Katherine Wax represents property owners, property managers, and tenants in a variety of real estate transactions, including purchasing, selling, financing, leasing, and ground leasing real property in all asset categories. She focuses her practice on commercial leasing, representing both landlords and tenants in office, retail, and industrial leasing transactions and property management and operations issues that arise in connection with leased property. Katherine is an active member of real estate-focused industry organizations, speaks and writes frequently on leasing and other real estate-related topics, and has been named to the Washington Rising Stars List for real estate law each year between 2016 and 2020.
Katherine currently supports owners of over 1 million square feet of commercial space in Washington and Oregon in shopping centers, office buildings, mixed-use developments, and suburban business and industrial parks. Her landlord clients include family-owned real estate companies as well as some of the largest real estate companies in the Northwest. She has worked with many landlord clients to develop forms and procedures to streamline lease negotiations, including clause books and forms for leases, amendments, consents, and other lease-related agreements.
Katherine also represents technology businesses and professional service firms in leasing matters throughout the Northwest, ranging from 3,000 to 500,000 square feet. She also serves as outside real estate counsel for several food and beverage clients, with hundreds of retail and warehouse leases throughout the United States. Recognizing that a lease negotiation is just the beginning of a long-term relationship, she works closely with clients and their brokers to ensure that each lease can stand the test of time. She has handled many office and retail transactions in historic and/or mixed-use buildings and is adept at addressing issues relating to tenant improvements, operating cost allocation, and management of common amenities in those contexts.
Lease Administration and Property Management
Katherine counsels landlord and tenant clients regarding matters arising from lease administration, including operating expense reconciliations and audits, exercise of option rights, default, subleasing, and lease assignment, and she frequently drafts, reviews, and negotiates estoppel certificates, subordination and non-disturbance agreements (SNDAs), non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements, listing agreements, property management agreements, and service contracts with vendors. When client needs require, she is involved in pre-litigation dispute resolution and planning and collaborates with litigation counsel when out-of-court solutions are not effective. Katherine also routinely advises both landlord and tenant clients regarding COVID-19-related concerns.
- Represent several companies that own and lease office, retail, flex, and industrial space in the Portland and Seattle metropolitan areas, including Class A office buildings, creative office space, warehouse/industrial buildings, mixed-use projects, and suburban business parks.
- Represent the owner of multiple grocery-anchored shopping centers in various leasing and property management matters.
- Represent multiple Fortune 500 companies in office, retail, and industrial leasing transactions ranging from 1,500 to 500,000 square feet.
- Represent technology and biotech companies in leasing headquarters in Class A office projects, including:
- A growing biotech company in leasing 70,000 square foot headquarters in a suburban office park;
- A technology company in leasing 500,000 square foot headquarters in a new construction, mixed-use office tower in downtown Seattle—one of the largest office leasing deals to occur in Seattle in 2017; and
- A technology company in leasing 180,000 square foot headquarters in a historic building in downtown Seattle.
- Represent food and beverage retailers and distributors in connection with a variety of leasing, real estate, and operational matters arising from hundreds of retail and warehouse leases.
- Represent professional service firms of all sizes (ranging from a few employees to thousands), physicians, healthcare companies, and technology companies in leasing spaces ranging from 1,500 to 500,000 square feet.
- Represent one of the world’s largest banks in leasing and real estate transactions in Washington and Oregon.
- Represent a regional healthcare system in various real estate and leasing matters, including the lease a clinic in a historic building in Portland and a sublease of clinic space.
- Represented university in leasing and property management matters involving multiple-building office and retail portfolio.
- Represented a university in subleasing 10,000 square feet to an educational partner in Portland.
Other Real Estate Experience
- Represent owners and developers in real estate transactions, including purchasing, selling, financing, and ground leasing a variety of real estate assets, including vacant land for development, office buildings, multi-family residential buildings, suburban office campuses, senior housing projects, industrial buildings, and mixed-use projects.
- Counsel various clients regarding interpretation of rights, remedies, and obligations under various real estate documents, including leases, listing agreements, purchase and sale agreements, and property management agreements.
- Represent clients in corporate transactions involving real estate assets, including, for example, the leaseback of corporate property following an asset sale, subleasing in connection with the sale of a business unit, and buying or selling property in connection with an asset purchase or sale.
Memberships & Awards
- Urban Land Institute, Member
- Member, Women’s Leadership Initiative – Oregon/SW Washington, Networking Committee (2020-present)
- Co-Chair, Women’s Leadership Initiative – Oregon/SW Washington, Mentoring Committee (2018-2020)
- Commercial Real Estate Women, Member
- Member, Crew Careers Committee (2019-2020)
- International Council of Shopping Centers, Member
- Attendee, ICSC Law Conference (2019-2020)
- National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Member
- Downtown Seattle Association
- Member, Urban Experience Committee (2013-2017)
- Washington Rising Stars List, Real Estate (2016-2020)
- Washington Women Rising Stars List, Real Estate, by Super Lawyers (2020)
Resources & Ideas
- November 4, 2020
- July 16, 2020
- 15 Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt Attorneys Named to the 2019 Washington Super Lawyers and Rising Stars ListsSuper LawyersJune 11, 2019
- 17 Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt Attorneys Named to Washington Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List in 2018Super LawyersJune 21, 2018
- December 13, 2017
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Schwabe Women in BusinessMay 6, 2020
- Law Seminars International: Advanced Conference on Commercial Real Estate LeasesFebruary 7, 2020
- Law Seminars International: Advanced Conference on Commercial Real Estate LeasesFebruary 6, 2020
- Hot Topics in Commercial Leasing: Commercial Leases in the 21st CenturyThe Seminar GroupMay 11, 2018
- Construction Easements with NeighborsThe Seminar GroupNovember 17, 2017
- Construction Easements with NeighborsThe Seminar GroupNovember 2016
- Oregon Legislature Extends Eviction Ban Until September 30, 2020, and Adds Six-Month Payment Grace PeriodJune 30, 2020
- Daily Journal of Commerce SeattleMarch 26, 2020
- March 25, 2020
- March 23, 2020
- March 21, 2018
- Daily Journal of Commerce, November 20, 2017
“Case Update,” Retail Law Strategist (with Mindy Sherman)
- Pratt Fine Arts Center, Trustee and Chair of Development Committee (2011-2017)
- Northwestern University School of LawJuris Doctor (2009)
- University of California, Santa CruzBachelor of Arts, History (2005)
Oregon State Courts
Washington State Courts
Outside The Office
- Trail running and reading—usually not at the same time.