The Associate Counsel - Property Law Administration will report to the Director, Property Law Administration and will help lead one or more Paralegals and Legal Specialists on the Property Law Administration team in ongoing property management matters for the Company's real estate portfolio including, the 1,700 + restaurants owned or leased by the Company. The Associate Counsel works directly with the Asset Management, Facilities, Operations, Tax and Property Accounting leaders and teams in drafting and revising various real estate legal documents, providing interpretations of rights and obligations under various real estate-related legal documents, and by actively participating in strategic conflict resolution. The Associate Counsel will frequently communicate with landlords, developers, neighboring property owners or their respective counsel.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: -Negotiates, drafts and reviews lease amendments, renewals and terminations -Analyzes leases and other legal documents to determine rights and obligations and participates in developing strategic solutions for Asset Management, Facilities, Operations, Tax and Property Accounting issues in a fast-paced, high-demand environment -Manages process for rent commencement and maintenance responsibility issues for new restaurant openings -Reviews, analyzes and provides advice related to leases, surveys, easements, declarations and other documents applicable to Company's real estate portfolio -Reviews and approves lease and percentage rent abstracts required for SOX compliance -Analyzes and interprets lease CAM and percentage rent provisions and applies innovative problem-solving skills and business judgment in support of Property Accounting and Tax to assure accurate financial lease compliance -Assists Director - Property Law Administration with special projects and other work related to the Company's real estate assets -Manages the process for Estoppel Certificate preparation and negotiation and drafting of Subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreements -Manages and oversees process for accurate provision of lease insurance requirements to Company's insurers and Landlord insurance inquiries -Responsible for issuing and responding to default and a variety of other legal notices -Jointly maintains property management database with Property Accounting -Manages lease renewal process, including accurately identifying and maintaining data related to term expirations, renewal notice deadlines, termination and other material deadlines, in collaboration with Asset Management -Manages acquisition and disposition of real estate assets through exercises of rights under existing leases -Assists Director, Property Law Administration in developing team members by supporting training, development and other career growth opportunities; assists in managing individual and team performance through coaching, feedback and performance management discussions calibrated across the law department
REQUIRED TECHNICAL SKILLS: -Minimum 5-7 years of law firm or in-house experience as a commercial real estate attorney with emphasis on commercial real estate transactions, including commercial real estate leasing -Active member of at least one state bar that enables admission to practice as in-house counsel in Florida -Working experience with Oracle or other database software
REQUIRED EDUCATION: Juris Doctor Degree from an ABA accredited law school
OTHER KEY QUALIFICATIONS: -Must have the ability to build and maintain strong relationships with in-house clients, peers and subordinates -Must have a proven track record demonstrating the ability to independently make decisions regarding complex legal and corporate issues -Demonstrated strong initiative and ability to handle multiple projects/roles requiring the collaboration of multiple functional groups required -Excellent communication, document drafting, and organizational skills -Proven analytical ability to recognize and creatively resolve problems and to make decisions on critical issues with an in-depth understanding of the risks involved
PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE: -Experience in the restaurant industry is a plus -Experience in managing and developing a team -Experience in condemnation, construction and mechanic's lien law is a plus
About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI) owns and operates more than 1,700 restaurants that generate approximately $7.2 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, FL, Darden is a premier full-service restaurant company featuring a portfolio of differentiated brands that include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s.
Our people equal our success, and we are proud to employ more than 175,000 team members. Together, we create memorable experiences for more than 380 million guests each year in communities across North America. At our Restaurant Support Center (RSC), more than 1,000 of our team members — working in a variety of functions — provide the support our restaurant teams need to create those memorable experiences.
Whether you’re supporting a single brand or our portfolio of differentiated brands, you’ll find the work challenging, our results-oriented culture energizing, and our passion for serving others contagious.