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Real estate


Presentation


The partners and associates of the department handle various matters linked to real estate law within a global perspective, notably concerning civil law for real estate, administrative law, environmental law, urban planning law, obligation and contract law, corporate law and tax law.

The department advises and assists its clients in connection with the acquisition or disposal of real estate companies and buildings and the obtaining of the different authorisations required for the use, construction and/or renovation of buildings. It also advises and assists in expropriation proceedings.

It assists and defends in administrative and legal litigation proceedings as well as in arbitration and mediation proceedings.

The department advises and assists many private and stock-market-listed investment funds and carries out proceedings in order to improve results in asset management matters.

Our code of professional conduct does not allow us to reveal the names of our department's clients. 

Our practice


The department regularly acts in the following matters:
  • The disposal and acquisition of real estate companies or buildings
  • The founding/establishment of real estate companies
  • Drawing up basic deeds and regulations for complex co-ownership structures
  • Complex real estate structures and the contractual constructions which allow for their financing (including project finance)
  • The construction, renovation or reorganisation of office buildings destined for use by the public authorities and European institutions (conducting negotiations relating to occupation and acquisition, drawing up agreements)
  • The acquisition or occupation of land in the public domain in order to execute real estate operations or develop economic activities
  • Public-private partnerships for carrying out public real estate projects and revitalising urban areas (PPP)
  • Obtaining the necessary administrative authorisations for a real estate project and its operation
  • Proceedings to protect real estate heritage
  • Drawing up lease contracts, real estate leases, emphyteuses or area.
The department has regular litigation experience before civil jurisdictions in cases related to the execution of contracts (emphyteusis, area, commercial lease, common law lease, licences in respect of public land) and expropriation.It also has regular litigation experience before the Council of State in cases related to complex real estate operations of public authorities.

Interventions


I. The lawyers of the department have pleaded in the following court cases, among others:
  • Rejection of a demand for the reclassification of an emphyteusis contract as a commercial leasing contract, intervening on behalf of the owner, which was a fund holding real estate certificates; the Court of Cassation found in our client's favour in a fundamental judgment. The judgment was published in all the specialised journals (notably Cass. 30 March 2006, R.W. 2006 - 2007, 647 and the note "Emphyteusis, more contract freedom than expected"),
  • Obtaining a rent increase within the scope of a long-term commercial lease in favour of an institutional investment fund. The Court of Cassation agreed with the advice we gave to our client, namely that the correct interpretation of Article 6 of the Law on commercial leases means that a rent increase is permitted based on the notion of new circumstances (Cass. 7 January 2007, www.cass.be).
  • Obtaining the nullity of the sale of a building complex sold in violation of a clause granting a pre-emptive right to our client. The Court of Cassation upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Brussels which declared the sale null and void, based on the theory of third-party complicity in the violation of a contract (Cass. 27 April 2006, www.cass.be),
  • Intervention in litigation in order to obtain the termination of rental contracts and collection of bank guarantees, and optimisation of litigation regarding the end of contracts (rental damage, succession of lessees, securities, etc).

II. The department has handled non-litigious cases in areas such as the following:
  • Due diligence for acquisition of real estate companies or buildings
  • Data room constitution in connection with action cessions of real estate companies or buildings
  • The responsibility of the legal panel in the scope of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)
  • Drawing up basic deeds for constructing high-rise buildings
  • Legal assistance for promoters with the execution of complex projects
  • Legal assistance for public authorities with the execution of major real estate projects.

Our team


* s.c.r.l Janson Baugniet c.v.b.a.


Contact

Brussels: + 32 2 675 30 30
Nivelles +32 67 21 79 95
Ghent: +32 9 240 77 20
Mons: +32 65 22 10 00
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