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:

An ~€1M claim on behalf of real estate consultants

NBLO’s dispute resolution lawyers represented UK-based real estate consultants who had structured a € 40-million-worth commercial property project on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.  In breach of an applicable contractual obligation, the consultants had not been paid the agreed success fees for their services. The then director of the defaulting party had been tragically shot dead in the meantime.

Following a hotly contested first instance, with below-the-belt attempts by the other side (the least untypical perhaps being the claim that the contract had been a forgery and a trial-within-a-trial on the issue), our team succeeded in obtaining a judgment at first instance.  The parties were then able to achieve a significant settlement.

The key skills we were able to bring to bear in providing a solution included searching for solutions across the problem domain; appropriately involving representatives of Bulgaria’s EU partner member-states to buttress judicial independence; and resourcefully dealing with heterodox approaches by our judicial opponents.

© New Balkans Law Office 2019