease of approximately 162,000 square feet of 333 West 34th Street.
  • Represented Manhattan House in a condominium conversion including modifying existing retail leases and new leasing of garage space and vacant retail space.


“Negotiating Commercial Office Leases in 2016,” New York State Bar Association Advanced Real Estate Program, December 12, 2016

“Changing Lease Forms and Negotiating Tactics in the New Improving Economy,” Practising Law Institute’s Negotiating Commercial Leases 2016, March 10-11, 2016, March 10-11, 2016

“Negotiating Commercial Office Leases in 2015,” New York State Bar Association Advanced Real Estate Program, December 7, 2015

Negotiating Commercial Leases,” Practising Law Institute’s Negotiating Commercial Leases 2015, March 12, 2015

“Negotiating in the Current Market Conditions,” Real Estate Board of New York Program, May 6, 2014

“Real Estate: Managing Your Firm’s 2nd Largest Expense,” Law Firm Services Networking Group Program, January 29, 2014

“Nut & Bolts of Commercial Leases,” 16 Hour Bridge-the-Gap Seminar, City Bar Center for CLE, March 12, 2010

“Nuts & Bolts of Commercial Leases: Drafting & Negotiating,” New York City Bar Association, 16 Hour Bridge-the-Gap Seminar, November 6 & 13, 2006


Mentioned,, “Sandy-Displaced Fragomen Subleases Ex-Dewey Space In NYC,” by Kaitlin Ugolik, November 14, 2012

Mentioned, New York Law Journal, “Real Estate Marketplace,” Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky lease, by Monica Paquette, March 23, 2011

Mentioned, New York Law Journal, “Real Estate Marketplace,” Natixis lease, by Monica Paquette, January 19, 2011

Quoted, New York Law Journal, “Real Estate Marketplace,” The National Football League lease, by Monica Paquette, September 22, 2010

Mentioned, New York Law Journal, “As First Tenant, Proskauer Deal Includes Option to Grow, Signage,” by Nate Raymond, May 19, 2010


American Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
New York City Bar Association
St. Francis Friends of the Poor, Board of Trustees


New York


Yale University, LL.B., 1967
Dartmouth College, B.A., 1963

John Busey Wood is a member of the commercial real estate group at the New York City office of the law firm Akerman LLP, and advises public and private companies on real estate acquisitions, facilities management, construction and development of mixed use and retail projects, brokerage law, commercial leasing, retail and office property management and litigation. For over 40 years Mr. Wood has represented owners in the design and negotiation of commercial leases covering in excess of 100 million square feet of retail, industrial, office and mixed use space projects.  He has assisted large volume space commercial and retail tenants and owners in the effective management of their facilities portfolios and in reducing costs and risk. These experiences, coupled with a unique blend of professional disciplines and his design and deployment of sophisticated new-generation commercial lease forms during the late 1970’s and the 1980’s resulted in his being featured in articles on the impact of commercial leases on companies and being referred to by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times as “the father of the modern killer lease.” His extensive national experience in developable land, improved property acquisitions, large scale retail and office developments, and leasing and management programs have made him an ideal corporate facilities support resource for companies.  He is a noted authority on ground leases as well as rental escalations, expenses, allocations, auditing and litigation/dispute resolution. 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. In 1998 he negotiated the largest ground/space lease transaction in the history of New York City, containing more than 1.6 million square feet and including “fast-track” rehabilitation, construction lending, permanent financing and options for fee acquisition. In addition, Mr. Wood has advised, directed teams and designed correlated construction contracts for “fast-track” design-build projects, conversions and renovations in New York City, exceeding 8 million square feet, with values greater than $4 billion.  Mr. Wood has also directed large-scale leasing programs for major New York City office towers and national mixed use properties and retail centers.  He regularly presides over arbitrations and directs litigation teams in landlord-tenant disputes, construction disputes and retail lease controversies.  His financing, auditing and computer expertise contributed to his uncovering the largest computer-leasing fraud in the United States, the O.P.M. Leasing Financing fraud. 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 is a member of the American Bar Association (“ABA”), (Former Vice-Chair of the Commercial Leasing Committee and former Chair of the Office Leasing Subcommittee), and Board of Legal Advisors to the Practicing Law Institute (“PLI”). He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives (NY Chapter), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”), and American Association of Attorney-CPAs. Mr. Wood served, from 1982 through 1991, as a member of the Associated Builders and Owners of New York, the New York Building Congress and its Board of Legal Advisors, and the Real Estate Board of the City of New York (“REBNY”).  Mr. Wood frequently lectures on property acquisition and management, commercial leasing and construction contract techniques, transaction structuring and brokerage law at major real estate brokerage firms in New York City, REBNY, Columbia University-ISDE Graduate Law and Economics Program and at the New York University Graduate School and Real Estate Institute. He also lectures at PLI, where he is the New York and national Chairman of the National Commercial Leasing Seminars, 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 with the A.A.A. in fair market rent valuation and rental/expense/adjustment disputes and audits and he is an American Arbitration Association - National Neutral - Commercial Panelist.  He has also served as Assistant Attorney General (Kansas), and as special counsel to Bronxville Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Board and Board of Trustees and is a member of the Westchester-Putnam Boy Scouts of America Council and the National Eagle Scout Association.

Mr. Wood has presented papers on "Equity Leases" and “Work Letters” to the ABA and on “Accounting and Tax Issues for Work Letters and Allowances” to the AICPA.  His article "Trump [Tower] Tenant Finds Turnkey [Construction Agreement] Saves the Day" appeared in the Legal Times of Washington and New York, October 21, 1985. Mr. Wood co-authored, with Alan M. DiSciullo, Esq., the treatise Negotiating and Drafting Office Leases, published by Law Journal Seminars-Press (Library of Congress ISBN 1-58852-061-7, 1995-2017, supplemented 2 times per year); co-authored "Section V.A, Fire and Casualty Insurance" in the Real Estate Law and Practice Course Handbook , Published by PLI, 1994-2009; co-authored "Building Owner's Assumptions Spark Zoning War", Legal Times of New York, August/September, 1985 and co-authored "Financing Real Estate Development through Participation Leases", Real Estate Review, Volume 20, No. 4, Winter, 1991. He is the author of the book, Navigating The Dangerous Shoals of a Commercial Lease, published by New York University Graduate School, 1992-2017 and the ABA. Mr. Wood is listed in Who's Who in Real Estate, Who's Who in American Law, 2nd and 4th Editions, Who's Who Registry of Global Business Leaders, 1993-4 Edition and NY Super Lawyers 204-2017.  Mr. Wood is AV Preeminent® peer rated by Martindale-Hubbell and was peer-nominated and elected an American Bar Foundation Fellow.  Mr. Wood has been Senior Editor of "Real Estate Corner", a monthly article on commercial real estate for corporate professionals published by The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Inc. and has appeared on The Wall Street Report speaking on current trends in national real estate.

MEYER LAST is a Partner in the Real Estate Department of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, where his practice focuses on real estate development, commercial leasing, financing and capital market transactions, acquisitions and dispositions.  Mr. Last represents a broad range of clients, including developers, owners, institutional investors, lenders, real estate advisers and underwriters.  The Fried Frank Real Estate Department has been consistently recognized by Law360 as a Real Estate Group of the Year, and Mr. Last has been recognized by Legal 500 in Real Estate: Development and Leasing.  Mr. Last has served on the Real Property Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and lectures on commercial leasing and bankruptcy topics.  Mr. Last received his JD in 1982 from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where he was an editor of the Law Review.

Mr. Last regularly represents both landlords and tenants in some of the largest lease transactions completed each year in New York City and elsewhere.  Recent transactions include representation of Citigroup in its 2.7 million square foot headquarters transaction at 388-390 Greenwich Street and representation of Brookfield in the lease to Skadden Arps allowing Brookfield to commence development of Manhattan West.

Robert J. Bergson earned his law degree from Boston University School of Law, where he was honored as a Paul J. Liacos Scholar.  Mr. Bergson received a B.S.B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Denver. Prior to forming AGMB, Mr. Bergson was a founding member of Margolis Bergson LLP.  He was also counsel to Herrick, Feinstein LLP and associated with the international firm of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.  Mr. Bergson’s practice focuses on business and corporate litigation matters, professional liability defense, real estate litigation, business divorce, and products liability defense. He also handles disputes concerning miscellaneous/not-for-profit insurance lines, securities litigation, intellectual property, unfair competition claims and errors and omissions matters.

Mr. Bergson lives with his wife and three children in Huntington, New York and works primarily from AGMB’s New York City office.

Representative Matters

  • Won three week jury trial for one of Manhattan’s largest real estate developers concerning action for breach of contract, tortious interference, business defamation, conversion and unjust enrichment.
  • Won 10-day arbitration on behalf of 50% owner in hedge fund business divorce.
  • Won two week bench trial for real estate developer against former corporate officer for breach of contract and breach of duty of loyalty.
  • Won five week arbitration for investor concerning dispute arising from $26 million sale of office building.
  • Successfully defended attorneys in legal malpractice action brought by hedge fund alleging negligent due diligence regarding $60 million private offering.
  • Won motion to dismiss $6 million action against law firm for allegedly failing to advise purchasers of distressed debt about risk of fraudulent conveyance claims.
  • Won motion to dismiss legal malpractice and RICO claims against real estate attorney.
  • Won motion to dismiss action against attorney for alleged violations of federal banking and privacy laws.
  • Obtained pre-answer dismissal of multimillion-dollar legal malpractice action involving underlying maritime and products liability claims.
  • Successfully represented and defended real estate closing attorneys in connection with civil actions and administrative investigations involving allegations of mortgage related fraud.
  • Negotiated the favorable settlement of a multimillion-dollar action against law firm for allegedly failing to properly pursue judgment collection efforts.
  • Negotiated settlement of multimillion-dollar legal malpractice claim against securities lawyer.
  • Negotiated pre-answer settlement of hedge fund’s legal malpractice claim against law firm arising from alleged conflict of interest concerning private placement.
  • Developed strategy resulting in successful settlement of potential claim for legal malpractice arising from construction litigation.
  • Successfully defended and resolved FDCPA and TCPA claims.
  • Won motion to dismiss claim against coop board of directors for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with board refusal to consent to short sale of unit.
  • Successfully represented and defended multiple community association boards of directors in federal and state court and before administrative tribunals in connection with claims for unlawful discriminatory practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act, the New York Human Rights Laws and other civil and human rights legislation.
  • Defended board of directors against alleged violations of Mitchell-Lama Law.
  • Won pre-answer motion to dismiss fraud, forgery and conversion claims against banking institution and its officers and directors.
  • Obtained dismissals and successful settlements of numerous claims against insurance brokers concerning claims of unfair competition, breach of contract, negligence and tortious interference with business relations.
  • Obtained dismissal of NASD claim against securities broker for unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise and fraud.
  • Defended major direct marketer against claims for breach of contract by former employee and product supplier.
  • Successfully defended through appeal real estate contract-vendor in connection with claims for specific performance.
  • Counsel for several former employees of corporation which unsuccessfully sought to enforce restrictive covenant/non-compete agreements.

Membership and Affiliations

American Bar Association

Association of the Bar of the City of New York

New York State Bar Association

Claims & Litigation Management Alliance

As an area Executive Vice President of AJG & Co- New York, James is responsible as a sales team leader for client development with a group of veteran and emerging brokers.  As a Senior Director of the Construction Practice he is responsible for all aspects of Construction activities for AJG in the New York City office, and works closely with the North East Construction Leader in developing the practice in the metro region.

He received a BS in Economics from Wagner College and his MBA in Risk Management from the St. John’s University Peter J. Tobin Graduate School of Business. After graduate school he studied Scientific Methods of Risk Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) designation. He currently is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at St. John’s University Peter J. Tobin School of Risk Management, and also participates as a faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute. With 45 years of experience he remains active in the Real Estate and Construction Industry by participating in many of the local association seminars and conferences.

He was President of the Insurance Brokers Association of the State of New York and continues to serve on its Past Presidents Committee. He also was 1st Vice President and Board Member of The Players Club and now is a Governor of The Squadron A Association.

For over 25 years, Christine has been instrumental in developing, placing and maintaining insurance programs for regional, national and international clients. Christine specializes in property, casualty, professional and loss sensitive insurance programs with special expertise in hospitality, construction, real estate, and retail. She is an active member of Wells Fargo National Real Estate & Construction and Hospitality Practice Groups.

Christine served as the President of the Insurance Brokers Association of New York (IBANY) from 2012-2014; in 2012 she became IBANY’s 1st Female President in over 100 years. IBANY represents the interests of New York’s leading insurance brokers by actively supporting legislation and political activities that are in the members’ common interest, fostering advocacy, professional development and networking opportunities. Christine is also the 2014 President Elect of NYCREW (New York Commercial Real Estate Women) and is active on their Membership & Communications Committees. She is an Adjunct Faculty for the Practicing Law Institute on a multitude of Insurance related topics. She is an active volunteer for the Sanctuary for Families, the American Heart Association and the St. Francis Food Pantry. She is the recipient of many awards and honors.

Education and Designations

  • Master of Science, Finance and Risk Management, Boston University, 2006
  • Bachelor of Science, Management, Adelphi University, 2002
  • Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter, – CPCU, 2000
  • Registered Professional Liability Underwriter– RPLU, 1998
  • Licensed Insurance Broker–Excess Lines, Property, Casualty, Employee Benefits & Life
  • Advanced Level Business Management Courses – Wharton School of Business

Professional Affiliations and Awards

  • Insurance Brokers Association of New York (IBANY) –President, 2012-2014
  • New York Commercial Real Estate Women’s Network, Inc. (NYCREW) – President Elect 2014, National CREW Delegate, Communications and Membership Committee
  • Int’l Association of Insurance Professionals-NYC Association of Professional Insurance Women
  • National Association of Insurance Women (NAIW)
  • Chartered Property Casualty Underwriting Society (CPCU)
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
  • Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS) – LI and NYC Chapters
  • Women’s Insurance Network of Long Island
  • NYCREW Avant Garde Award for Outstanding Achievement, 2013
  • American Heart Association – LI Go Red Luncheon Gala Committee - 2011, 2012
  • St. Francis Food Pantry “Woman of Valor” Award, 2012
  • National Association of Insurance Women (NAIW) Helen M Garvin Outstanding Achiever Award, 2012
  • NYCREW Pinnacle Award, 2011
  • Wall Street Journal Vanguard Professionalism Award, 2010

Ms. Shampnoi is CEO and President of Shampnoi Dispute Resolution and Management Services, Inc.  She primarily serves as a consulting expert to in-house counsel, litigators and senior business executives on a case-by-case basis to assist and support them in navigating the overall arbitration process. Her role is to assist counsel and their clients in achieving the best possible outcome by providing the knowledge and expertise she has acquired throughout her 18 year career in dispute resolution particularly surrounding case administration, arbitrator selection and best practices in arbitration advocacy. 

Examples of the services she provides involve: identifying the appropriate background and expertise of the arbitrator; determining whether to proceed with one or three arbitrators; ranking and selecting the arbitrator; guidance on best practices and strategies to expedite dispute resolution, achieve goals and manage budgets; advice concerning best advocacy practices before specific arbitrators; review of pre and post dispute arbitration clauses to identify any administrative pitfalls that could delay or add additional cost to the process; review of case management or arbitrator determinations to identify potential errors where counsel is seeking review; and assisting in the development and drafting of employment dispute resolution programs as well as overall company-wide dispute resolution programs such as identifying which cases are appropriate for arbitration. She typically works on commercial, construction, executive employment contracts and intellectual property disputes pending before private arbitration providers such as the American Arbitration Association, JAMS, FINRA and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. In addition to consulting, Ms. Shampnoi is an experienced arbitrator, mediator and trainer.  

Prior to starting the company, Ms. Shampnoi gained a wide variety of business and legal experience serving as a litigator, in-house counsel and District Vice President  at the American Arbitration Association.

Partner at Schoeman Updike & Kaufman LLP


Rutgers Law School


Admitted to bar in 1978


Ms. Connery is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, and has been designated a “Super Lawyer”© since 2008.  She’s the former chair of the Committee on Real Property Law and of the Committee on Cooperative and Condominium Law at the New York City Bar Association, is a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Real Property Law Section, and a former chair of the ABA Leasing Group’s Assignment and Subletting Committee.  She’s also a chapter author for “Negotiating and Drafting Commercial Leases” and for Commercial Real Estate Transactions Handbook.

Vice President of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, (ICDR) the international division of the American Arbitration Association, (AAA). Luis M. Martinez is also an Honorary President of the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission, (IACAC).

Luis M. Martinez is the Vice President of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution located in New York. Mr. Martinez serves as an integral part of the ICDR's international strategy team and is responsible for international arbitration and mediation business development for the North-East (from Washington, D.C. to Maine, including New York City) and Central and South America.

Mr. Martinez in his capacity as President of the IACAC was responsible for the oversight of its network of arbitral centers throughout the Americas and as the only institution that is expressly included in the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration conducted numerous arbitration and mediation initiatives throughout the hemisphere aimed at developing the ADR culture.

Mr. Martinez joined the AAA in 1996 as the first attorney hired to staff the newly created ICDR and later served as the ICDR's first director. For the last several years Mr. Martinez worked as the Vice President responsible for the ICDR's international administrative services and prior to that he held the position of a staff attorney for the AAA's Office of the General Counsel before assuming his current position.

Mr. Martinez received a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgian Court College and a Juris Doctor degree from St. John's University School of Law. He has had numerous articles published on international arbitration and has appeared as a speaker in programs throughout the world. Mr. Martinez is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and the State of New Jersey. He is a dual citizen of Spain and the United States and is fluent in Spanish and has a functional understanding of Portuguese.

PUBLICATIONS (Available on the ICDR Website at www.ICDR.ORG click on education and then White Papers)

  • Editor and Co-Author of the ICDR Newsletter, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.
  • The ICDR’s Arbitrator Appointment Process," ABA Section of International Law 2013.
  • Introduction for the Americas 2012," Global Arbitration Review.
  • A Guide to ICDR Case Management,” International Centre for Dispute Resolution – Awards and Commentaries,” JuristNet LLC, 2012.
  • ICDR/AAA’s System and International Conflict Management Efficiencies,” American Arbitration Association Handbook on International Arbitration & Adr, JuristNet, LLC in 2011.
  • Review of the ICDR System,” Chapters 43 and 55, Co-Author, Horacio A. Grigera Naón and Paul E. Mason, International Commercial Arbitration Practice: 21st Century Perspectives, LexisNexis in 2010.
  • The ICDR's Mediation Practice, Contemporary Issues in International Arbitration and Mediation: The Fordham Papers 2010,” Co-Author, Marinus Nijhoff Publishers in 2010.
  • Introduction for the Americas 2009," Global Arbitration Review.
  • Introduction for Asia 2008," Global Arbitration Review.
  • Numerous ADR articles over 17 year period.

THEANI LOUSKOS is a shareholder with Bartko, Zankel, Bunzel & Miller  in San Francisco.  She represents clients in a broad range of commercial real estate transactions including leasing, acquisitions and sales, financing and loan workouts.  She represents both landlords and tenants in commercial leasing matters and specializes in the representation of national retail tenants.  Ms. Louskos is a frequent speaker at Retail Leasing programs and has written articles on retail issues for real estate publications.  She received her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall School of Law) in 1980.

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