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Frank J. Cerza

Frank J. Cerza is a partner in the Real Estate, Retail Industry and International Practice Groups of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the New York office. Mr. Cerza is co-chair of the firm’s Italian Desk.

Mr. Cerza represents retail and private companies in connection with general corporate, real estate and commercial matters. He serves as general corporate counsel and business advisor to a number of Italian and international companies doing business in the United States and assists American companies in their business endeavors in the United States, Italy and elsewhere in Europe. Mr. Cerza’s experience includes business planning, strategy and joint ventures; formation of U.S. companies and partnerships; leasing and sales of retail stores, offices, showrooms and other commercial properties; acquisitions and sales of businesses and negotiation of contracts of employment, sales representation, distribution, franchising and licensing.

Mr. Cerza has represented:

  • a high-end Italian men’s fashion company in connection with multi-state retail store leases in various cities and shopping malls
  • an Italian women’s clothing company in connection with a New York retail store lease
  • a Spanish retailer in connection with employment law and retail related issues
  • a French gelato franchisor in connection with multi-state franchising
  • an Italian wine maker in connection with a long-term U.S. distribution agreement
  • an Italian company in connection with a trademark license to manufacture clothing for a U.S. licensor
  • a prestigious Italian manufacturer of kitchen products in connection with the leasing of a 10,000-square-foot showroom and retail space in New York City
  • an American investor in connection with the acquisition of an equity participation in a prestigious Venetian glassware manufacturer
  • an international fashion company in connection with multi-state franchising in the United States
  • an Italian pasta company in connection with the acquisition of a U.S. trademark
  • a terra cotta vase manufacturer and distributor in connection with the acquisition of a Texas manufacturing company
  • a manufacturer and distributor of frozen desserts in multi-state distribution agreements
  • a high-tech conveyor manufacturer in connection with the establishment of a Michigan manufacturing facility
  • a high-end international fashion company in connection with the construction, renovation and establishment of a retail clothing store on Madison Avenue
  • an insurance brokerage company in connection with the subleasing of 54,000 square feet in New York City
  • a fashion company in connection with the acquisition of a multi-million dollar commercial condominium and showroom unit in New York City
  • a U.S. investor in connection with the acquisition of a $30 million townhouse in New York City.
Mr. Cerza’s speaking engagements include:
  • “Negotiating Commercial Leases in Mixed Use Projects,” roundtable discussion leader, ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, October 2013
  • “Retail Issues,” panel participant, Commercial Real Estate Forum - A Market Update, European American Chamber of Commerce - New York, October 2013
  • “Negotiating Lease Relocation Clauses,” roundtable discussion leader, ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, October 2012
  • “Practical Considerations for Retail Leasing in New York City,” Pepper Hamilton LLP Podcast, April 2012
  • “What’s up with Street Level and Upper Level Leasing – Key Issues to Consider in Lease Negotiations,” workshop leader, ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, October 2011
  • “Trends in Retail Real Estate,” panel participant, Commercial Real Estate Market Update, European American Chamber of Commerce – New York, October 2011
  • Conducted seminar on “Good Leases in Bad Times: Negotiating New Leases in the Current Economic Climate” and roundtable discussion leader on “Restrictive Covenants and Radius Restrictions in Commercial Leases,” ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, October 2010
  • “Structuring Landlord’s Contribution to Tenant Improvements to Avoid Potential Bankruptcy Pitfalls,” roundtable discussion leader, ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, October 2009
  • “Architectural and Construction Issues Relating to Leasing,” roundtable discussion leader, ICSC U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, October 2008
  • “Conducting Business in the United States through the Use of Sales Representatives,” Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, Bologna, Italy, October 2003.
Mr. Cerza’s articles include:
  • “Navigating Commercial Lease Assignment Provisions: Tenants Beware,” Pepper Hamilton LLP Real Estate Alert, April 23, 2013
  • “Practical Consideration for Retail Leasing in New York City” Pepper Hamilton LLP Client Alert, April 20, 2012
  • “Conducting Business Through the Use of U.S. Sales Representatives,” 2003
  • “The New York Limited Liability Company,” 1996.
Mr. Cerza is the local representative of the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy for the State of New York and has served as a director of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce in New York City. He is a member of the National Italian American Foundation. Mr. Cerza is fluent in Italian.

Mr. Cerza is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey, as well as before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and the District of New Jersey.



Education
B.A. 1977, magna cum laude, University of Pennsylvania
J.D. 1980 Villanova University School of Law


Bar Admissions
Admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York


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