Recognised as a leading practice in Belgium and regularly involved in major transactions, Liedekerke’s real estate team assists clients at all stages of their real estate and property projects, whether the need is for advice, drafting and negotiation of documentation, or dispute resolution, covering all real estate sectors: offices, retail, hospitality, industrial (warehouses and industrial sites), residential (generally acting for professional companies active in the residential property/co-living market), nursing homes and data centres.

The real estate market is continually changing and more than ever in the last decade.

With financing techniques and tax implications becoming increasingly intricate, real estate lawyers are permanently required to think ‘out of the box’ to offer sound solutions for structuring real estate transactions. Besides, they need to be strong negotiators always keeping the client’s interests at heart in order to guide them properly throughout a transaction. This can only be achieved with in-depth and practical knowledge of the key drivers of the real estate market.

Our team features a unique combination of technical expertise and understanding of the real estate world, the market’s challenges and the sector’s specific issues. Our highly specialised lawyers, fully dedicated to real estate, are very well connected in the real estate market and its various players which enables us to quickly understand our clients' needs and provide them with personalised and concrete advice.

Our Services

Up-front audits

We carry out due diligence to enable our clients to assess the risks of a real estate project and advise how to exclude or mitigate them.

Structuring of real estate projects

In close collaboration with the specialised Real Estate Tax Group we advise clients about possible structures (options, asset or share deals, acquisition or assignment of real rights, split-sales, or sale & leaseback transactions). We also assist them with negotiating and drafting agreements and other documentation for their projects.

Negotiation and drafting of occupancy contracts

Leases, long leases, financial leases, building rights, rights of use, and others.

Tax aspects

We pay particular attention to the tax aspects of transactions we advise on. Together with our specialised Real Estate Tax Group we also help clients apply for a tax ruling when necessary.

Assistance in relation to permits and soil

Our experience and regular contacts with the relevant authorities enable us to assist clients efficiently in the process of obtaining the necessary permits for a project (town and planning and environmental permits/socio-economic permits).

Development financing acquisition and project financing

Together with our banking and finance department we advise clients about all aspects of financing a development or acquisition project, including the relevant securities.

Negotiation and drafting of contracts with the parties involved in the construction or marketing process (architects, contractors, project managers, real estate brokers, and others.)

Litigation in relation to the above.

Our Clients

Our extensive expertise enables us to work with every category of player on the property market: Belgian and foreign investors, Belgian and foreign investment funds and closed-end real estate funds, hotels and leisure operators, developers, corporate users, retailers, contractors and consultants, high net worth individuals, and public and governmental entities.

Our Team

One of the largest teams on the market with 3 partners and 6 associates, our real estate team is fully dedicated to real estate work, resulting in experienced highly-skilled and committed team members. Our ideal mix of seniority means that the work our clients entrust us with will be performed by the lawyer at the most appropriate level of seniority, increasing efficiency and allowing for a competitive pricing.

Our real estate lawyers have a large experience in all aspects of property related issues and are very well connected in the real estate market. This enables us to understand our clients’ needs quickly and to offer sound and practical advice.

Our multidisciplinary approach means that we are able to quickly involve leading specialists in your transactions (in particular in areas such as tax, regulatory (urban planning and environment) and corporate and finance). Our real estate lawyers work indeed seamlessly with the firm’s other practices to provide a complete approach to any real estate matter. Within our firm more than 25 lawyers dedicate a significant part of their time to real estate matters.

We emphasize clear, practical but sound solutions regardless of the complexity of the matter. Being cost-effective is essential to us. We make sure that we understand our clients’ objectives and their internal decision processes, we anticipate the issues and tailor our services accordingly in order to achieve the best possible results.

Our Relevant Experience

Office buildings
  • Assisting Proximus with the sale and lease back transaction with Immobel regarding its two iconic towers in the North district

  • Assisting Total Petrochemicals & Refining in all aspects of the disposal of its Belgian headquarters through the sale of (i) the shares of its subsidiary Etmofina and (ii) a building located in Brussels, as well as with the lease-back of the site to several Group companies prior to the redevelopment of the site by the purchaser and the relocation of TOTAL’s headquarters in Brussels to a new site

  • Assisting Befimmo in the granting of a 99 years long lease right to Goldman Sachs on one of the iconic (office) towers located in Brussels’ CBD, the Blue Tower

  • Assisting Fedimmo in relation with the various transactions regarding its landmark site “Paradis Express” in Liège (housing and office parts)

  • Assisting the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (INAMI - the social security agency of the federal government) with the sale of two office buildings, totalling 30.500 m², currently housing the INAMI’s headquarters

  • Assisting Matexi, a Belgian project developer for the acquisition of a building to be redeveloped in Evere.

  • Assisting UBS on the share deal transaction regarding the SPV owning the office building Arsenal

  • Assisting GDF SUEZ in the negotiations with developer KAIROS for the acquisition of a right of usufruct in a turnkey office building in the centre of Antwerp, and the simultaneous sale of their existing office building in Antwerp to the project developer L.I.F.E.

  • Assisting the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in the acquisition of several buildings located in the historical city center of Brussels

  • Assisting Vastint in relation to the constitution of a long-lease right of 99 years on the “Elite House” building in favour of the real estate French company SCI Elite Chisinau (Groupama) and sale of the residual ownership to AG Insurance

  • Assisting UFG Commercial & Hospitality Real Estate Fund I S.A., SICAV-SIF (Luxembourg fund) with the acquisition of the full ownership of the “Angle view building” (Bridgestone EU Headquarters), an office building of the Cluster Park, a corporate office park located in Zaventem

  • Assisting Unibra Real Estate in in the bidding and acquisition process for the office building located at Avenue des Arts

Hotels and Leisure
  • Assisting the French group B&B Hotels Belgium with several projects in Belgium amongst which the acquisition of the IBIS Budget business in Liège, as part of a complex and major transaction between B&B Hotels and Accor including 30 hotels in France, the acquisition of the QBic business in Brussels, and several other hotel developments (turnkey projects) in Belgium (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Namur, Hasselt, etc.). Our assistance includes the drafting and negotiation of their occupation agreements (long leases and leasing) or acquisition agreements, as well as all ancillary agreements

  • Assisting Vastint (Inter-IKEA group) in their development projects in Belgium. Recent examples include the transformation of an office building into a hotel (leased to Marriott under the brand Courtyard) and a new hotel development in Brussels (building constructed on the site of the previous headquarters of Solvay and leased and operated under the Moxy brand)

  • Assisting Nelson Canal and Nelson Midi in the negotiation of the occupancy agreements with hotel operator Meininger for two hotels in Brussels

  • Assisting Capital France Hotel, a specialist hotel investment vehicle asset managed by Schroders Real Estate Hotels on the purchase (structured through a share deal) from KKR’s Real Estate Partners Europe of two hotels in Antwerp : Radisson Blu Astrid and Park Inn

  • Assisting French investors in the acquisition of part of the hotel & leisure complex “Le Dolce” in La Hulpe

  • Assisting AG Real Estate, a subsidiary of AG Insurance, with the sale of the well-known Wiltcher’s Complex, located in Brussels, avenue Louise, and comprising the prestigious Steigenberger Wiltcher’s 5-star hotel, to AXA Investment Managers

  • Assisting the French hotel-group Maranatha with the sale of the four-star hotel Sofitel le Louise to the international real estate fund AINA

  • Assisting Motel One with the drafting and negotiation with developer Cores of a long lease agreement for a large hotel to be built (turnkey) in Antwerp

  • Assisting Befimmo in the negotiation of the hotel management agreement (and ancillary agreements) with Standard for the exploitation of the hotel part in the multifunctional ZIN complex in Brussels.

  • Assisting an international hotel operator in the conclusion of a management contract for a new hotel to be developed near Brussels

  • Assisting the Portugese hotel-group Pestana with respect to potential acquisitions in Brussels for the opening of their first hotel in Belgium

  • Assisting DROH!ME with the development of a new leisure park based on sports, nature, culture and education (the DROH!ME melting park)

  • Assisting KBC Insurance on the acquisition and lease of a part of the “Sunparks Ardennen” holiday park at Vielsalm owned by Foncière des Murs (a French SIIC) and operated by the Pierre & Vacances Group

  • Assisting JC Decaux Holding and its subsidiaries, that own and occupy the Green Lane site, in the redevelopment of the site; analysis of urban planning constraints and possibilities; preparation of a lease to third parties

  • Assisting a joint venture composed by a French operator and a French investment fund in the acquisition of two hotels located in Brussels.

Housing, co-living and nursing homes
  • Assisting ION Residential Platform regarding the purchase of all existing shares of a company owning a residential building of approx. 2.000 sq. m. (with 42 residential units) located in Brussels.

  • Assisting Promiris in the fiscal structuring of the demolition/renovation of two buildings to create apartments and student housings.

  • Assisting the Thomas&Piron Batiment - BPI - Ogea Fund consortium for the structuration of the development of a residence for students.

  • Assisting Vastint Belgium on the acquisition of on office building in Brussels for a residential redevelopment

  • Assisting Besix RED in matters related to co-living

  • Assisting Domitys, a French leader in senior services residence, with several matters related to the development of senior services residence projects

  • Assisting leading French nursing home provider EMERA in connection with the sale of its equity stake in two real estate companies to Belfius Insurance and with its acquisition of majority stakes in several Belgian organizations

  • Assisting P&V assurances, a major insurance provider, in the set-up of an investment hub in the nursing home sector, including the acquisition and financing of nursing homes

Retail
  • Assisting IKEA with all real estate aspects of its expansion in Belgium for more than 25 years

  • Advising LIDL on all questions related to their real estate expansion in Belgium, entailing assistance for the transaction real estate aspects and advising on all the issues relating to urban planning and environment

  • Assisting Wereldhave in various developments projects

  • Assisting French investors in structuring and developing one of the major Belgian outlet malls in the Walloon region

  • Advising a brand retailer in the development of a flagship store – green building (award winning project) in Brussels

  • Assisting Decathlon in the context of the opening of new retail stores in Kinshasa (RDC)

  • Assisting AG REAL Estate on the sale of the Woluwe Shopping Center complex, one of the landmarks shopping malls in Belgium

  • Assisting Argayon, retail parks owner, in several real estate matters, such as expansion of new existing sites or discussions/negotiations with retailers

  • Assisting Galeria INNO with various lease-related matters

  • Assisting Willy Tans NV in the sale of 100% of the shares of QCII NV to Belgian Food Retail BV.

Semi-industrial, Logistics, Data centres
  • Assisting Interxion, a European provider of carrier and cloud-neutral colocation data centre services in the process of acquisition of a plot of land (with existing data centre) and the negotiations with various users of the existing data centre

  • Assisting a large international retailer in the potential acquisition of a land and building (turnkey) in Ghent for storage and distribution in support of the Ghent store.

  • Advising Goodman in acquiring and developing large logistics sites in the three Belgian regions

  • Assisting the Finnish Rettig Group on a sale and lease back transaction for its industrial site located in the North of Belgium

  • Assisting AXA Belgium on the sale of a logistic portfolio in Belgium to Blackstone, composed of 8 assets (warehouses), situated in strategic locations around Brussels

  • Assisting DHL concerning a 3-buildings logistics complex in Huizingen. Our assistance covered the structuring and execution of the earlier termination of a financial leasing operation entered into with KBC Lease, followed by a sale and lease back operation with Belgian REIT WDP.

  • Assisting Gabriel Technologies (Knauf group) with the sale of a part of its Baudour site to Google.

Real Estate tax
  • Advising a major Belgian stock listed REIT on a very high-profile transaction on the Belgian real estate market, consisting in the set-up of a joint-venture structure to hold a building complex which is Brussel's most famous landmark

  • Assisting a real-estate investor, operator and developer and a Belgian REIT with the tax structuring of the sale of a portfolio of almost 50 office buildings in Belgium

  • Assisting a leading Belgian investor with the structuring of the redevelopment of a 25-hectare site with a view to creating a museum, a conference center and a center of excellence for SMEs

  • Assisting the shareholders of a Belgian real estate company on the tax aspects of the disposal of their shares to a real estate investment fund

  • Assisting major REITs in the tax structuring of their real estate investments and disposals (direct sale, rights in rem, real estate certificates, VAT impact)

  • Assisting a Luxembourg investment fund in the tax structuring of its real estate investment and disposal

  • Assisting a consortium of real estate developers in the optimization of the structuring of a major real estate development

  • Assisting one of the most active real estate developers on the Belgian market, with the optimisation of the tax structure of the development of a prominent project

Awards & Recognition

‘Impressive real estate offering acting on development and redevelopment projects through an integrated approach between the firm's planning, public law and real estate practices. Frequently represents investors in transactions, including land purchases and sale and leaseback transactions. Particular expertise in matters in the hospitality sector. Advises tenants on lease agreements. Also assists with matters involving mixed-use assets, as well as commercial and residential properties.’

‘One client values the team's ability to deliver high-quality work and comments on the lawyers, saying: "Their service and responsiveness meets the high standards.“

Others compliment the team's ability to handle complex matters: "We particularly appreciated its negotiation skills.“

‘Strong interaction with their real estate transaction team allows them to provide a global and synthetic answer to questions raised.’

Chambers Europe, Real Estate, 2022, Tier 2

‘Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick is a strong choice for real estate developers, investors, and portfolio holders engaged in major Belgian and pan-European acquisitions, exits, and redevelopment projects, providing advice on complex urban planning, environmental, and tax structuring issues. Areas of expertise for the firm include retail, logistics, senior housing, hotels, and leisure.’

‘Strong team, without excessive wasted time in theories.’

‘They are friendly, highly skilful. Moreover, they do their best to give you an appropriate answer, to be creative, to find a solution to your issue, and also to answer promptly.’

‘The lawyers are extremely responsive and great to work with.’

‘Efficient service, excellent availability and top lawyers in their specific field of competence.’

Legal 500, Real Estate & Construction, 2022, Tier 1
Ranked as “Excellent”, Leaders League, 2022

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