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Commercial Leases: A Discussion of Operating Expenses, Real Estate Taxes and Other Costs/Expenses


Understand the concept of operating expenses and how to avoid the pitfalls of dealing with them.

This topic is intended for leasing deal makers and their consultants, including lawyers and accountants, who are involved in negotiating and administering office, retail and industrial leases and overseeing compliance with the pass through of operating expenses in these leases. Our speakers are two experienced professionals who represent both landlords and tenants and who have gone through the process of challenging operating expenses will discuss several current hot topics in this area, including the impact COVID-19 will have on the pass through of expenses.



Manuel Fishman, Esq.

Manuel Fishman, Esq.

Buchalter Nemer

  • Shareholder with Buchalter Nemer
  • Focuses practice on representing real estate developers and owners in the acquisition, sale, and financing of commercial properties
  • Active leasing practice representing owners of several major office buildings in San Francisco, including the Transamerica Pyramid, as well as tenants in lease and sublease transactions
  • Expertise includes letters of intent, tenant improvement work agreements, security deposits/letters of credit, signage rights, expansion and contraction rights, permitted transfers, operating expense audits, and lender and master landlord recognition agreements and extensive experience in the area of ground leasing and retail leasing
  • Leading attorney in the area of landline and wireless communications and Internet-based services in commercial properties and rooftop installations
  • 2020 Best Lawyer in America in real estate law, an honor he has received since 2007; 2014 Top Rated Lawyer by American Lawyer Media, 2012-2018; one of Bay Area Magazine’s Top Lawyers in the Bay Area; and recipient of the 2019 Raymond C. Nann Distinguished Service Award
  • Frequent lecturer on office and shopping center leasing matters and frequently writes for industry newsletters
  • J.D. degree, magna cum laude, Santa Clara University School of Law; B.A. degree, State University of New York at Purchase
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 415-227-3504
Tracy P. Chelepis, CPA

Tracy P. Chelepis, CPA

Chelepis & Associates

  • Founder and CEO of Chelepis & Associates
  • 35+ years of experience in real estate auditing and consulting, leasing, management and administration, residential and commercial construction, development and ownership
  • Certified Public Accountant since 1981
  • Completed 5-day negotiation workshops through the Program of Instruction for Lawyers at Harvard Law School
  • Has been recognized as one of the “Founding Fathers” of the real estate lease audit industry
  • Earned his CPA certificate at the former Big 8 CPA firm, Coopers and Lybrand, and worked in construction accounting for a major telecommunications company, upon whose suggestion he established his own real estate auditing and consulting firm
  • Career has spanned decades in real estate and construction
  • Has served as mediator between contractors and developers and provided expert testimony in real estate litigation
  • Has developed and financed several office and industrial properties and currently owns and manages the same in the suburban Kansas City Market
  • Manages a professional staff, provides oversight of operations and accounting, and directs client negotiations of the audit and consulting teams
  • Chelepis has recovered over $250,000,000 for its clients
  • Professional associations include CoreNet, BOMA, AICPA, and is a real estate broker in the State of Kansas
  • B.S. degree in accounting, University of Kansas

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