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William (Bill) Rowlands practices commercial real estate law. A recognized leader in commercial leasing, Bill assists with a full spectrum of commercial real estate transactions including leasing, acquisitions and dispositions of property.

Representing participants on all sides of real estate transactions, Bill acts for property owners and managers, landlords and tenants, as well as purchasers and vendors. He has developed exceptional industry knowledge in the banking and finance, manufacturing and retail sectors.

Consistently listed as a leading real estate lawyer in various legal directories, Bill is a frequent speaker and contributor on topics relating to retail, industrial and commercial leasing. He is a past co-chair of the Law Society of Ontario’s Six-Minute Commercial Leasing Lawyer program. He is a leader of the firm’s Leasing Group.



Representative Matters

  • Acted for subsidiary of Brookfield Office Properties in connection with the lease to Deloitte Management Services LP, as lead tenant, of approximately 420,000 square feet of the new 44-storey Bay Adelaide East office tower.
  • Acted for one of the five largest Canadian chartered banks in respect of the restructuring of its office portfolio including extensions and amendments of existing leases and new leased premises.
  • Acted for a major Canadian landlord in related leasing transactions with a major tenant at numerous locations across the county.
  • Acts for a number of retailers in connection with their leasing and property matters including a financial institution, a petroleum retailer, a major electronics retailer and a major home furnishings retailer.
  • Is retained on an ongoing basis by a number of landlords in connection with office, retail and industrial leasing.

Speaking Engagements

Roundtable Leader Practice Management Tips For Leasing Professionals International Conference of Shopping Centres Law Conference, Toronto, Ontario

May 1, 2018

Workshop Leader Please Release Me: The Importance of Fitting the Release and Indemnity Pieces Seamlessly with Insurance International Conference of Shopping Centres Law Conference, Toronto, Ontario

April 27, 2017

Panelist Professionalism and Ethics in a Commercial Leasing Practice International Conference of Shopping Centres Law Conference, Toronto, Ontario

April 21, 2016

Good Faith and Other Recent Case Law RealLeasing Conference, Toronto, Ontario

September 30, 2015

Workshop Leader Bankers & Lenders: Friends with Benefits International Conference of Shopping Centres Law Conference, Toronto, Ontario

April 14, 2015

Legal, Technical & Financial Issues That Can Arise During the Term of the Lease RealLeasing Conference, Toronto

October 7, 2014

Roundtable Leader International Conference of Shopping Centres Law Conference, Toronto, Ontario

March 24, 2014

Recent Case Law, Implications for Leasing Panelist, RealLeasing Conference, Toronto, Ontario

October 2013

Legal Conflicts Speaker, International Conference of Shopping Centres Law Conference, Toronto, Ontario

February 21, 2013

The Increasing Use of RFPs RealLeasing Conference, Toronto

October 4, 2012

Executive Update for Owners and Tenants Green Leasing Conference, Toronto

April 4, 2012

Conflicts of Interest Speaker, Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference

February 23, 2012

Assignment, Subletting Panelist, RealLeasing Conference, Toronto

September 27, 2011

Law For Non-Lawyers International Council of Shopping Centres Educational Seminar

May 2, 2010

Conduct Unbecoming - the Doctrine of Estoppel and Estoppel Certificates Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference

February 25, 2010

Negotiating and Amending Key Lease Terms Practicing Commercial Real Estate in a Changing Environment, Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development, Toronto, Ontario

September 22, 2009

Key Leasing Trends and Issues in Today's Retail Market RealLeasing Conference, Toronto, Canada

September 17, 2009

Knowledge, Actual Knowledge, The Best Of Your Knowledge - A Little Knowledge Can Be A Dangerous Thing Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference

March 5, 2009

Green Leases, Carbon Credits & Shared Environmental Objectives: How are they changing lease terms and negotiations? 2008 RealLeasing Conference, Toronto, Canada

September 18, 2008

The Turning Tide – Defaults and Remedies Basic Commercial Leases, Lorman Education Services

May 28, 2008

All Steamed-Up About Boiler Plate: Drafting to Avoid Pitfalls Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference

March 6, 2008

Bankruptcy Update for the Coming Recession Six Minute Commercial Leasing Lawyer, presented by the Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, Canada

February 13, 2008

Commercial Real Estate Leases Federated Press Course, Toronto, Canada

March 26, 2007

Older Buildings: Special Issues Six Minute Commercial Leasing Lawyer, presented by the Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, Canada

February 21, 2007

What U.S. and Foreign Parent Companies are Demanding in Leases for Their Canadian Operations RealLeasing Conference, Toronto, Canada

October 3, 2006

Pad Site Leases - Special Concerns and Issues Six Minute Commercial Leasing Lawyer, presented by the Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, Canada

February 15, 2006

Are Gross and Semi-Gross Leases Coming Back in the Office Market RealLeasing Conference, Toronto, Canada

September 29, 2005

Renewals and Extensions Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference, presented by the International Council of Shopping Centers, Toronto, Canada

March 3, 2005

The Shortest Possible Lease: The Venerable Dye & Durham 650 Six Minute Commercial Leasing Lawyer, presented by the Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, Canada

February 16, 2005

Risk Management, Insurance and Environmental Benchmarks in Leasing RealLeasing Conference, Toronto, Canada

October 5, 2004

It's No Use - Setting Boundaries in the Use Clause Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference, presented by the International Council of Shopping Centers, Toronto, Canada

March 4, 2004

The Annotated Retail Lease Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto, Canada

January 22, 2004

Strategies, Issues, Trends and Practices in Office, Retail and Industrial Leasing, The Use of a Standard Office Lease: Will it Ever Happen? RealLeasing Conference, Toronto, Canada

September 23, 2003

Remastering Your Lease Masters Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference, presented by the International Council of Shopping Centers, Toronto, Canada

March 2003

Creating the Standard Office Lease - CIPPREC's Attempt Return of the Six Minute Leasing Lawyer, presented by the Law Society of Upper Canada

February 2003

Ten Common Pitfalls in Commercial Leasing Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Institute

October 30, 2002

Documenting the Lease Deal Negotiating Leases – Security and Other Risks, Federated Press

April 17, 2002
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News


Rankings & Recognition

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada (2022) as a leading lawyer in the area of Real Estate Law
  • Recognized in the 2021 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Consistently Recommended Lawyer in the area of Property Leasing
  • Recognized by the Best Lawyers in Canada (2021) as a leading lawyer in the area of Real Estate Law
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2020 as a leader in Real Estate
  • Recognized in the 2020 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Consistently Recommended lawyer in the area of Property Leasing
  • Received 2017 DistinguishedTM Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2016 – 2019 as a leader in Real Estate Law
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2011 – 2020 as a leader in Real Estate Law
  • Listed in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2010 – 2019 as a leading practitioner in Property Leasing

Community Involvement

  • Former member of the Board of Directors of the North Toronto Hockey Association

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Former Co-Chair of the Law Society of Upper Canada annual Six-Minute Commercial Leasing Lawyer Program
  • International Council of Shopping Centres

Education & Admissions

1984
Called to the Ontario bar
1982
LLBQueen's University

Publications

  • Editor for O’Brien’s Encyclopedia of Forms, Division IV, Leases, Canada Law Book, 2002, updated annually, a major Canadian legal resource book on leases
  • “Grappling with Insurance Clauses,” Advanced Conference on Negotiating and Enforcing Leases, Canadian Institute (May 15, 2011)
  • “Partnerships and Trusts Handle with Care,” Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference (February 24, 2011)
  • “Tenant Transfers: Navigating the World of Subleasing, Assignment and Lease Takeovers,” RealLeasing Conference, Toronto, Canada (September 23, 2010)
  • “Agreements to Lease, Letters of Intent and Term Sheets,” Shopping Centre Leases, Canada Law Book (2008)
  • Precedent Offer to Lease and Precedent Shopping Centre Lease,” Shopping Centre Leases, Canada Law Book, 2008 (2008)
  • “Lease Guarantees: An Update,” Lang Michener LLP Real Estate Brief Winter 2005. Reprinted in Ontario Real Estate Law Developments, CCH (March 2005)
  • “Tenant Obligations on Leaving a Leased Property,” Lang Michener LLP Real Estate Brief (Spring 2005)
  • “What’s the Use? Overlapping Retail Uses,” Lang Michener LLP Real Estate Brief (November 2004)
  • “Creating the CIPPREC National Standard Office Lease,” Lang Michener LLP Real Estate Brief (April 2003)

Insights by William A. Rowlands (7 Posts)

Featured Insight

Doctrine of Spent Breach Can Override Lease Renewal Terms

A Tenant’s breach of a commercial lease did not prevent it from exercising an option to renew despite an express lease term to the contrary.

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Jul 13, 2021
Featured Insight

Protecting Small Business Act, 2020 – Ontario’s Temporary Ban on Commercial Tenant Evictions

This Act was enacted to temporarily protect commercial tenants from eviction for rent arrears as a result of the effects of COVID-19 under eligible tenancies.

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Jun 29, 2020
Featured Insight

April 30 Update: Rent Relief on its Way for Small Businesses and Commercial Landlords

Government announces commercial rent relief for small businesses

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Apr 30, 2020

Enforcing an Offer to Lease – Essential Elements and No Fundamental Breach

Enforcing an Offer to Lease – Essential Elements and No Fundamental Breach

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May 30, 2017
Featured Insight

The Timely Exercise of Lease Renewal Rights

The Timely Exercise of Lease Renewal Rights

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Feb 10, 2017
Featured Insight

Fundamental Breach of Commercial Leases

Fundamental Breach of Commercial Leases

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Sep 9, 2016
Featured Insight

Drafting, Exercising and Protecting Lease Renewal Rights

Drafting, Exercising and Protecting Lease Renewal Rights

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Jun 9, 2014