Real Estate

During the 2000-2008 real estate investment boom in Bulgaria, our senior team accumulated solid experience by providing legal advice to many foreign and local investors in the financing and acquisition of real estate and the subsequent development of facilities of different purpose and scale. Our lawyers have the experience and the legal expertise to advise clients on all legal aspects related to real estate transactions and real estate project development and construction.

However, in the last few years, the local real estate industry has been faced with significant challenges. Though investors are interested in real estate’s potential, they are increasingly selective about the opportunities they support. The current climate offers certain buying opportunity for those looking for bargains from distressed sellers keen to exit, but the general hindrance for all is the funding gap. This has imposed a number of restructuring operations for real estate holders and developers in Bulgaria, as well as difficult negotiations for refinancing. What is certain is that the changes in this sector require new approaches and innovation.

We can use our long time experience to guide you through the real estate turbulences and help you in all legal issues of investor’s interest, including:

  • Performing real estate due diligence review
  • Providing deal structuring, drafting of possible legal schemes for acquisition of real estate properties, e.g. through asset deals, share deals, contributions in-kind, etc.
  • Advising on tax implications related to the different schemes of acquisitions
  • Assisting in negotiations with financial institutions for financing of the acquisition
  • Rendering practical assistance throughout the acquisition process until full and final transfer of the title over the targeted properties
  • Advising on the development and construction process, including drafting of construction and construction related agreements, participation in negotiations with contractors, supporting in environmental matters, etc.
  • Assisting in achieving refinancing of property portfolios and implementing restructuring processes, advising on real estate aspects of restructuring and insolvency work, including enforcement of securities
  • Advising in lettings, asset management, and sale arrangements.

Recent work:

Stopping the improper use of insolvency proceedings

A client of our dispute resolution team (led by Kamen Shoylev and Yordan Neshkov) was recently the subject of an indirect claim by a Bulgarian bank with which this client has been engaged in a multi-stage dispute. Unusually, the bank acted through a vehicle registered in an African state, which made an unfounded claim in the tens of millions of euros against our client and sought the commencement of judicial insolvency proceedings against this client. The offshore vehicle was chosen to isolate the bank from liability and create certain evidential difficulties for our client's representation.

NBLO succeeded in terminating the insolvency proceedings, with direct loss fully awarded to our client. A second claim to recover our client's indirect losses is currently under way.

Where targeted in this way through insolvency proceedings, a company may be prevented from trading properly (e.g., by suffering restrictions on its financing or being unable to participate in public procurement).

Through our considerable experience in insolvency litigation, both entirely domestic and where there are European and cross-border elements, we are ideally placed to assist clients in resisting such attacks and recovering the real and considerable losses that may be suffered.

© New Balkans Law Office 2018