Harriet Tabb


Harriet Tabb is well known for her work in retail and mixed-use real estate development. Harriet also performs substantial work in economic development for a major Texas city. Her most recent work in economic development has focused on affordable housing, especially through public facility corporations.

Harriet’s work creates enormous value for her clients. Many developers prefer to hire her early in a project so that she can provide smart and proactive counsel. Her negotiations result in clearly-written leases and other agreements that both protect her client and help make the landlord and tenant relationship run smoothly. Her planning and drafting can save money. She saved one client more than $100,000 in late-delivery fees based on her well-written force majeure clause (more believable after the pandemic than before it) and another client much more than that by recommending a specific way to structure loan documentation.

Harriet has focused her other efforts on teaching and training the next generation of lawyers, both speaking at many CLE presentations and teaching “Real Estate Transactions” at Southern Methodist University (SMU) for 3 years.

Representative Experience

  • Represents one of the first mixed-use developments in the United States
  • Represented a high-end shopping center for 25 years and then handled the sale, which was a WSJ deal of the week
  • Worked with a Texas city to create a downtown shopping district and, 20 years later, Affordable Housing

Licensed In

  • Texas


  • J.D. Stanford Law School
  • B.A. Emory University


  • Elected a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, Class of 2015
  • Elected, for four years, to the 16-member governing body of the Real Estate Probate and Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, the largest of the State Bar sections. Her primary contribution was to have that section adopt the bright-red horny frog as its symbol.
  • AV Preeminent, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
  • Legal Leaders/Top Rated Lawyers, ALM and Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Real Estate Law (2021-Present)
  • Adjunct Professor at SMU Law School, teaching “Real Estate Transactions” (Spring of 2016, 2017, and 2018 terms) teaching with Susan Mills Cipione

Speaking Engagements

  • 2023: Topics in Leasing (DAREL presentation)
  • 2022: Topics in Leasing (Advanced Real Estate Strategies)
  • 2022 A Primer on Public Facility Corporations (presentation to ULI P3 Committee)
  • 2022: Preparing For Unanticipated Disaster (Advanced Real Estate Drafting Course)
  • 2021: “How to Address Occupancy Issues in Leases” Participated in Advanced Real Estate Course by Zoom.
  • 2019: “How to Address Occupancy Issues in Leases” (Advanced Real Estate Law Course)
  • 2018:  The Lords and Lady of Leasing Answer Your Questions, Again (Advanced Real Estate Strategies) [Harriet was, again, the “lady”]
  • 2018: Course Director, Advanced Real Estate Course
  • 2018: “Solution in Search of a Problem: Concealed and Open Carry in Texas” (Panel Discussion at the American College of Real Estate Lawyers Spring Conference)
  • 2017: Renewing and Redeveloping Underused Properties Case Study: West Village, Dallas, Texas (Advanced Real Estate Strategies)
  • 2017: Short, but Not Sweet: The Landlord Subordination Agreement, 10 Years Later (Dow Leasing Institute)
  • 2015: The Lords and Lady of Leasing Answer Your Questions (Advanced Real Estate Strategies) [Harriet was the “lady”]
  • 2014: Co-Author, Winning Ways in Commercial Real Estate: 18 Successful Women Unveil the Tips of the Trade in the Real Estate World
  • 2014: Particularly-Problematic Use Issues in Retail Leasing (“Permitted” Use; Continuous Operation; Exclusives and Radius Restrictions; and Co-Tenancy) (Advanced Real Estate Law Course)
  • 2014: Who is Going to do What by When: The Lawyer’s Role in Drafting Construction Agreements for Commercial Leases (Advanced Real Estate Drafting Course)
  • 2014: Bringing Order out of Chaos: The Lawyer’s Role in Drafting Construction Agreements (Advanced Real Estate Drafting Course)
  • 2012: Bringing Order out of Chaos: The Lawyer’s Role in Drafting Construction Agreements (Jim Wallenstein’s breakfast group meeting)
  • 2011: Bringing Order out of Chaos: The Lawyer’s Role in Drafting Construction Agreements (Bernard O. Dow Leasing Institute)
  • 2009: Struggling Tenants: A Landlord’s Guide to Evaluating and Responding to Requests for Modification or Termination of Leases (Bernard O. Dow Leasing Institute)
  • 2007: Short But Not Sweet: The Landlord’s Subordination Agreement (The University of Texas’s Mortgage Lending Institute)
  • 2007: Real Estate Strategies Program (panel discussion, sponsored by the State Bar of Texas)
  • 1996: Negotiating Subordination, Non-disturbance, and Attornment Agreements: Lender and Tenant Perspectives (Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Lease Conference)
  • 1995: Subordination, Non-disturbance, and Attornment Agreements from the Tenant’s Point of View (Advanced Real Estate Law Course of the State Bar of Texas and Advanced Real Estate Law Course, University of Texas School of Law)

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