Real estate and construction in Bulgaria
Andonov & Radinska Law Firm covers all aspects of real estate and construction projects – transaction preparation, due diligence and title review, acquisition, development, letting, arrangements with banks, management and maintenance agreements, and project exit. Hristo Andonov heads the real estate team; Diliana Radinska heads the construction practice; and Snejana Hristozova and Katerina Uzunova were promoted to senior associate. Long-term clients include Global City Holdings, Cineworld, Mall Plovdiv and Scania Real Estate Bulgaria. The firm advised Europa Capital on the sale of Mall of Sofia and Sofia Tower to Globe Trade Centre for approximately €95m.
Boyanov & Co. advises on long-term lease agreements and the acquisition and sale of land plots and buildings, as well as related litigation and arbitration proceedings. Practice head Nickolay Nickolov is supported by two associates, Iva Miteva and Svetlana Tsvetkova. The team assisted Hystead and its subsidiary Balkan Retail with the high-value cross-border acquisition of The Mall, one of the biggest shopping centres in the country.
CMS advises domestic and international clients on commercial and office leases; the construction process, including International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) contracts and design, supervision and management agreements; the acquisition, financing and disposal of shopping malls, office developments, hotels and retail parks; and agricultural projects. The ‘responsive and reliable’ team is ‘technically very good’ and has ‘exceptional knowledge in the construction and spatial development area’. The team is co-headed by senior associates Antonia Kehayova, who advises on title searches, establishing limited rights in rem, real estate collateral and financing, and Jenia Dimitrova, who focuses on long-term lease and supply agreements and design, development and construction contracts. The team advised a long-term client on the sale of one of the first shopping centres in Bulgaria - Mall of Sofia - to major real estate developer Global Trade Centre.
The 'knowledgeable experts' at Dimitrov, Petrov & Co assist with real estate investment, development, management, financing and litigation, as well as providing a complete range of legal services in the construction sector, especially with regard to infrastructure projects. Practice heads Alexander Todorov and Boyana Milcheva are both ‘competent, experienced and highly respected in the sector’ and ‘have an impressive way of managing projects’. Major clients include Astaldi, Agrix Bulgaria and Pepkor. The firm regularly handles high-value cross-border deals, and is advising private fund Black Sea Property on various issues surrounding the acquisition of apartments in a holiday complex.
Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov focuses on public procurement, the development, acquisition and disposal of commercial properties, and the lease of industrial and office spaces, as well as advising foreign and domestic contractors on the implementation of FIDIC contracts and their compatibility with the local construction law framework. Notable individuals are practice head Stephan Kyutchukov and senior associates Nikolina Stefanova and Kaloyan Krumov. VMware, OMV and Karsch Capital Management are long-term clients; significant new clients include Kaufland and the Body Shop. The team advised NEPI Rockcastle on the €253m acquisition of Paradise Center in Sofia, the biggest real estate deal in Bulgaria.
‘The best choice for real estate matters on the market’, Kinstellar advises major international clients such as Garanti Koza and Globe Trade Centre on real estate investments, M&A deals and litigation, among other issues. The ‘responsive’ team has ‘extensive and solid experience in the fields of real estate financing, property restructuring and cross-border developments’, providing ‘creative and effective business solutions’. Bucharest-based Victor Constantinescu, who is co-head of the firm-wide real estate practice, advises a range of international investment funds and local developers on all aspects of real estate transactions in the region; Sofia practice head Antonia Mavrova has experience with structuring investments, lease agreements, and logistics and office projects, where she offers a ‘strategic, business-oriented approach and sound legal judgement’; and managing associate Mladen Minev has ‘a strong analytical mind and the ability to see the big picture’ and advises on acquisition and sales, zoning, planning compliance and retail matters. Constantinescu advised South African real estate and asset management company Old Mutual Property and its Bulgarian partner AG Capital on the €190m acquisition of two major office developments in Sofia.
Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) advises investors on the acquisition, development and financing of real estate projects, strategic joint ventures and construction processes. Dimitar Vlaevsky heads the team, which advised S Immo on the sale of the Serdika Centre and Serdika Offices in Sofia to New Europe Property Investments (NEPI) for €205m; this was one of the biggest deals in the sector in 2017.
Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria
Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria advises property investment companies and other investors on road, railway and subway infrastructure projects, as well as assisting with residential, hospital and tech park developments and gas pipelines projects. Practice head Stoyan Barzakov, who specialises in infrastructure and project finance, and Petya Bobeva, who is experienced in executing due diligence for construction companies, are key contacts. The firm advised Manchester Airport Group on its bid for the €3.9bn concession to run Sofia Airport.
Deloitte Legal Law Firm assists clients with the structuring and execution of real estate transactions, with an emphasis on commercial centres and office buildings; real estate financing and security; long-term lease agreements; and design and construction projects. Reneta Petkova heads the practice with managing associate Kaloyan Yordanov, who focuses on real estate M&A, property financing, mortgages and long-term lease agreements. The firm assisted with the development and sale of a new office tower in Sofia, including advising on the options for transfer of the office tower to the buyer, the condominium deed, co-ownership rules and the relevant FIDIC agreement.
The ‘extremely responsive’ team at Georgiev, Todorov & Co has a ‘client and solution-oriented approach', and provides the full scope of legal services in the sector, including contract drafting, due diligence and dispute resolution. The European Parliament, BMF Port Burgas and AG Capital are major clients. The team is headed by Ivan Todorov and Arno Mamasyan; the ‘hardworking, goal-driven, dedicated and well-regarded’ Miglena Peneva, who pays ‘precise attention to detail and finds the best solution to the issues every time’, is also recommended. The firm advised Balkantel on its participation in a €95m public procurement project for the design and construction of signalling and telecoms systems on the Plovdiv-Burgas railway line.
Gugushev & Partners Law Office
Gugushev & Partners Law Office advises on the acquisition of real estate, design and construction projects, and the renting and sale of properties. The ‘flexible, dedicated, well-organised and efficient’ team gives clients ‘a sense of trust and security and a combination of business insight and legal expertise’, and delivers ‘impeccable service that meets the highest industry standards’. 'Extremely experienced and highly skilled’ practice head Petko Angelov focuses on acquisition, privatisation, change of designation and construction matters, where he finds ‘the most suitable solutions for every problem’. Other key individuals are the ‘excellent, hardworking and self-motivated’ Stefan Gugushev, senior associates Kostadinka Deleva and the ‘helpful and extremely accurate’ Antonia Markova, and associate Nadezhda Palankova. The firm advised one of the largest Hong Kong investment companies – BMA Investment Group – on the acquisition of the owner of a golf course near Sofia, and is assisting the same client with the acquisition of land for the development of Project St Sofia, a high-profile vacation and entertainment complex.
Jordanov, Ignatov, Ivanov Law Firm advises on corporate real estate transactions, leasing agreements, due diligence of high-value acquisitions, and planning, building permits and developments. The firm has a ‘strong reputation’, ‘excellent expertise and prompt reactions’, and is highly regarded for its 'unparalleled regulatory knowledge and business understanding’. Ivan Jordanov heads the practice, and senior associate Nikolay Ignatov has experience in a variety of construction projects, including energy, industrial, office and residential developments; both ‘deeply impress’ clients ‘with their experience and business-oriented solutions’. The ‘always available' Rumen Ignatov is also recommended. Long-term clients include Residential Park Sofia, Bulgarian Property Developments and Varna Logistics. The firm advised BPD Ringroad on the development of Sofia Ring Logistics Park, and is currently assisting the same client with the acquisition of an additional 13,500 square metres of land for the development of warehouses for Phoenix Pharma, one of the largest medical distributors in Bulgaria.
Kambourov & Partners assists developers, construction companies, investors, occupiers and financial institutions with large-scale projects, structuring transactions, facilitating negotiations and drafting FIDIC contracts, as well as arbitration and litigation. The team is ‘very well informed, immensely dedicated to its work and has a perfect reputation in the market’, while offering ‘legal expertise and a business focus’. Practice head Atanas Shopov advises on infrastructure, industrial, commercial and residential projects, and the ‘loyal and creative’ Radosveta Kojuharova, who is an ‘excellent, high-performing and results-driven professional with in-depth knowledge’, ‘stands out for her experience in retail and commercial projects for shopping centres, office buildings and hotels’. Major clients are Nikmi, Monolit and Burgas Plaza Mall. The firm advised the largest construction group in the CEE region – Strabag – on the planning and development of four projects in Bulgaria.
The 'very efficient’ Murgova & Partners Attorneys at Law provides the ‘full scope of legal services’, advising on the purchase, sale, construction, financing, operation and lease of properties. The team ‘always tries to secure the investor’s interests’ and projects are ’handled in a client-orientated manner’. ’Highly experienced and resourceful’ practice head Petya Murgova is ‘an excellent lawyer, who always offers the best solutions in complex real estate investment cases’, and senior associate Stanislava Gurdjieva combines ‘in-depth legal analysis with prompt assistance and practical advice on real estate investment risks’.
Penkov, Markov & Partners
Penkov, Markov & Partners advises on the financing, acquisition, disposition and development of various types of projects, with a particular focus on the commercialisation and development of shopping centres. Notable individuals in the sector are Milena Gaidarska, who assists clients with the planning, design and completion of construction projects and with obtaining all the necessary licences from the relevant state authorities, and Atanas Valov, who specialises in commercial real estate. The firm advised on the largest and most complex retail transaction on the market so far: the sale of 100% of the equity interest in the biggest shopping centre in the country - the Paradise Center - for €255m. The team also advised Arteks Engineering on a high-value residential development of approximately 30,000 square metres in one of the most prestigious neighbourhoods in Sofia.
Wolf Theiss specialises in structuring real estate investments, handling construction projects, providing transactional support and advising on the commercialisation of office centres. Major clients are Arco Capital, United Bulgarian Bank, Raiffeisen Bank and Gramercy Emerging Markets Fund. Anna Rizova, who advises on permits and environmental and construction projects, and Katerina Kraeva, who focuses on real estate financing, head the practice. Senior associate Atanas Mihaylov advises real estate developers on property rights acquisition, land use, technical infrastructure issues, construction, environmental regulations, commercial leasing and asset management. The team advised HedgeServ Bulgaria, a newly established subsidiary of global software development company HedgeServ, on setting up its business premises in Bulgaria.
Arsov Natchev Ganeva
Arsov Natchev Ganeva advises foreign and domestic private and public entities on the acquisition, financing, development, and management of properties, as well as setting up real estate investment trusts and providing legal support during the construction process. Marin Arsov, Stoil Hristov and Jivko Rokov lead the team; senior associates Tsvetelina Lazarova, who specialises in town planning and construction law, and Georgi Traykov, who focuses on litigation, are also noted. Major clients are Lidl and Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (ICGB); the firm advised the former on more than 20 projects concerning the acquisition of real estate in order to build new supermarkets, as well as assisting with the conclusion of long-term lease contracts.
CasePro is an ‘indispensable legal adviser’, with a team of ‘highly competent, diligent, ethical, proactive and knowledgeable attorneys’ who are ‘focused on the client’s needs’. Practice head Spartak Yovchev is praised for his ‘exceptional personal approach to clients, ability to find viable legal solutions and extensive expertise’; he is supported by legal advisers Silvia Stoyanova and Alexandra Sheyretova, who conduct real estate due diligence, and Plamena Krasteva, who is ‘results oriented and fully dedicated to her work’. Key clients are Lufthansa Technik, Software AG Development Centre Bulgaria, Direct Credit Bulgaria and Eurogroup Engineering. The firm advised Bulgarian Burger, which is solely owned by the Finnish company which operates fast-food chain Hesburger, on the real estate aspects of its expansion into the Bulgarian market, including property purchases and long-term lease agreements.
Danailova, Todorov & Partners
Danailova, Todorov & Partners advises on public procurements for the modernisation and reconstruction of transport infrastructure, as well as the acquisition of real estate for the further development of existing logistics centres. Kaloyan Todorov, who drafts supply, engineering and architectural design contracts for complex engineering projects, and Maria Danailova, who focuses on public procurement, are key contacts.
Dinova Rusev & Partners has expertise in real estate matters involving large-scale shopping centres, as well as secured debt restructuring. Department head Georgi Vladov advises on construction-related projects and sale-purchase transactions for shopping malls, and the lease of office areas; Anelia Dinova focuses on inward investment matters; and senior associate Gergana Chushkova has litigation experience. Major clients include Sofia South Ring Mall, Telerik and Ikea/House Market Bulgaria. The firm advised Assos Capital and AP Retail on the €156m sale of The Mall to Balkan Retail.
Dyulgerova & Penkova Law Firm
Dyulgerova & Penkova Law Firm's team of ‘experts in the area’ advises clients on the acquisition of real estate and specialises in assisting shopping centres with entering into lease agreements. The practice is ‘outstanding and extremely proactive’ and offers a service which is ‘nothing short of exceptional’. Team head Victoria Penkova is ‘a fantastic lawyer and a dynamic leader’, with ‘good project management skills and excellent industry knowledge’. Other key practitioners are Diana Milkova, who assists with real estate acquisitions, lease agreements, escrow account agreements and real estate management; Bianca Veleva, who advises on the FIDIC Conditions of Contracts; and ‘the committed and focused’ Stanimira Atanasova, who ‘provides clients with quick answers and protects them from potential risks’. The team represented Turkish company Garanti Koza in multiple high-value real estate acquisition and construction projects.
Kinkin & Partners' 'well-connected, intuitive and detail-oriented' team advises on investments, the acquisition of ownership or limited real rights in property, project financing, participation in public procurement, urban planning and construction. 'Outstanding' practice head Adriana Nacheva is ‘easy to work with’ and ‘has detailed knowledge of the field’. Other key lawyers are senior associates Siyana Veleva, who specialises in real estate due diligence, and the ‘prompt, knowledgeable, competent, efficient and results-oriented’ Nikolay Radev. Long-term clients include Agria and Quattro Properties; the firm advised the latter on the construction of a luxury residential complex.
Popov & Partners
Popov & Partners handles real estate and construction projects for government institutions and companies in the automotive, logistics and dairy products industries, where it offers ‘in-depth knowledge and rich experience’. Nora Kyuchukova and Sibina Eftenova are key contacts. The team advised Odelo Farba on the acquisition of land for the construction of an automotive plant.
Tocheva & Mandazhieva Law Office covers all aspects of the law pertaining to the construction and management of real estate assets, including advising on ownership and limited property rights, conducting due diligence, structuring and negotiating deals, assisting with financing, and drafting construction contracts, as well as advising on designation changes, zoning and planning amendments. Points of contact are Tanya Tocheva, Encho Dinev and counsel Stanimira Hristova.
Tokushev And Partners Law Office advises on construction, investment, financing, the establishing of collateral and leases on all types of real estate assets. The ‘smart and prepared’ team is ‘great at researching and problem solving and always ready to help’ and ‘really knows how to take care of clients’. Ivan Antov heads the team with Viktor Tokushev, who is ‘always available and gives detailed answers’. Other recommended lawyers are senior associates Teodora Yakova, who specialises in the sale and purchase of apartments in residential buildings, and Boris Teknedzhiev, who ‘has a solution for every problem’. The firm assisted United Bulgarian Bank with the acquisition of its new headquarters in the recently built Millennium Centre in Sofia.