«LEGAL INSIGHT. BUSINESS INSTINCT. “Lydian’s ‘outstanding’, ‘very professional’ team gives ‘sensible and pragmatic’ advice.” (Legal ...»
“Lydian’s ‘outstanding’, ‘very professional’ team
gives ‘sensible and pragmatic’ advice.”
(Legal 500 – 2014)
EFFICIENT APPROACHReal estate issues are extremely diverse and require expertise in many areas of practice. The size of Lydian’s real estate team not only enables us to offer you a full range of services and support, but also makes sure that your question is being handled by a specialist dedicated to the specific practice area you need.
LEGAL PROJECTMANAGEMENT &
DEVELOPMENT & CONSTRUCTION
CORPORATE REAL ESTATE
STRUCTURING & JOINT TRANSACTIONS
REAL ESTATE PORTFOLIO
FINANCE MANAGEMENTINVESTMENT &
IN-HOUSE CONTRACT DRAFTING & LETTINGS
COUNSEL SUPPORT PROPERTIES
PLANNING & URBAN PRIVATE FINANCE
DUE DILIGENCE NEGOTIATION
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES (PFI)
ENVIRONMENT PUBLIC PRIVATEPARTNERSHIPS (PPS)
CONCESSIONS REAL ESTATE TAX
THE FULL SCOPE OF
We have in-depth expertise in the following matters:
■ Commercial Property Projects ■ Engineering, Procurement & Construction ■ Environmental law ■ Planning and Urban Development ■ Portfolio management and lettings ■ PPP / PFI ■ Real Estate Litigation ■ Real Estate Transactions ■ Real Estate Tax
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY PROJECTSWe have particular expertise in commercial property projects, including offices, retail centres, out-of-town retail, distribution complexes and industrial estates.
This experience extends to development, development finance, drafting and negotiating contractual arrangements, PFI and PPP projects, and urban regeneration.
We have real strengths and a depth of experience to bear on even the largest and most complex investment transactions and we offer a first class service on all aspects of such transactions.
ENGINEERING, PROCUREMENT & CONSTRUCTIONWe advise diverse companies in the construction, engineering, energy and infrastructure industries and have extensive experience of handling very complex EPC contracts.
Our key strength is our ability to blend our legal expertise in identifying and addressing the issues and risks which arise in such contracts, together with industry-focused knowledge.
This knowledge includes a detailed understanding of the underlying nature of complex EPC contracts in the context of very technically challenging projects.
Our experience of EPC contracts covers all types of construction, engineering and energy projects. We have significant EPC experience in the context of civil building projects, energy projects, transport and water.
ENVIRONMENTAL LAWOur environmental lawyers have extensive expertise in handling complex
environmental and energy regulatory issues, including matters related to:
■ the regulation of products;
■ contaminated properties;
■ environmental risk allocation mechanisms in corporate, lending and property documentation;
■ property transactions and PFI/PPP projects in the water, waste and waste water fields;
■ appointing and dealing with environmental consultants;
■ regulatory intervention and enforcement.
Our environmental law clients include several of the largest companies in the private sector in Belgium, including those involved in real estate, construction, waste, water and energy as well as several major public sector organisations.
PLANNING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENTWe provide clear planning advice to developers, landowners, house builders and retailers.
Typical schemes include the promotion and implementation of major sustainable urban extensions and regeneration of brownfield development sites.
With a strong pedigree in working with local authorities and their development partners, our team also provides assistance in the execution of town and city centre regeneration schemes.
PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT AND LETTINGSClearly, the efficient management of a real property investment will add significantly to its value and the returns from it.
We have a justifiably strong reputation for acting for landlords, tenants and other occupiers of offices and other types of property. This reputation is based on our ensuring that we have a real understanding of our clients' reasons for wanting the relevant property and the use they intend to make of it.
In addition to the usual title and other due diligence enquiries, we are particularly concerned to ensure that provisions which have, or may have, a significant impact on the financial obligations of our clients are fully understood and negotiated.
BUSINESS INSTINCT.We advise clients on all aspects of their corporate real estate strategy.
In particular, we can help clients with:
■ conducting a real estate audit to review their real estate holdings;
■ developing a strategic real estate plan which will free up management time and deliver real value to the shareholders;
■ implementing that plan, whether it involves disposals, sale and leasebacks, securitisation or outsourcing.
PPP / PFI The first decade of the 21st century has seen a significant increase in the use of Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) or Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) on the Belgian market. Ranging from classic PPP/PFI sectors, such as transport infrastructure, urban regeneration and housing to newer fields such as schools, sports infrastructure, brownfields and blackpoints, health care or student housing, an important PPP/PFI culture has developed in Belgium.
We have been at the forefront of this development, assisting both government and private clients (sponsors, financiers, (sub)contractors, advisors) on several of the larger PPP/PFI deals. Through a combination of expertise in real estate and environmental matters and in public (procurement) law as well as in insurance, project finance and private equity matters, we are able to offer our clients comprehensive legal services in support of their participation in PPP/PFI projects.
We are experienced in setting up project structures, performing legal feasibility studies and risk allocation exercises (TRAM), advising on fiscal, financial, corporate, procurement or real estate optimizations, supporting legal project management, assisting in negotiations with partners, share- and stakeholders, drafting tender or bid documentation, etc.
We have in-depth knowledge of those legal structures which are key to any PPP/PFI project, for example, concessions (BOO, BOT, DBFM(O), public domain), joint ventures (SPV, ProjectCo), public procurement procedures, subsidies, loans and guarantees, service level (maintenance and facility services, EPC) and interface agreements, budget and ESA95 regulations, etc.
REAL ESTATE LITIGATIONOur real estate dispute resolution team comprises highly experienced litigators with the expertise to deal with the most technical and complex real estate disputes.
We act for a wide domestic and international client base including developers, investors, landlords, banks and joint venture partners.
In addition to dealing with the most complex court cases, we provide strategic and tactical advice to avoid litigation or settle it on the best possible terms through various forms of alternative dispute resolution including mediation.
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONSWhen assisting a client who is acquiring an investment property, our time is
spent on the following:
■ agreeing the transaction structure and documentation;
■ due diligence on the title and occupancy details;
■ financing arrangements and tax implications;
■ reporting on commercial arrangements, for example, hotel management agreements, machinery maintenance agreements.
The acquisition of investment property by non-resident clients requires careful attention being paid to the ownership structure. In conjunction with our tax team, we are accustomed to advising clients on the most beneficial arrangements appropriate to their country of residence.
REAL ESTATE TAXOur team works on all aspects of taxation and property - from simple transactions to complex structures optimising clients' income, capital gains, VAT, stamp duty and tax positions.
Committed to getting buildings up and acquired while keeping tax bills down, and immersed in the real estate market, the team fully appreciates the commercial needs of a deal. It is also superbly positioned to create and implement taxefficient practical solutions.
Being “bilingual” in real estate and tax, and benefiting from an intimate familiarity with the way in which real estate deals are done in Belgium, the tax team provides the 'missing link' that enables Lydian’s real estate lawyers to integrate seamlessly with clients' in-house tax teams and external advisers.
LEGAL INSIGHT. BUSINESS INSTINCT.
“Large team advising international real estate investors, financial institutions, construction companies and corporates on significant real estate matters. Handles development projects, asset deals, lease agreements and disputes.
Practice head Wouter Neven has an enviable reputation in commercial real estate.
He continues to be involved in a wide variety of matters, from construction-related litigation to lease negotiations and asset sales.” (Chambers – 2014) A TEAM
WITH EXPERIENCEWe have a team with the experience to foresee problems and respond in an appropriate way to change.
All the lawyers in our team have particular areas of expertise, such as commercial property projects, engineering, procurement and construction, environmental law, planning and urban development, portfolio management and lettings, PPP / PFI, real estate litigation, real estate and PPP / PFI finance, real estate transactions and real estate tax. Together they have experience of handling every legal aspect of real estate law. They are true experts in their field and have excellent contacts with the relevant authorities at national and regional level.
OUR RECENT EXPERIENCE
■ A PUBLIC COMPANY RESPONSIBLE FOR WATER SUPPLYWe advised a public company that is responsible for the water supply in the Antwerp area, in the application procedures for several building and environmental permits required for the construction of water utilities.
■ A EUROPEAN PACKAGING, PAPER AND FOREST PRODUCTS COMPANYWe advised a leading European packaging, paper and forestry products company, on several environmental and energy matters, such as permits, waste, green certificates, etc. and on reviewing procurement contracts related to refuse-derived fuel (RDF). We recently advised our client on a dispute with the Flemish authorities on the shipment of C-Wood (i.e. waste) from France to Flanders.
■ CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIESWe have assisted several cities and municipalities with their PPP projects and with various environmental matters in Flanders. We advised on planning and zoning issues and acted in legal proceedings in relation to permit issues.
■ AN INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANYWe have advised a division of an international construction company on the conditions to meet and to obtain building and environmental permits.
We recently acted in legal proceedings for the company against the Public Waste Agency in relation to soil pollution found on a company site.