June 16, 2020

Q&A: MICHAEL DASH OF CBRE ON “GETTING THE DEAL DONE”

Michael Dash is a vice-chairman of CBRE, the largest full-service real estate company in the world. Michael has worked with MPS Law partner Scott Hargadon for more than 20 years on hundreds of office lease deals, and also co-authored white papers with Scott on negotiating leases. He spoke with us in May on his relationship with MPS, efficient negotiating, and how he views the future of commercial leases.

What value does MPS Law bring to your work in commercial leasing?
Scott and his team – including Holly Shuman – are masters at negotiating real estate leases. He is technically skilled and highly sophisticated, and there’s very few clauses he hasn’t negotiated to the satisfaction of his clients. The team doesn’t believe in extending the negotiation process to bill more fees. They know leases inside and out and are adept at finding common ground between the parties as quickly as possible, knowing that all parties will benefit from an efficient but thorough process.

How has the MPS Law team helped you close the deal?
I was working on a major tenant transaction for a client in the highly competitive San Francisco central business district (“CBD), in which we were negotiating a lease against a large, very prominent West Coast firm. The negotiations were challenging in which many lease drafts were traded between Landlord and Tenant. Scott has always believed that there is a time in all negotiations to stop trading lease drafts and push to get everyone in the same room to hammer out all remaining open items, that’s where Scott exhibits the highest level of expertise. In this case, the opposing counsel realized quickly he had met his match – and I mean that in a good way, because he was an extremely skillful lawyer as well. There were many issues to resolve and without the skills of both lawyers, the deal could have easily died, but in the end, they came to an agreement and found resolution on a document that worked for everyone. We have left many face to face negotiations in which opposing counsel shakes Scott’s hand and says, “You’re really good – we wouldn’t have gotten the deal done without you.”

We are living in uncertain times – how do you see the future of commercial leasing?
Right now, people truly have no idea what’s going to happen with the future of commercial leases and how tenants will use their workplace to help facilitate their business. While most companies realize that stay-at-home policies can work and their employees like the flexibility associated, many will indicate this is not a permanent long term solution. There will always be a need for high quality buildings and space – spaces that allow for high levels of collaboration and interaction between their most important resource, people. These uncertain times will allow companies to learn and eventually implement new workplace strategies based that provide a safe and healthy place to work for their employees.

And obviously, you’re pretty comfortable with how well-equipped the MPS team is for that future?
Absolutely. The partnership we have had with MPS isn’t just about negotiating a standard office lease, but the thought and strategy that goes into every negotiation based on the circumstances at any given time. In fact, I would argue that the collective experience and knowledge that Scott and his team bring to every negotiation is more important now than it’s ever been.