Business Journal Publishes Article on COVID-19 Lease-related Litigation by Yankwitt and Tallbe
The Westchester County Business Journal published an article by Russell Yankwitt and Alicia Tallbe titled, “Covid-19: The catalyst to the tidal wave of commercial lease litigation,” that discusses the anticipated wave of lease-related litigation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an example, the article highlights the recent lawsuit filed by global law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP against its New York landlord for breach of its lease. The authors discuss force majeure and rent abatement clauses, which are at the forefront of the Simpson Thacher case, and explain that landlords and tenants seeking to enforce or escape lease obligations will likely look to the common law doctrines of frustration of purpose and impossibility of performance and lease provisions covering termination, security, guaranty of performance, co-tenancy and default, as well as others. Additionally, the authors urge commercial landlords and tenants to hire experienced attorneys to guide them through these unchartered waters.