Jenner & Block settles with landlord in dispute over rent payments during pandemic
The 353 N. Clark St. building in Chicago. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
Jenner & Block has settled a rent dispute with the landlord for its Chicago building that stemmed from unused office space during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The landlord, Hart 353 North Clark, said in a lawsuit filed in May 2020 that Jenner owed more than $3.7 million in unpaid rent. Jenner countered in June 2020 that abatement provisions in its Chicago lease actually entitled the law firm to an $840,000-plus credit for overpayment.
Jenner’s answer and counterclaim said it has a skeleton crew averaging 12 people at the office, leaving at least 89% of its space unoccupied since March 16, 2020. The law firm had cited rent abatement provisions that required the landlord to reduce its rent in the event of “untenantability” that arises “out of any event (force majeure or otherwise).”
Law.com and Reuters published a joint statement by Jenner and its landlord’s affiliated real estate investment group, Heitman.
“The parties have reached a mutually beneficial resolution to this matter and look forward to a strong relationship going forward,” the statement said. “Heitman is pleased to have Jenner & Block, an Am Law 100 law firm that has been part of Chicago’s community for more than 100 years, as an anchor tenant at 353 N. Clark for the foreseeable future, and Jenner & Block is pleased to continue to base its Chicago headquarters in one of Chicago’s most well-designed and professionally operated buildings.”