The client was a multi-state retail services company with approximately twenty locations. One of its top performing locations was in a high-profile shopping center in Tennessee.


The client’s landlord issued a notice of relocation. The landlord invoked the relocation clause in the commercial lease to force our client to move out of its space in order to create enough room for a luxury anchor tenant coming into the center.


The particular location within the the center was critical to our client’s business and the new spaces offered as substitute would dramatically cut revenue. Furthermore, the relocation clause had highly unfavorable terms. While our client had specific trade dress which required a specialized and cost-intensive build-out, the relocation process offered by the landlord would not be able to deliver a satisfactory build-out without substantial costs to our client in both money and time. The client did not want to lose one of its best-performing locations yet both the client and landlord believed that the client must comply with the relocation provision plainly in the lease.


After a review of the commercial lease and the facts on the ground, we determined a strategy to be able to reject in good faith, based on one word in particular, the substitution spaces provided by the landlord as improper according to the terms of the relocation clause. While this national landlord argued otherwise and came on strongly to try to accommodate the new anchor tenant, the landlord ultimately withdrew the relocation notice.


Our thorough analysis and creativity in going beyond the surface language resulted in our client being able to keep their location against a national landlord and a multi-billion dollar anchor tenant and continue operating the high-performance location.