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Lease Forbearance Agreements in the Age of COVID-19

Adam Silvermann discusses a variety of issues and provisions landlords (and tenants) should consider when crafting a lease forbearance agreement during the COVID-19 crisis.


Cozen O’Connor’s Retail Industry team serves as a one-stop shop for all segments of the retail industry. Led by attorneys who are widely recognized as trusted partners to and advocates for many of the country’s most prominent brands, our Retail Industry Group has a deep understanding of the multitude of issues that retailers face in both ordinary — and extraordinary — times.       

Trusted Advisers to Retailers on COVID-19 Issues

The retail industry is faced with significant challenges during this unprecedented health crisis. 2020 has brought with it heightened concerns for both essential and nonessential retailers. Our cross-practice group works hand-in-hand with retailers and other consumer-facing companies, helping them navigate a range of pressing and ever-changing concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

By assessing issues, benchmarking practices, and identifying practical solutions in real time, we assist retailers in minimizing disruptions and maximizing protections. Our cross-disciplinary team advises on a host of issues including:

  • Workforce changes
  • Employee leave, work-from-home and travel policies
  • Health and safety policies and procedures for employees and consumers
  • Face covers and temperature checks
  • Employee and consumer privacy
  • State and local regulations regarding store operations and closures
  • Store-reopening protocols
  • Negligence and other tort claims related to alleged exposure
  • Asset protection
  • Contracts with suppliers, operations vendors and other parties
  • Real estate leases
  • The CARES Act
  • Event and subscription services cancellations
  • Returned goods and return policies
  • Shipping disclosures
  • Retooled manufacturing efforts for production of PPE
  • Intellectual property concerns
  • Supply chain and logistics
  • Commercial disputes
  • Consumer, employee and shareholder class actions
  • Customer communications
  • Dynamic pricing and promotional activities
  • Marketing
  • Limitations on telemarketing triggered by state declarations of emergency
  • Immigration and human movement restrictions
  • False Claims Act suits
  • Regulatory compliance

Our Public Strategies Group counsels clients on the latest COVID-19-related policy developments affecting retailers and engages with federal, state, and local governments to pursue comprehensive government solutions. We ensure that retailers have visibility and clarity when it comes to the latest developments that may have implications for their businesses.  

We have never been more proud of being a partner to the industry, and we are committed to assisting retailers navigate these uncharted waters. 

Partners to Retailers in an Evolving Legal Landscape

We recognize that the retail industry is unique. Our firm has a deep industry focus that enables us to be strategic partners to our clients in a complex and ever-changing landscape. We are not merely lawyers who happen to advise retailers. We are retail lawyers.    

As retailers grapple with a multitude of issues — including heightened demands for personalized customer experiences, new innovations in technology and data analytics, trade uncertainties, pricing pressures, litigation challenges, supply chain disruptions, enhanced consumer privacy protections, and changes to the workforce — we provide practical and business-oriented counsel to ensure our clients’ interests are thoroughly protected. Our lawyers are out in the marketplace, meeting with technology vendors and testing the latest tools being developed and pitched to the industry — and assessing their potential privacy, regulatory and legal implications. And we are sought after to speak and write on issues pertaining to the retail industry.      

Our clients include many of the country’s largest and most prominent retailers, as well as international fashion houses, niche and specialty brands, emerging ventures, and e-commerce companies. Our geographic reach, relationships with leading industry associations, and wide array of services, enables us to address any question or issue as it arises, and help retailers remain nimble in this dynamic environment. 


We recognize and address the shared and individualized needs of different segments of the industry. Our clients include retailers of all sizes and scope:

  • Department stores
  • Apparel
  • Grocery
  • Luxury
  • Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Technology
  • Pharmacy
  • Children
  • Pet
  • Restaurants
  • Accessories
  • Office supplies
  • Electronics
  • Financial products
  • Specialty
  • Direct-to-consumer
  • E-commerce


  • Advertising
  • AG investigations and enforcement
  • Antitrust
  • Arbitration agreements and class action waivers
  • Artificial intelligence, AR/VR and biometric tools
  • Asset protection
  • Automatic renewals/subscription services
  • Brand protection
  • Business disputes
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • Class actions
  • Co-branded credit cards
  • Consumer products
  • Corporate finance
  • Corporate governance
  • Credit reporting
  • Crisis management
  • Consumer class actions 
  • COVID-19 issues
  • Customs and trade
  • Cybersecurity and data protection
  • Data breach
  • E-commerce
  • Email campaigns
  • Employee benefits
  • Employee health and safety
  • Employee training and management
  • Employment litigation
  • Executive compensation
  • Fair pay
  • False claims
  • Foreign practices
  • Franchising
  • GDPR
  • Gift cards
  • HR investigations
  • Human trafficking
  • Influencer marketing
  • Immigration
  • Internal investigations
  • International
  • IP
  • Labor disputes
  • Licensing
  • Loyalty programs
  • “Made in USA”
  • Marketing practices
  • Mergers & acquisitions
  • Mobile apps
  • Pay cards
  • Pricing and promotions
  • Privacy compliance
  • Privacy litigation
  • Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA)
  • Product labeling
  • Product safety
  • Proposition 65
  • Real estate
  • Reference pricing
  • Remote workforce
  • Restructuring
  • Rewards programs
  • Securities
  • Shipping and delivery
  • Social media
  • Sponsorships/collaborations
  • Supply chain
  • Sweepstakes
  • Tax
  • Technology transactions and licensing
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • Terms & conditions and terms of use
  • Text messaging
  • Trademarks
  • Trade secrets
  • Wage and hour class actions
  • Website and mobile app accessibility (ADA)
  • Weights & measures
  • Workplace safety



Lease Forbearance Agreements in the Age of COVID-19

June 02, 2020

Adam Silvermann discusses a variety of issues and provisions landlords (and tenants) should consider when crafting a lease forbearance agreement during the COVID-19 crisis.

In The News

Cozen O'Connor snaps up high-profile litigation team

May 28, 2020

Cozen O'Connor was highlighted for their recent additions of two of the country's leading class action litigators.

Class Action Litigators Bring Team to Cozen O'Connor: Michael W. McTigue Jr. and Meredith C. Slawe Spearhead National Class Actions Practice; Recognized White Collar Defense Attorney and Trial Lawyer Mira Baylson Joins

May 27, 2020

Continuing the firm’s strategic expansion of complex litigation and investigations practices and the premier Technology, Privacy and Data Security Team


Meredith C. Slawe

Co-Chair, Class Actions

(215) 665-4175

Danielle N. Garno

Co-Chair, Retail

(786) 871-3954


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