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Real Estate

Lydian is a leading expert in all legal aspects of property transactions and real estate developments involving office buildings, retail centers, residential property, hotels, elderly homes and logistic real estate.

Focus areas

We have expertise in commercial property projects, including offices, retail centres, distribution complexes, industrial estates, hotels, elderly / care homes and the development of brownfield sites. Our experience extends to development, development finance, drafting and negotiating contractual arrangements, advising on the appropriate legal structure, PFI and PPP projects, and urban regeneration.

Our team has in-depth expertise in drafting and negotiating all kinds of lease agreements relating to real property in the different Belgian regions. We also have extensive expertise in structuring co-ownership arrangements and other temporary associations.

We advise companies in the construction, engineering, energy and infrastructure industries and have handled very complex EPC contracts. We advise on construction law covering project delays, disruptions and defects and we assist in technical expert proceedings.

Our strength is our ability to blend our legal expertise in identifying and addressing the issues and risks which arise in such contracts, together with industry focused knowledge.

Our experience of EPC contracts covers all types of construction, engineering and energy projects.  We have significant EPC experience in the context of civil building projects such as apartment complexes and hotels, utility building projects, office building projects, energy projects, transport and water.

Our environmental lawyers have extensive expertise handling complex environmental and energy regulatory issues, including matters related to:

  • permits;
  • the regulation of products;
  • waste;
  • contaminated properties;
  • brownfield projects;
  • environmental risk allocation mechanisms in corporate, lending and property documentation;
  • property transactions and PFI/PPP projects in the water, waste and wastewater fields;
  • appointing and dealing with environmental consultants;
  • regulatory intervention and enforcement.

We cover these matters in every region of Belgium.

Our environmental law clients include several of the largest private sector companies in Belgium, including those involved in real estate, construction, waste, water and energy, as well as several major public sector organisations.

We provide clear planning advice to developers, landowners, house builders and retailers, especially regarding urban planning and zoning for each region in Belgium.

Typical schemes include the promotion and implementation of major sustainable urban extensions and the regeneration of brownfield development sites.

With a strong pedigree in working with local authorities and their development partners, our team also assists with securing the delivery execution of town and city centre regeneration schemes.

We have a strong reputation for acting for landlords, tenants and other occupiers of offices based on our ensuring that we have a real understanding of our clients' reasons for wanting the relevant property and the use the client intends to make of it.

We advise clients on all aspects of their real estate strategy, in particular on:

  • conducting a real estate audit to review their real estate holdings;
  • advising clients among others on asset allocation, risk management and transactional opportunities;
  • developing a strategic real estate plan which will free up management time, create value within the real estate portfolio and in this way deliver real value to the shareholders;
  • implementing that plan, whether it involves disposals, sale and leasebacks, securitisation or outsourcing.

Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) have significantly increased in Belgium. Lydian has been at the forefront of this development, assisting government and private clients on several larger and more complex deals. 

Our expertise in real estate and environmental matters and in public law, insurance, project finance and private equity means we offer our clients full legal services to support their participation in PPP/PFI projects

We are proficient in setting up project structures, undertaking legal feasibility studies and risk allocation exercises, advising on fiscal, financial, corporate, procurement or real estate optimisations, supporting legal project management, assisting in negotiations with partners, share- and stakeholders, and drafting tender or bid documentation.

We have in-depth knowledge of concessions, joint ventures, public procurement procedures, subsidies, loans and security structures, service level  and interface agreements, budget and ESA 2010 regulations.

Our real estate dispute resolution team comprises highly experienced litigators with the expertise to deal with the most technical and complex real estate disputes.

We act for a wide domestic and international client base including developers, investors, landlords, banks and joint venture partners.

In addition to dealing with the most complex court cases, we provide strategic and tactical advice to avoid litigation or settle it on the best possible terms through various forms of alternative dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration.

 When assisting a client who is acquiring or selling an investment property, our time is spent on the following:

  • drafting or analysing an offer / letter of intent;
  • agreeing the transaction structure (asset deal or share deal) and documentation;
  • conducting vendor or buyer due diligence;
  • financing arrangements and tax implications;
  • negotiation and drafting contracts such as asset agreements and share purchases;
  • reporting on commercial arrangements, for example, hotel management agreements, machinery maintenance agreements;
  • post-transaction assistance.

The acquisition or sale of investment property by non-resident clients requires careful attention being paid to the ownership structure. Together with our tax team, we regularly advise clients on the most beneficial arrangements appropriate to their country of residence.

We work on all aspects of taxation and property, from acquisitions and disposals to commercial and residential development, investment, asset management and international work. Our aim is always to achieve the best outcome for our clients and for the real estate project.

We are specialists in the optional VAT regime for the renting of professional real estate, financial and operational leasing. We havethe necessary expertise to optimise your agreement in terms of tax law.    

Being “bilingual” in real estate and tax, and benefiting from a familiarity with the way in which real estate deals are done in Belgium, the real estate tax team provides the 'missing link' that enables our real estate lawyers to integrate with our clients' in-house tax teams and external advisers.