What Was the Most Important Real Estate Law Development of 2016?


In a recent interview with Texas Lawyer, Jackson Walker partner Vytas Petrulis pointed to the slump in the energy industry as the driving force behind trends in commercial real estate law last year. The article, “The Most Important Substantive Law Developments of 2016,”* explores how current events have shaped legal issues within the state.

Of all the cities in Texas, commercial real estate markets in Houston bore the brunt of the energy industry’s recession.

“The combination of new office construction coming online this year with layoffs across the energy sector has resulted in high office vacancy and the market being flooded with sublease space from energy companies and their service providers,” Vytas said. “As a result, office leasing transactions are down significantly.”

Vytas, who practices real estate law in Jackson Walker’s Houston office, helps office landlord clients draft and negotiate leases and provides guidance on asset management, property management, and leasing and operational issues.

Despite the decline in new leasing contracts, Vytas noted that the downturn in energy markets has opened up a different opportunity.

“While our office landlord clients are not as active as they were previously, we have been able to assist our corporate tenant clients in an increasing number of sublease transactions involving their unused office space,” Vytas said.

For more information, visit Jackson Walker’s Real Estate law page.

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About Vytas Petrulis

Vytas Petrulis focuses his practice on real estate development, investment, leasing and finance matters. His experience encompasses all aspects of commercial real estate law, including real estate investment trusts (REITs), pension funds and opportunity funds in real estate acquisitions and dispositions including large, multi-state portfolio transactions; institutional landlords and corporate tenants in office, industrial and retail leasing; developers in real estate development projects including complex, mixed-use projects; and lenders and borrowers in commercial loan transactions. He is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in commercial real estate.