Biriş Goran’s real estate practice has been, since the firm’s founding, at the forefront of commercial real estate advice in Romania.
Do not take our word for granted: ask reputable international legal guides. We have been consistently ranked as one of the leading firms providing legal advice on real estate in Romania, by such guides as Chambers Europe and the Legal 500.
Victor Constantinescu heads the practice. Taking a hands-on approach with the firm’s real estate clients and maintaining appropriate contact, consecutive editions of Chambers Europe since 2013, have named him among the top three real estate lawyers in the country. The firm’s practice has won numerous other awards, including “law firm of the year” granted by various publications as well.
The firm provides clients with comprehensive services encompassing the full range of commercial real estate and development issues across all sectors: office, shopping malls, commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and agricultural. Our lawyers listen to the clients’ needs and know how to negotiate accordingly and to structure and coordinate transactions so that deadlines are met on a cost-effective basis.
We serve domestic and international clients, including institutional real estate funds, owners, tenants, residential and commercial developers, construction companies and lenders. But it is not simply the quality of our advice, based on a mix of Western experience and local knowledge, which has already won us loyal clients. Just as important is our ability to create imaginative solutions in a market that can be very daunting. Our experienced team stands out, thanks to the rare blend of commercial and legal expertise and its international perspective it has to offer.
The Firm advises across the entire lifecycle of any real estate development from “A to Z.” This includes title investigations and due diligence, acquisition and dispositions, taxation, joint ventures, construction and development, office leasing, retail leasing, logistics, financing, litigation and fund formation:
Title Investigations and Due Diligence
Firm due diligence exercises are appreciated not just for the clarity with which potential problems are presented, but also for the commercial risk assessment provided. Clients are not left with a laundry list of problems and left scratching their heads as to whether the problems are deal-breakers or if they can be fixed; we attempt to set forth assessments as to chances of loss of title or other risks to development, as well as propose solutions.
Acquisitions and Dispositions
We represent clients in the sale or purchase of raw land for development of shopping centers, hotels, office buildings, and logistics centres. We have developed quality template documents in Romanian and English and have the experience to negotiate competently. We also advise clients on disposals of their properties, including providing tax structuring advice.
Unlike other firms, we are able to advise not only on the legal aspects of a transaction, but on the tax aspects as well. Our expertise in taxation and corporate law allows us to structure transactions - both from a domestic and international perspective - in an efficient manner.
We routinely represent clients in forming joint ventures with private parties or governmental bodies in order to achieve their investments.
Construction and Development
We handle all aspects of development projects. We prepare and negotiate design, construction (FIDIC) and development management, construction management and utility agreements, as well as all types of ancillary documentation and related negotiations and advice on regulatory matters.
We represent a number of office building clients on all of their office lease work, and have developed appropriate templates over the years.
We have developed particular expertise in retail leases through our representation of shopping centres. Long- and short-term leases, as well as long-term hypermarket leases are all routinely negotiated and drafted at the Firm.
Logistics leases require special attention; our Firm has handled numerous contracts over the years and is able to draft often taking into account their long-term nature.
We represent lenders and borrowers in all types of lending arrangements and in the preparation of related collateral.
Our litigation department often litigates title issues as well as any contractual matter having a real estate component.
Our real estate group can advise on the formation of investment funds for various classes of real estate investment.
Recent major mandates include:
Assisted Aberdeen Asset Management Deutschland AG in the sale of its flagship shopping centre Auchan Titan to South African fund New Europe Property Investments (NEPI). The transaction value was EUR 86 million and was one of the largest on the Romanian market in 2015;
Represented Adamamerica, a major Israeli-American development company, on all aspects of the acquisition and financing of Phoenix Tower, a 10,000 sqm office building in the Vitan district of Bucharest, from majority seller Commerzbank AG;
Assisted Vastint Romania, member of the Inter IKEA Property Division, in the acquisition of a 48-hectare land plot acquired to develop a mixed-use project, with a focus on residential, in one of the largest transactions in Romania in 2016;
Assisted the shareholder of MT&T Property Management, facility and property management companies in the sale of shareholding in Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia to Atalian, a leading international company in these fields (atalian.com)
Legal advisor as regards the restructuring of loans granted by Bank of Cyprus to Romanian subsidiary of Adval Asset Management (Cascade Building SRL) and further refinancing from Banca Transilvania SA;
Assisted Pumac SA in relation to the sale of a 21,000 sqm land plot strategically located in Bucharest (busy intersection of Iuliu Maniu Boulevard and Vasile Milea Street), to major Swedish developer the Skanska group. This is to be the largest land transaction by transaction value in Romania in 2015;
Assisted shareholder of Comfert SRL in a complicated restructuring including bank negotiation and spin-off of real estate assets and sale of agrobusiness to Origin Enterprises PLC;
Advised Adval Asset Management, an independent Romanian property management group, in the restructuring and ultimate transfer of the Cubic Center office building, located in Pipera, to Alpha Bank Romania;
Advised Israeli group Hoshen Holdings on its acquisition of a portfolio of apartments from Piraeus Bank;
Assistance to Portico Investments, a real estate investment company with over EUR 300 million of assets under ownership and management, in the sale of logistic/warehouse property to an international food retailer;
Assisted the Benevo group of companies in acquiring a 78,000 sqm industrial platform in the Progresului district of Bucharest for over EUR 20 million. This was followed by concluding a joint venture with NEPI, a major listed real estate fund. This is the largest real estate transaction in Romania in 2012 and was followed by an early exit in 2013 at a substantial profit for Benevo;
Assisted Chimopar SA (in bankruptcy), one of the oldest chemical products factories in Romania, with respect to the sale of a land to DIY retailer Dedeman in a EUR 8.2 million transaction;
Legal counsel to Liebrecht & Wood Group, a major developer, as regards on various projects including Fashion House, on all day to day legal matters including all leasing aspects;
Assisted Gran Via, one of the most important developers in the Romanian and Spanish real estate market, with respect to the acquisition of a land plot for the development of a major residential project;
Assisting Raiffeisen Property International, a special asset management arm of Raiffeisen Bank, regarding its flagship “Sky Tower”, the tallest office building in Romania, with various leasing and day-to-day matters, including the recent (March 2015) negotiation and signing of a 10,400 sqm lease with Oracle, one of the largest office lease transaction in Romania in 2015;
Legal support for Europa Capital on all legal matters related to its development projects in Romania including 3 residential projects in Bucharest and an industrial park in Turda, Cluj country;
Advising First Title Insurance, the European subsidiary of First American Corporation, and one of Europe’s largest providers of title insurance, on various title investigation and due diligence for potential owners seeking title insurance in Romania.