Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Stephen is at his best when serving as outside general counsel to business and individual clients. He focuses on fully understanding each client's objectives when advising on business and legal strategy. Thorough, considerate and dedicated to conserving his client's resources and the potential for return on investment, Stephen is appreciated for his veteran perspective in the real estate industry and the practice of law. He is also valued for his effective negotiation skills and patience and determination for making each client's vision a reality.
With several decades of practice, Stephen negotiates, documents and closes real estate transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions, financing, and leasing and development agreements. He negotiates contracts for owners and managers of retail, office and industrial properties. As needed, Stephen also appears before local and regional planning boards and other governmental agencies.
Notably, Stephen represents tenants and owners in commercial leasing for a broad array of properties, with a particular emphasis and passion for retail leasing. Stephen has resolved a variety of landlord-tenant issues relating to construction obligations, percentage rent questions, common area maintenance charges, assignments and subleases, reciprocal easement agreements, exclusive use and use clauses, subordination and non-disturbance agreements, indemnity and public access.
Stephen is committed to offering clients the skill and bandwidth to advise on extensive projects and sophisticated transactions. He has represented national, regional and local restaurant and retail companies in the negotiation of many hundreds of leases and purchase agreements for properties located within regional malls, power and strip centers, mixed use properties, and freestanding and street store locations.
Prior to Barnes & Thornburg, Stephen worked as in-house counsel for Brody Associates, Inc., a developer of strip centers and office buildings. He also served for approximately seven years as associate counsel for The Musicland Group, Inc., then one of the world's largest distributors of pre-recorded music with more than 1400 stores across the country. At Musicland, Stephen was responsible for working directly with the company’s real estate group and managing a staff of attorneys and legal assistants in the negotiation of hundreds of leases for stores across the United States.