Real estate and construction in Belgium
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP's practice counts prominent, multi-jurisdictional real estate M&A and financing matters as the backbone of the department. The client roster includes well-known financial institutions and investment companies. Rudy Dupont heads the department, in which associate Benjamin Pirlet is a name to note. Daniel Gillet left the firm in April 2019.
Other key lawyers:
Generali Real Estate
- Advised Generali Real Estate on its acquisition of the company Project Montoyer, which owned a mixed-use office and retail building in Brussels.
- Assisting a consortium of real estate developer clients, Immobel, Besix and BPI, with the public tender submission process in relation to a train station refurbishment project initiated by SCNB International.
Clifford Chance’s 'very strong and very responsive' real estate team stands out for 'combining top-notch real estate, tax, financing and fund advice' when assisting clients with high-profile, high-value transactions. Department head Henri D’Ursel is 'a strong commercial leader in the market' and 'a tough negotiator'. Alexandre Ooms, 'a very strong tax partner', is noted for his expertise in advising on real estate tax issues. Counsel Pieter De Bock is 'brilliant'.
‘Henri d’Ursel, the leading partner, is an exceptional lawyer who always gets you across the line. Very commercial and proactive, he comes up with unexpected and creative solutions for complex business and legal issues‘.
‘Henri d’Ursel is a great lawyer, with a great capacity to have a broad vision of the deal and bring the best advice‘.
Union Investment Real Estate
Cerberus Capital Management
- Advised Patrizia on the €46m acquisition of the One on One office building from Pharos Real Estate.
- Assisted Covivio with the acquisition of a 32% stake worth €176m in a portfolio of 32 Accor hotels located in France and Belgium.
- Assisted Primonial with the acquisition of a 75% stake in Aedifica’s residential apartment portfolio, comprising 71 buildings.
At Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick, the 'very professional' team is well known for its 'very strong knowledge in real estate matters', with transactional mandates prominent in the group's workload. The client base includes widely recognised retail, hotel and financial services entities. Yves Delacroix leads the 'pragmatic' team; Alexandre Emond ('intelligent and a pleasure to work with'), 'dedicated' counsel Julie De Bonnet and Pierre Desenfans, who stands out for his expertise in tax matters, are key names.
‘The entire team is always very kind and enthusiastic. They always deliver as agreed. They have a ‘hands-on’ mentality, and they are proactive‘.
‘Yves Delacroix has an incredible strong knowledge of all real estate matters. He really can make the difference in the negotiations‘.
- Assisted Befimmo with the acquisition of a 61% stake in Silversquare Holding, a prominent co-working company in Belgium.
- Advised B&B Hotels on the negotiation of two long lease agreements and one real estate leasing agreement for the construction of three hotels in Belgium, marking the client’s entry into the Belgian market.
- Assisted Lidl with a €55m acquisition of a site for the development of a new distribution centre in the Walloon Region.
Rudy Nauwelaerts and Rony Vermeersch jointly lead Stibbe's 'very experienced' real estate team, which 'provides tailor-made advice quickly and efficiently'. The group reports an uptick in PPP matters within the real estate space, and also counts high-profile transactional matters and financing instructions as key areas of expertise. The practice works in synergy with corporate and public law experts on logistics, retail and hotel projects, among others. Corporate law expert Jan Bogaert is noted for assisting with real estate M&A matters. In 2019 Pieter Bogaert left the firm to join Xior Student Housing, and Matthias Maselis joined as a partner from Clifford Chance.
Rudy Nauwelaerts; Rony Vermeersch
Leasinvest Real Estate
- Assisting Belgian football club Standard de Liège with the €70m development of the client’s football stadium.
- Assisting Cainiao Network, a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group, on the acquisition of land near Liège Airport in Belgium for the purpose of constructing a logistics centre as its European business hub.
- Advising Belgian project developer Alides on the sale of the Oxygen Office Building, a landmark office building in Brussels.
Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL has been active handling high-value transactional matters for international and domestic financial institutions; office, hotel and retail acquisitions have been prominent in the team's workload. Jean-François Vandenberghe heads the department.
Equity Estate Participations
- Advised GreenOak on its acquisition from CBRE Global Investors of a company owning a logistics complex.
- Assisted Wereldhave Belgium with its acquisition of two retail parks.
DLA Piper attracts praise for its 'in depth knowledge of real estate law'. The 'knowledgeable' team is adept at handling a wide spectrum of real estate matters, with retail sector projects featuring prominently in the group's recent workload. Department head Dirk Caestecker is 'dedicated' and 'straightforward'.
‘Dirk Caestecker is very efficient, proactive, and has in depth knowledge and expertise in all aspects of the real estate practice, both from a legal and a practical point of view‘.
- Assisting Redevco Retail Belgium with the sale of part of its commercial real estate portfolio, including retail stores and parks, worth over €100m.
- Advised Aareal Bank on the €447m refinancing of an international hotel portfolio.
Yves Moreau heads the department at Linklaters, which counts real-estate related M&A and joint ventures, buy-and-sell property matters, litigation, PPPs and finance as core areas of instruction. Pieter Puelinckx and counsel France Englebert are other key contacts.
Loyens & Loeff is 'very knowledgeable in Belgian real estate'; high-value transactions and acquisitions are core strengths of the practice. The 'outstanding' Christophe Laurent leads the team, in which Ariane Brohez is a name to note.
Other key lawyers:
AG Real Estate
Korea Investment & Securities
Cording Real Estate Group
- Advised Trinova Real Estate (which was acting on behalf of Korean investor Multi Asset Global Investments) on its acquisition of 100% of the shares of private limited company IRET Investissements Bruxelles Nord.
- Advised CBRE Global Investors on the acquisition of a logistics portfolio from Belgian developer MG Real Estate.
The 'reliable and professional' team at Lydian provides 'in-depth advice across a wide range of real estate matters', and has established expertise in acting for international and national clients on both investor and developer-side mandates. Practice head Wouter Neven has 'a pragmatic attitude' and 'displays an excellent ability to manage complex real estate matters'. Counsel Bruno Stroobants is 'very proactive and knowledgeable'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Wouter Neven is a good communicator and able to articulate issues succinctly‘.
BNP Paribas Fortis
Vivalto Home Belgium
Jansen Building Company
- Advised BNP Paribas Fortis on the construction of the company’s new headquarters in Brussels.
- Assisting Nike with the development and expansion of its European logistics campus in Belgium.
NautaDutilh's 'solution-driven' team has 'excellent legal knowledge and experience in real estate and construction business'. PPP mandates, high-value transactions, lease matters and contentious real estate instructions have been included in the group's recent workload. The 'professional and experienced' Didier De Vliegher heads up the practice.
Didier De Vliegher
AG Real Estate
- Advised a consortium of lender clients on financing a €450m PPP project for the construction of a prison complex in Brussels.
- Assisted Cofinimmo with the acquisition of 15 nursing and care homes, collectively worth €297m.
Schoups' 'very professional' team is 'specialised in all aspects of the construction business' and 'combines being knowledgeable with being very accessible'. The practice has an excellent reputation for its strength in complex construction projects, development disputes, and contentious and non-contentious public procurement matters. Practice head Marco Schoups' 'experience and vast knowledge of the Belgian real estate and construction sector and important players is indispensable'. Key names include the 'bright and keen' Siegfried Busscher, who 'offers very hands-on and thorough counsel in construction matters'; the 'well regarded' Kris Lemmens, noted for his expertise in public procurement work; and construction law expert Maarten Somers.
‘A boutique firm in the field of construction with a broad knowledge and client database on the subject‘.
‘For construction law they are probably one of the most eminent law firms in Belgium‘.
‘The team has a very good grasp on technical issues, and can translate that into their advice‘.
‘Their experience and expertise in real estate and construction show in everything they do‘.
Simont Braun's 'rigorous and meticulous' team has 'strong expertise in the real estate sector', and leverages the expertise of its public and administrative law practice to provide a multidisciplinary service to a broad client roster. The 'very reactive' practice head Manuela von Kuegelgen has 'very good negotiation skills'. Associate Laura Grauer is a key contact.
Manuela von Kuegelgen
Other key lawyers:
‘Manuela Van Kuegelgen is technically very experienced, customer oriented and available‘.
The Urban Development Corporation
Common Community Commission (COCOM)
- Provides ongoing assistance to the Urban Development Corporation in Brussels regarding the creation and implementation of the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum and Architecture Museum development project; the firm was selected for the project by means of a public tender.
- Advising STIB, Beliris and the BMN bureau on the extension of the Brussels metro project.
Recent work for the team at ALTIUS includes advising on redevelopment projects, high-profile acquisitions and market entry matters for clients drawn from the retail, hotels, banking, food and tourism sectors. Lieven Peeters shares leadership of the practice with real estate regulatory expert William Timmermans.
Lieven Peeters; William Timmermans
- Assisted holiday park operator Pierre & Vacances with renegotiations of lease and refurbishment agreements for two holiday parks in Belgium, as part of a cross-border refurbishment investment program by investment fund Blackstone, which owns the properties.
- Advising KFC on opening a number of restaurants in Belgium, marking its entry into the Belgian market.
- Assisting Corinthia Hotels with a redevelopment project in Brussels.
The 'very experienced' Bruno Duquesne leads CMS' 'ultra-responsive' and 'pragmatic' team, which counts transactional real estate matters, property finance and development projects as core areas of expertise. The 'very available' Pierre-Axel Chabot is noted for his extensive experience in handling instructions from retail sector entities.
Other key lawyers:
‘Bruno Duquesne in Brussels offers a commercial attitude paired with professional experience‘.
‘Pierre-Axel Chabot truly knows and understands real estate from an investor perspective. He is a very tough negotiator‘.
The European Commission
- Assisting the European Commission with its Loi 130 architectural project in Brussels.
- Assisted WeWork with its entry into the Brussels market via the negotiation and conclusion of five transactions, involving lease agreements, for long-term occupation of office spaces in Brussels.
- Assisting logistics real estate company Logicor with the management of its Belgian portfolio.
At Cresco Advocaten, Filip De Schouwer leads a team which has established strength in acting for a client base of retail, food and beverage and hotel companies across a range of real estate litigation and transactional mandates. Key names include Natalie Lemense, who is noted for her expertise in dispute resolution; and senior associate Steven Daems, who is strong in corporate matters. Tessa Gijbels left the firm in February 2020.
Filip De Schouwer
The Belgian Government
- Provides ongoing advice to Percassi regarding a range of retail lease agreements in the Benelux region.
- Acting for Eoluz in a dispute with Edison Energy regarding a 4000kWp solar installation.
Recent highlights for the team at Deloitte include assisting bpost with the €80.5m sale and lease-swap transaction for the Centre Monnaie building in Brussels, following its purchase by Whitewood for redevelopment. Maximillien van de Werve is the name to note.
Maximillien van de Werve
University of Leuven
- Advised Leasinvest, a Belgian REIT, on the acquisition of the shares of a Belgian company owning the well-known Hangar 26/27 building in Antwerp.
K Law's 'very strong' and 'very well balanced' team 'covers all real estate matters'. The group provides ongoing assistance to Codic International regarding its high-profile sale of the PassPort building in Zeventem to a Korean investor. Department head Gerald Van Walle is 'a dealmaker with excellent knowledge of the law, combined with a pragmatic approach'. Jim Bauwens is 'dedicated, strongly identifies with the client he works for and really goes the extra mile'.
Gerald Van Walle
Other key lawyers:
‘Jim Bauwens is trustworthy, reliable and delivers on time‘.
‘Jim Bauwens combines strong legal knowledge with a pragmatic business mind‘.
Vastned Retail Belgium
The Deichmann Group
- Assisting members of footwear retail company, The Deichmann Group, with a number of commercial lease agreements for stores in Belgium, marking the client’s entry into the Belgian market.
- Assisting Ertzberg with contractual negotiations regarding the development of three major residential projects in the City of Leuven.
The real estate team at AKD garners praise for its 'professionalism'. Large-scale relocation projects form the backbone of the practice; international retail entities are prominent in the client roster. Steven Ongena heads the department, in which counsel Pol Cools is a name to note.
Other key lawyers:
The Canadian State
The Belgian State
- Assisting the Canadian State with a relocation project regarding the location of its embassy in Brussels.
David Du Pont is the key contact in Ashurst LLP's real estate department, which is well known for its strength in handling private equity matters. The 'attentive' team reports an uptick in instructions relating to logistics projects.
David Du Pont
Liberty House Group
Logistics Capital Partners
- Advised Logistics Capital Partners on its acquisition of a Belgian company owning a development logistics property located in Nivelles.
- Assisted the OZD Group, a Singapore-based company focusing on mining and metal assets in emerging markets, with its acquisition of a Belgian holding company holding gold mine assets in Mongolia.
Lars Van Bever heads the real estate practice at Eubelius, which is strong in advising real estate investor-side clients on real estate investment funds in Belgium and assisting BE-REITS with regulatory and tax issues, among other areas. The group has been particularly busy handling elderly care accommodation projects. Wouter Claes has established expertise in real estate tax matters. Senior attorney Tim Van Moorhem is also recommended.
Lars Van Bever
‘Lars Van Bever: exceptional talent in translating complicated legal structures into understandable business terms‘.
‘Tim Van Moorhem: availability and clear communication, thorough knowledge of the market and all financial concepts‘.
Brussels Airport Company
Xior Student Housing
- Assisted Aedifica, a BE-REIT specialised in healthcare real estate, with the Belgian aspects of its acquisition of a portfolio of 93 healthcare properties in the United Kingdom; this transaction marked the client’s entry into the UK market.
- Assisted the Brussels Airport Company with its acquisition of the Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel.
Eversheds Sutherland (Belgium) CVBA (a member of Eversheds Sutherland)'s real estate practice leverages the expertise of the 'approachable' Johan Joos. Real estate-related corporate work is a core strength for the team.
- Assisted Facebook Belgium with a lease expansion for their Belgian headquarters in Brussels.
- Assisting clothing company Superdry with the relocation of their headquarters in Belgium.
Laurius reports an uptick in instructions relating to student accommodation projects. The 'very professional' group's expertise also spans elderly care, offices, residential and hospitality development projects, which it handles mainly for investor-side clients. Practice head Michael Bollen is 'proactive' and 'always thinking ahead'.
AG Real Estate
- Assisted REIT company QRF with its acquisition of nine retail premises from the Vanmoerkerke family; simultaneously, the Vanmoerkerke family took control over the client as part of a takeover.
- Acted for a private equity investor in its acquisition of an elderly care facility via a sale and leaseback transaction.
Luc Linders leads the 'very professional' real estate team at Monard Law. The group is noted for its strength in advising contractor clients on contentious real estate matters, and counts PPP infrastructure projects as a core area of expertise. Development projects have also featured in the department's recent workload. Key contacts include the 'responsive' Stefaan Van Dyck and Benoit Samyn.
AG Real Estate
- Assisting construction company Cordeel with a PPP project for the construction of senior housing facilities.
- Advising contractor client Jan De Nul on its tender for a project for the construction of a prison facility.
Racine's 'very professional' team provides 'sound legal advice' to clients regarding real estate disputes, and has also been handling acquisition mandates. The 'eloquent' Isabelle Cooreman is the name to note.
‘Solution driven advice and client oriented with a solid theoretical knowledge‘.
‘Isabelle Cooreman is very pragmatic and goal oriented‘.