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 and licensing.
Mr. Cerza has represented:
- an international fashion company in connection with multi-state franchising in the United States
- an international pasta company in connection with the acquisition of 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
- a high end men’s fashion company in connection with multi-state retail store leases in various shopping malls
- an insurance brokerage company in connection with the subleasing of 54,000 square feet in New York City
- a high end manufacturer of kitchen products in connection with the leasing of a 10,000 square feet showroom and retail space 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
- an investor in connection with the acquisition of a $30 million townhouse in New York City.
Prior to joining Pepper, Mr. Cerza was a partner at Day Pitney LLP in New York, where he led the Retail Companies Practice Group and also was a member of the Private Companies, International Distressed Assets and Commercial Real Estate/Development Practice Groups.
Mr. Cerza’s speaking engagements include:
- “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 is a director of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce in New York City and serves as the honorary representative of the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy for the State of New York. 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.