Michael Horowitz is a Partner in the Commercial Leasing Group at Minden Gross LLP. His practice focuses primarily on commercial leasing transactions, including drafting and negotiating retail, office, and industrial leases, and ancillary documentation. Michael acts for both landlords and tenants of all sizes, including national landlords and international retailers with locations across Canada and the United States. Michael also represents individuals and corporations on real estate transactions, franchising, and various other commercial matters. Michael is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and has co-chaired the national Canadian Law Conference. He is a frequent presenter, panelist, and moderator of sessions about the state of commercial leasing in Canada. Michael is named in The Best Lawyers in Canada as a leading Property Leasing lawyer and is recognized by his peers as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
When the government ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses, tenants quickly turned to their leases to see if the pandemic would qualify as force majeure and discharge them from their rent obligations. Hengyun International Investment Commerce Inc. v. 9368-7614 Québec Inc., 2020 QCCS 2251, (“Hengyun”) was one of the first Canadian cases to consider force majeure in the context of COVID-19 government-mandated shutdowns. It sparked hope for tenants that rent relief was possible.