A jury verdict that sided with Lord & Taylor in a two-year battle over the redevelopment of White Flint Mall and awarded $31 million to the retailer for lost profits doesn’t necessarily mean the department store will opt to move into new space when the 800,000-square-foot Rockville Pike retail center is remodeled.

The crux of the lawsuit is that when White Flint broke the terms of a 1975 agreement by beginning to redevelop the mall without the consent of Lord & Taylor, the retailer lost profits.

Erica Leatham, a Ballard Spahr real estate attorney who was not involved in the case, said the direction of the lawsuit and its outcome should serve as a warning for other developers to be aware of the terms of their tenant leases, even those that may have been drafted decades earlier. “Plan ahead, and play nice,” Ms. Leatham said of the situation. “Lord & Taylor didn’t want to go through this. The mall didn’t want to go through this. Everybody would have wanted to see this redevelopment happen already.”

This case is has likely been followed closely by developers and retailers, she said. “I hope that it leads to more cooperation between developers and retailers in the future.”

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