Real Estate

Real estate law requires a change of perspective: this is because each matter is as unique and complex as the client behind it is. Advisors who wish to advise tenants in the same competent manner in which they advise investors or asset managers need to have an awareness of different requirements – and the creativity needed to meet these requirements.

This is why we have real estate experts at almost all our offices. A group of advisors with industry experience who are able to find the appropriate creative solutions to your individual real estate law issues.

As transaction managers, we advise investors on how to successfully complete their deals in Germany and across the world. For asset managers, we are in all legal and tax matters a pragmatic and creative partner who helps them keep track of the management and optimisation of their real estate portfolio. In addition, we advise project developers on how to best manage their projects so as to jeopardise neither the quality nor the profitability of the project.

The users or operators of a property are the classic counterparties and work each day with investors and managers and their lawyers. We know both sides and, therefore, are once more the ideal strategic – and a competent – partner who can help them reach their goals.

The public sector and its companies are important investors, operators and managers of their own properties, project developers, and builders. They must continuously comply with special legal and political requirements. As a result of the advisory services that we have rendered to the public sector and its private partners in the past, we know the recipe for success when it comes to public projects. We make sure that legal compliance and success in projects go hand in hand.

A builder’s goal is to implement construction projects in line with the budget and schedule. For this purpose, builders must combine and coordinate interdisciplinary knowledge to ensure that all parties involved can perform their obligations in the best possible manner and at the right point in time, like clockwork. We assist builders from the start with the implementation of their construction projects. We want them to benefit from our many years of experience in implementing all types of construction projects, from the time a project is first conceived of until it is put into operation, including asserting and enforcing warranty claims.

We support building contractors throughout the construction process, starting with the structured participation in bidding processes up to and including the handling of claims during the warranty period.

You can rely on our “Real Estate” team to deal with legal, tax and strategic issues. The team provides you with creative and pragmatic solutions, is the expert by your side, and assists you with almost all matters relating to the real estate sector – in Germany, Europe, Asia and all over the world.

Our Range of Advisory Services:

Investors

As an investor, you are very busy. You do not invest only in Germany, you think globally. You handle several projects at a time and manage expectations and risks. The focus of your work is on generating a high rate of return and you are always looking for new optimisation opportunities. And that is where we come in.

We assist you with your real estate investments. We provide experience, are pragmatic, think in terms of solutions – and, acting as transaction managers, ensure that your deals are successfully completed.

We encourage you to benefit from our many years of experience and find answers to your questions with our legal solutions:

  • How are bidding processes structured, or how do I position myself successfully in a bidding process?
  • What are the pros and cons of opting for an asset deal or for a share deal?
  • What tax risks exist and how can they be reduced to a minimum?
  • What challenges do the different classes of assets, such as hotel, health care, logistics, shopping centre, retail, office and residential, represent?
  • What factors have to be taken into consideration in a forward purchase and what factors in a forward funding transaction?
  • What are the risks of purchasing a project under development and how can I hedge against these risks?
  • What aspects do I have to take into consideration and clarify at an early stage when I am planning on establishing a joint venture?
  • What are the advantages of a Warranty & Indemnity solution for me as an investor?
  • What regulatory restrictions have to be observed and how can the structure of a fund be optimised from a tax perspective?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of financing real estate for me as an investor?
Asset Managers

As an asset manager, you must keep track of things. You are actively involved in projects and each day brings a new challenge. You manage expectations. You think in terms of solutions.

And that is where we come in. You can rely on us to deal with legal and tax issues. We provide experience. We have a pragmatic work approach whilst thinking creatively. We advise you on how to manage and optimise your real estate portfolio and provide manifold solutions and answers to your problems and queries.

  • Providing on-going advice with regard to leases, also taking into account industry specifics (in the areas of hotel, health care, logistics, shopping centre, retail, office and residential)
  • Advising on property and land register issues
  • Advising on the legal aspects of refurbishment/project development, in particular, building contract management
  • Assisting with procuring planning permission
  • Providing construction controlling advice
  • Advising on property management and facility management and outsourcing issues
  • Providing structuring advice, in particular from a tax law perspective
  • Advising on compliance with and taking into account regulatory requirements; German Capital Investment Act (KAGB)
  • Advising on financing issues
  • Assisting with structured sales preparations
  • Assisting with the formation of joint ventures
  • Advising on matters pertaining to Corporate Real Estate Management (CREM)
  • Portfolio management
Project Developers

As a project developer, you know what it means to be responsible. The success of your project depends on you and your project management. The parties involved in the project must deliver in time, budget limits have to be complied with, and a lot of different interests have to be reconciled. At the same time, you must keep an eye on the quality and profitability of the project.

We know the challenges and pitfalls of project development and, as pragmatic and experienced legal project managers, can provide you with everything you need.

  • Advising on purchases and sales
  • Advising on commercial leases
  • Structuring contract award processes
  • Assisting with procuring planning permission
  • Providing comprehensive advice on matters relating to private-sector building law, including providing legal advice during the construction process
  • Assisting with the formation of joint ventures
  • Advising on financing agreements
  • Assisting with environmental issues
  • Advising on property and land register issues
Operators

As a user/operator of a property, you are the classic counterparty. You work each day with investors and managers – and with their lawyers. You must meet requirements while simultaneously managing your own expectations and interests. And that is where we come in.

You can rely on us to deal with legal, tax and strategic issues. Working together with you, we ensure that you can stand your ground when dealing with experts. We provide creative and pragmatic solutions. We are the expert by your side. We support you in all matters.

  • Contract advice, taking into account the specifics of the relevant industry
  • Hotel
    • Hybrid agreements
    • Franchise agreements
    • Hotel leases
  • Health Care
  • Logistics
  • Industrial plants
  • Tenant easements
  • Strategic relocation management
  • Exit strategy – What are your termination options and how can you exercise them?
Industrial Entrepreneurs

The implementation of construction and infrastructure projects is subject to a large number of complex legal requirements that need to be observed both when applying for approval and when carrying out a project.

In the years to come, environmental issues will be a focus of attention. They are becoming increasingly more important to companies at each stage of operations, but also in the context of construction and planning law. In addition to the above, climate change calls for radical changes in fossil fuel consumption while acceptance of technologies regarded as critical (such as nuclear power or CCS) is simultaneously decreasing. Agricul-tural land needs to be preserved for the production of food for a growing world population and also for the production of renewable raw materials.

These developments involve significant risks for the companies concerned; at the same time, however, new opportunities open up in the field of prod-ucts and services which protect the environment, in the broadest sense. This particularly applies to the construction of energy-efficient machinery and equipment and the creation of plants for the production of renewable energy, but also to the real estate sector to the extent that the latter significantly reduces the energy consumption of properties and replaces such energy with renewable energy.

Luther advises companies on the following issues:

  • Environment and Planning Law, Regulatory
  • Project development measures
  • Law governing the protection of monuments
  • Building law
  • Fire prevention and protection
  • Law governing the organisation of events
  • Municipal law
Public Sector

The public sector and its companies are important investors, operators and managers of their own properties, project developers, and builders. They must continuously comply with special legal and political requirements.
As a result of the advisory services that we have rendered to the public sector and its private partners in the past, we know the recipe for success when it comes to public projects. We make sure that legal compliance and success in projects go hand in hand.

The public sector relies on us in the following special areas, for example:

  • Designing the budgetary basis
  • Procurement and use of funding
  • Administrative organisation for the performance of tasks as a builder
  • Procuring planning permission and securing the property
  • Organising agile concept and ideas competitions
  • Implementing models for the cooperative development of building land
  • Developing and optimising modern public procurement concepts
  • Drafting and maintaining contracts in accordance with current market standards
  • Structuring public-private partnerships and cooperation
  • Legal and technical project management in public construction projects
  • Obtaining certainty about costs by means of contract, change order and conflict management
  • Compliance and taxation of the public sector

 

Builders

As a builder, your goal is to implement construction projects in line with the budget and schedule. For this purpose, you must combine and coordinate interdisciplinary knowledge to ensure that all parties involved are in a position to perform their obligations in the best possible manner and at the right point in time, like clockwork.


We assist you from the start with the implementation of your construction project. Choosing the right project structure and contract models that are appropriate to this structure is crucial to successful implementation.


We want you to benefit from our many years of experience and competence in implementing all kinds of construction projects, from the time your project is first conceived of until it is put into operation, including asserting and enforcing warranty claims.

  • What is the best project structure for the implementation of the construction project?
  • What is the most promising contract set-up?
  • How should the invitation to tender for the planning and construction work be organised?
  • What requirements exist in relation to the technical tendering documents?
  • What order of priority should be chosen for the different parts of the agreement to obtain the maximum possible degree of certainty as regards the determination of the performance target?
  • What is the best possible way to obtain a reliable budget?
  • How can the correspondence between the parties involved be structured in a legally reliable manner?
  • How can it be ensured that contractual deadlines are met and how can such deadlines be rescheduled, if necessary?
  • How can additional claims on the part of the planners and of the firms carrying out the work best be avoided?
  • What types of security and insurance are required for the relevant project?
  • When do payments have to be made? Under what circumstances may payments be retained?
  • How should I act as a builder during inspections/acceptance and the documentation of defects?
  • What can I do to avoid disputes from the outset, and how should I act if a dispute cannot be avoided?

 

Building Contractors

As a building contractor, you must do more than just carry out construction and/or planning work, you must perform a contract with all obligations.

Depending on the type of contract award procedure – be it for a general contractor agreement or for a contract for an individual building segment – there are numerous tasks to be performed which exceed classic construction work by far.

We support you throughout the construction process, starting with the structured participation in bidding processes up to and including the handling of claims during the warranty period. You can rely on our many years of experience and expertise in providing legal advice to companies during projects.

  • How do you position yourself successfully in a bidding process?
  • How should the risks in the bidding phase be assessed with regard to the tender documents and the contractual provisions?
  • How can subcontractors and planners be contractually bound in a legally reliable manner?
  • How should the project structure be developed in light of the legal and formal requirements that result from the existing contract?
  • What special risks exist during implementation with regard to the agreed construction period and the remuneration?
  • How can additional claims be asserted in a formally correct manner?
  • How can claims that result from an extension of the construction period be documented in a manner acceptable in court, and how can they be enforced?
  • What aspects need to be taken into account when enforcing claims for payment resulting from partial or final invoices?
  • What liability risks result from the invitation to tender and the contractual provisions?
  • How can you enforce claims for the provision of security?
  • What mechanisms are there for resolving disputes during projects and for avoiding court disputes?
  • How can acceptance of the work performed be enforced?
  • What particularities does a general contractor have to take into consideration as a result of being both a customer and a contractor?

 

Planners / Architects

Planning a complex construction project is always an intricate process which can offer great challenges to you as an architect. Furthermore, architects often take a risk that is difficult to assess when participating in invitations to tender. The preparation of documents, visualisations, etc. is a time-consuming process that drives up costs. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is also becoming increasingly more important. This is why you need a reliable legal partner by your side right from the start.

As part of our advisory services during construction, we assist our clients from the beginning with the preparation of the tender documents. During construction, we advise you with regard to the entire course of the project. In this context, reviewing and replying to notifications of delay, subsequent changes, and notifications of defects are important parts of our work.

In addition to providing advice during construction and during projects, Luther also helps you to enforce and defend against claims in court. You can rely on our expertise in all matters pertaining to contract law, dispute resolution, and court and arbitration proceedings.

Our services in detail:

  • Advisory services relating to the law governing contracts for work and services and construction contracts according to the German Construction Contract Procedures (VOB) and the German Civil Code (BGB), in particular: drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts, advising on the preservation of evidence, representing clients in court and (inter-)national arbitration
  • Advisory services relating to the law governing architects and engineers, including pricing law according to the German Code of Architects’ and Engineers’ Fees (HOAI), in particular: advising on competitions for architects, drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts, advising on alternative structuring models, representing clients in court and (inter-)national arbitration
  • Providing project-related legal advice during construction in large-scale projects
  • Providing legal advice in the area of plant construction, also in connection with cross-border contracts (e.g. FIDIC), including offshore projects
  • Advisory services relating to public procurement law, in particular: advising on the award of contracts and on invitations to tender, preparing tender documents, assisting with contract negotiations in procurement processes, representing clients in court pro-ceedings regarding the subsequent review of procurement processes
  • Examining issues regarding contracts for work and services as part of a due diligence review
  • Litigation and arbitration proceedings, providing advice, representing clients in litigious matters, acting as arbitrators, performing monitoring services

Key Contact >>

Key Contact

Achim Meier

Partner

T +49 201 9220 24022

Team Real Estate

Dr. Stefan Altenschmidt, LL.M. (Nottingham)
Partner
Dusseldorf

Antje Alber
Counsel
Berlin

Dr. Björn Arndt
Senior Associate
Essen

Nadine Bourgeois, CCT (VdT)
Partner
Frankfurt a.M.

Carsten Brutschke, LL.M. (EHI)
Partner
Berlin

Alexander Bongartz
Senior Associate
Essen

Hagen Brasse
Senior Associate
Berlin

Bernhard Burkert, LL.M. (Stellenbosch)
Senior Associate
Berlin

Christopher Riehn
Associate
Leipzig

Ingo Erberich
Partner
Cologne

Stephan Finck
Partner
Leipzig, Essen

Dr. Martin Fleckenstein
Partner
Berlin

Christiane Frye
Senior Associate
Essen

Dr. Ulf Gibhardt
Partner
Frankfurt a.M.

Dr. Thomas Gohrke
Partner
Hanover, Leipzig

Frank Gutsche
Partner
Stuttgart

Patrick Gocht
Senior Associate
Leipzig

Robert Goerend
Senior Associate
Luxembourg

Maurice Goetschy
Senior Associate
Luxembourg

Nadine Gajer
Associate
Berlin

Dr. Thomas Halberkamp
Partner
Hanover

Dr. Manuel Heide
Partner
Berlin

Dr. Rut Herten-Koch, M.A.
Partner
Berlin

Markus Horn
Senior Associate
Berlin

HAO Chang / 郝畅 J.M. (ECUPL)
Associate
China

Christiane Juhnke
Senior Associate
Cologne

Denise Jacob
Associate
Dusseldorf

Dr. Gerd-Ulrich Kapteina
Partner
Dusseldorf

Dr Stefan Kobes
Partner
Berlin

Michael Kunkel, LL.M.
Partner
Cologne

Muhammed Karagöz
Senior Associate
Cologne

Nils Kramer
Associate
Essen

Dr. Piotr Kwiatkowski, LL.M.
Associate
Essen

Achim Meier
Partner
Essen

Ole-Jochen Melchior
Partner
Essen

Dr. Mathias Mailänder
Counsel
Hamburg

Andreas Mally
Counsel
Leipzig

Barbara Münch
Senior Associate
Essen

York-Alexander von Massenbach
Location Head
Great Britain

Irene Nezer-Kasch
Senior Associate
Munich

Dr. Nora Otoo, LL.M.
Senior Associate
Essen

Ulf-Dieter Pape
Partner
Hanover

Henner-Matthias Puppel
Partner
Essen

Leonie Pohl
Associate
Berlin

Jens Röhrbein
Partner
Hanover

Helmut Rubin
Of Counsel
Essen

Christoph Schauenburg, LL.M. (London)
Partner
Frankfurt a.M.

Dr. Barbara Schmidt
Partner
Leipzig

Dr. Katja Schwenzfeier
Partner
Berlin

Ulrich Siegemund
Partner
Frankfurt a.M.

Martin Steuber, LL.M.
Partner
Essen

Detlev Stoecker
Partner
Berlin

LIU Shuang / 刘爽 LL.M. (Nanjing/Göttingen)
Partner (China)
China

Daniel Schillberg
Senior Associate
Cologne

Christian Schostag
Senior Associate
Berlin

Dr. Florian Schuhmacher
Senior Associate
Berlin

Friederike Sieberg, LL.M. Eur.
Senior Associate
Cologne

Eric N. Schneider
Associate
Berlin

Ruth-Maria Thomsen
Partner
Frankfurt a.M.

Maria Tarassidis
Senior Associate
Berlin

Fanny Tatin
Associate
Myanmar

Dr. Frederic Tewes
Associate
Dusseldorf

Ingo Wegerich
Partner
Frankfurt a.M.

Professor Dr. Herbert Willems
Partner
Essen

Jutta Wittler
Partner
Cologne

Daniel Wegener
Counsel
Berlin

Xi XIE, LL.M. (University of Virginia)
Of Counsel
Dusseldorf

Prof. Christian Zanner
Partner
Berlin

Dr. Georg Zander
Associate
Cologne

ZHANG Yuemei / 张悦眉 J.M. (Tongji University)
Associate
China

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