John E. Cruz is the Chairman of the Real Estate Department at the Firm's Kansas City office. John concentrates his practice primarily on retail and office leasing. With an appreciation for the interests of both sides of a negotiation, John represents landlords and tenants. He has extensive experience in the legal and operational issues related to owning, financing, leasing, managing, and operating office buildings. Having spent several years as a manager and contracts negotiator with an international communications company, John also understands the business interests, processes, and motivations involved in negotiating agreements. In addition to leasing, he represents lenders, owners, developers, brokers, and tenants in a wide variety of commercial real estate matters.

Practice Areas


  • Washburn University School of Law (J.D., 1998)
  • University of Kansas (B.A., 1994)

Legal Background

  • Contracts manager, Sprint Spectrum L.P. (Sprint PCS) (2001-2002)
  • Associate, Lewis Rice LLC (2000-2001)
  • Manager (corporate agreements), Sprint Corporate (1998-2000)
  • Contract negotiator, Sprint Communications, L.P. (1998)

Professional Affiliations

  • International Council of Shopping Centers
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, Real Estate Law Section
  • Chapter member, Kansas City CCIM
  • Member, Kansas City Chapter, BOMA


  • Missouri Bar
  • Kansas Bar

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers® for 2016-2023
  • Ranked as a Leading Individual Real Estate Attorney (Missouri-Kansas City & Surrounds) in the Chambers USA Guide (2006-present). Currently ranked as Tier 2.
  • Missouri & Kansas Rising Stars® 2009-2011
  • Nominated as a Rising Star in 2003 by the Georgetown University Law School Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute

Representative Transactions

  • Represented a landlord in negotiating a major downtown Kansas City office lease of more than 270,000 square feet
  • Represented a major office building developer in refinancing multiple office buildings with a series of new loans in excess of $200,000,000
  • Negotiated leases and long-term extensions and expansions of over three million square feet of office space
  • Negotiated numerous leases for regional and national retailers and corporate office tenants