JUVE Law Firm of the year

Real Estate

Investors seeking investment opportunities

The market is turning around: for the first time since 2008, 2016 saw less investment in the German real estate market than in the year before. The main reason for this seems to be the scarce supply. Owners are holding on to their properties because they cannot see any other attractive investment opportunities in this ongoing phase of low interest. As buyers’ thirst cannot be satisfied with transactions alone, it is no wonder that project development is becoming more and more popular.

Another side effect: prices are reaching new record heights both in single-asset transactions and portfolio sales. According to media reports, the TaunusTurm building changed hands for around €650m, while Blackstone purchased a portfolio worth some €1.28bn from Hansteen. In big-ticket deals, it was mainly the large firms finding it easy to get a slice of the pie, as these deals often call for cross-border expertise. Student housing and hotels are increasingly popular asset classes too. Those who have specialist expertise here are profiting hugely. Those who don’t are trying to quickly build it up.

Real estate practices need to rethink

Real estate lawyers are thriving. This was shown by the large number of firms appointing partners from their own ranks, among them McDermott Will & Emery, CMS Hasche Sigle and Dentons. The teams are on a course for growth, but they are having more and more difficulty bringing in the laterals they need as reinforcements. The boom in project development is putting public law at the center of transaction work and making cooperation between the fields necessary.

Firms like Greenberg Traurig and GSK Stockmann are already well placed here. But there is hardly any outfit that does not want some of this action and is not aligning itself accordingly. Other firms are strengthening their core real estate practices first and foremost. The move of Dr. Carsten Loll, the head of DLA Piper’s global real estate practice, to Linklaters caused a sensation. Dr. Fabian Hartwich, meanwhile, went from Berwin Leighton Paisner to Mayer Brown.

Trailblazer in legal tech for real estate due diligence

How important the associate level will be in the future is a hot topic of discussion at the moment, as the range of legal tech tools is growing and growing. Real estate due diligence is predestined for these technical aids. Firms like Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Clifford Chance and Greenberg Traurig recognized this and are already a step ahead of the competition.


Firms in this chapter offer advice on the acquisition, sale and financing of real estate and portfolios; the structuring of real estate funds ( ?investment funds and asset management); the development of complex real estate projects and industrial real estate ( ?environmental and planning law); project finance and private financing of public real estate projects and privatization; and the renting and leasing of industrial real estate. Clients include funds, institutional investors, financers, private investors and institutional developers.

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