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K&L Gates Dallas-based attorneys Martin Garza, Tony Soards and Debbie Eichner

K&L Gates, with one of the country’s largest contingencies of green lawyers (63 LEED AP attorneys), including Dallas-based Martin GarzaTony Soards and Debbie Eichner, explained for us some current issues. They’re seeing tenant requests for green spaces resulting in the need for one CRE client to update its lease forms. Additionally, he anticipates new types of litigation as owners demand LEED certification from builders who don’t know if they’ll earn the points needed until the project is done.

Comerica Tower, home to K&L Gates Dallas office

Comerica Tower, the firm's Dallas office. Martin says legal issues will arise with green building practices and contracts: “How do we put these concepts in contractual terms? LEED is another language to learn. If you can dive in and be able to talk to clients about that, you have an advantage.The green movement is going to be the norm rather than the exception.” K&L expanded in January adding offices in Moscow and Tokyo, bringing the office count to 35.


K&L Gates’ offices are getting an update of their own, including this trippy corner of the library. Green issues continue to impact commercial real estate, Debbie says, from air quality to energy savings. Martin adds, “We’re really on the cusp of this. What does green mean? It’s not a fad, but an investment that we’re making.” An aside: Congrats to Martin, who was selected as the 2008 Latino Lawyer of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association for his copious volunteer efforts.