Savvas Kotsopoulos is a real estate lawyer who focuses on acquisitions, dispositions, development, and commercial leasing. He has extensive expertise in structuring and settling various joint venture structures and associated agreements (in particular, co-ownerships and limited partnerships). He also has expertise in the associated development and property management agreements for these structures across all asset classes including, retail and commercial, industrial and office, multi-residential, hospitality, and entertainment properties. Savvas represents a broad client base including private developers, investors, public and private institutional investment companies, and real estate investment trusts.
Savvas also practises extensively in the area of commercial leasing. He has particular expertise in complex leases including design-build and build-to-suit leases, ground leases, and large office, retail, and industrial anchor tenancies. His practice is evenly balanced between representing landlords and tenants.
In support of his real estate practice, Savvas has developed particular expertise in the retail industry. He advises U.S. and international retailers seeking to expand their business in Canada, either organically through “greenfield” development or through acquisitions of existing businesses or real estate portfolios. He is a national leader for retail services at Miller Thomson, providing domestic and international retailers with representation in connection with all facets of the establishment and undertaking of their businesses in Canada.
Professional achievements & leadership
- The Best Lawyers in Canada, Real Estate Law, 2014 – 2017
- Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Property Leasing, 2015
- Selected by Lexpert Magazine as part of the 2013 Class of Rising Stars, Top Lawyers in Canada under 40 years old
Transactional real estate:
- an institutional developer and landlord, ranking as one of the largest real estate companies in the world, in connection with their acquisition of development sites for new shopping centre development and negotiating associated anchor and CRU leases for new development and redevelopment projects in Canada totalling over 2 million square feet.
- numerous private investors and developers (including condominium developers) in connection with their joint-venture ownership structures and the acquisition and redevelopment/re-positioning of infill and other development sites across the GTA.
- a Canadian upscale grocery chain in connection with their acquisition of joint venture interests in premiere regional shopping centres across Ontario and associated joint venture agreements, anchor leases and transaction documentation.
- an investment fund in connection with the acquisition of existing and development of new long term care and retirement home facilities in Ontario.
- a global hotel and hospitality chain in connection with all real estate related matters concerning their Canadian portfolio.
- a prominent Canadian junior department store chain in the sale of a majority of its leasehold interests in premises across Canada to a US retailer, transacted at well over a billion dollars.
- a US home improvement retailer in a variety of mandates in connection with its Canadian expansion, including regulatory advice, the securing of sites and the development of large format retail stores.
- a renewable power generation company in its acquisition and retrofitting of a hydroelectric dam in Northern Ontario and related project finance transaction.
- leading Miller Thomson’s Retail Group in connection with the delivery of legal services (including store and distribution facility leases) to numerous renowned international retailers in connection with their expansions into Canada, including luxury brands, fast fashion retailers and other consumer goods retailers.
- a publically traded US technology company in connection with a design-build lease and associated construction contracts for a 425,000 square foot, 3- building complex comprising their new Canadian research and development headquarters.
- a mid-market REIT in connection with the negotiation of anchor leases as part of the repositioning/redevelopment of regional shopping centres in Canada.
- an international professional services firm in connection with their office leasing across Canada.
- a fitness chain in connection with all facets of their real estate portfolio, including ground leasing of sites for new gyms as they continue their aggressive expansion plan across Canada.
- Lease Transfer Provisions & Corporate Tenant, Leasing Times, July 2013
- Canada Remains Fertile Ground for US Retailers, The 2013 Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, 2013
- Laying the Foundation for a Build-to-Suit Lease, Leasing Times, December 3, 2012
- Transfers of Retail Leases – Issues and Pitfalls, Leasing Times, March 1, 2012
- Canadian Bar Association
- Ontario Bar Association
- International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC)
- National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP)
- the Urban Land Institute
- Hellenic-Canadian Board of Trade
Bar admissions & education
- Ontario Bar, 2003
- LL.B., Osgoode Hall, York University, 2002
- B.A. (political science and law and society), York University, 1999
Savvas Kotsopoulos participates in ICSC Canadian Convention kick-off event.
Savvas Kotsopoulos, chair of Miller Thomson’s national Retail Group, today participates in an International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) event that square-offs retail experts in a negotiation showdown. High-profile senior level executives will go head-to-head in a ring, a unique...
Savvas Kotsopoulos quoted in Fortune.
Savvas Kotsopoulos, chair of Miller Thomson’s national Retail Group, is quoted in a recent Fortune.com article on American retailers entering Canada. The article titled, “In Canada, U.S. retailers can be their own worst enemy” explores the rocky start of Target...
Miller Thomson’s Savvas Kotsopoulos named 2013 Lexpert Rising Star.
Miller Thomson is pleased to announce that Savvas Kotsopoulos has been named by Lexpert as a Rising Star: Leading Lawyers Under 40. Savvas was honoured at a dinner and awards ceremony, which took place in Toronto on November 5, 2013....
Miller Thomson recognized in the Best Lawyers in Canada 2014 edition.
More about Best Lawyers We are pleased to announce that 80 Miller Thomson lawyers have been recognized in the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada (this is 15 more lawyers than last year). Seventeen lawyers are new to the list. Additionally,...
Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in 2013 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
Miller Thomson is proud to announce that two of its lawyers have been recognized as leaders in their fields in The 2013 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada. The guide highlights the lawyers across Canada who...
Jeffrey Lem and Savvas Kotsopoulos present at the LSUC 9th Annual Real Estate Law Summit.
Savvas Kotsopoulos speaks on “Advising Clients Purchasing Income – Producing Properties – Due Diligence, Responsibilities, and Limiting Retainers”.
Savvas Kotsopoulos speaks at The Law Society of Upper Canada’s event titled “The Six-Minute Real Estate Lawyer 2011”.
Tactical Primer on Mixed-Use Developments
An interactive and informative, fast-paced discussion of hot-button issues in mixed-used developments including: Structuring and risk allocation HST considerations Financing Planning considerations Freehold vs. condominium Leasing Speakers include: Savvas Kotsopoulos, Toronto Anna Balinsky, Toronto Ron Choudhury, Toronto Eric Davis, Kitchener-Waterloo...
Environmental Issues in Property Development
Miller Thomson hosts a complimentary seminar presented by lawyers in our Environmental and Real Estate practice groups. Topics include: Regulatory Framework for Dealing with Contaminated Land Managing Environmental Due Diligence Investigations Environmental Considerations in Property Transactions Dealing with Excess Fill A...
Real Estate Joint Ventures Seminar
This seminar on real estate joint ventures covers, dos and don’ts, best practices, competitive intelligence and information sharing. Highlights of this presentation include: Effective and tax efficient structuring Real property and construction Development management, construction management and governance Industry trends...
Lease Transfer Provisions & Corporate Tenant
Do mergers/amalgamations trigger consent rights? It is not uncommon for a national corporate tenant (especially those with international roots) to be part of a complicated organizational structure which can include cross-border elements. Tax and securities-driven reorganizations and restructurings are also...
Canada Remains Fertile Ground for US Retailers
The 2013 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada
Laying the Foundation for a Build-to-Suit Lease
A build-to-suit (or design-build) lease is essentially a landlord/developer’s agreement to construct a purpose built building, usually for a single tenant. The landlord will typically own or ground lease the lands (and once constructed, the building) and has the option...
Transfers of Retail Leases – Issues and Pitfalls
In recent years, Canadians have been witness to the reshaping of the Canadian retail landscape, precipitated in large part by a difficult global economic climate resulting in increased insolvencies, restructurings and consolidations of retail businesses and the efforts of foreign...