Real Estate

We provide comprehensive coverage of the area of construction and real estate law. We know the industry and are solution-oriented. Our specialists have wide transaction and litigation experience and are available as attorneys and civil law notaries as well as tax consultants, all with extensive expertise.

Why VISCHER

VISCHER's real estate team is diverse and unique in its composition: its lawyers are well acquainted with the industry. Several attorneys are also civil law notaries and therefore have additional experience in the real estate sector. The partners in the team are active in governing bodies of real estate companies and foundations, have experience in construction and real estate legislation and teach and publish leading works on real estate and environmental law.

Specialities

Construction Projects
We support investors in the development of land plots and in the planning and realization of real estate projects. We assist in the legal and strategic management of real estate portfolios, by sitting on the governing bodies of real estate companies or under permanent consultancy mandates.

Examples:

  • Supporting Biogen on legal issues related to land acquisition and the construction of a state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical production facility in Luterbach (Solothurn).
  • Accompanying an investor in the planning of a new urban quarter: Contracts for the purchase of the land, support with the urban planning, support in the negotiations with investors, drafting of development-dependent sales contracts, development of various models for the determination of usage-dependent selling prices, execution of various sales transactions, negotiation and drafting of joint venture agreements, establishment of project companies etc.
  • Accompanying an investor in the realization of a residential development with condominium and rental units: Negotiation for the purchase of the real estate, drafting the necessary purchase contracts, support in the re-zoning and special usage planning procedure including management of the administrative court proceedings, development of the condiminium ownership structure, completion of all land register aspects, etc.
  • Supporting an investor in the realization of a residential development with about 100 rented apartments as an investment project: support of the architectural competition, completion of the special use planning procedure and the construction consent procedure, completion of the re-parcelling and all other land register aspects, accompanying through the assessment procedure for value-added tax and the legal aspects of the external financing in legal terms, representing the owner  and managing the contracts as part of the implementation phase, etc.
  • Supporting a land owner with regard to the tax consequences of the conversion of their property from agricultural to residential use.
  • Supporting developers in the context of the public building approval procedure, including appeals.
  • Tax qualification and negotiation with tax offices with respect to value-sustaining / value-enhancing investments.
  • Sitting on the governing body of a real estate investment company: development and monitoring of the portfolio strategy, clarification of opportunities and risks, full supervision of the contract system, etc.

Transactions (M&A)
We advise both sellers and purchasers on the purchase and sale of real estate and real estate companies and as well as regarding restructurings.

Examples:

  • Supporting an institutional purchaser (Bâloise Versicherungen) through a bidding process with a view to acquiring a listed real estate company (Pax Anlagen AG).
  • Supporting Biogen on legal issues related to land acquisition and the construction of a state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical production facility in Luterbach (Solothurn).
  • Capital market activities for listed real estate companies (for example capital increase at Warteck Invest AG)
  • Sale and leaseback transactions concerning commercial real estate and operational use areas.
  • Transfer of real estate portfolios from pension funds to real estate investment foundations.
  • Internal group transfers of real estate portfolios.
  • Spin-off of business and real estate (for example, accompanying a client in the case of a tax-neutral division of a holding company with several real estate companies and production companies).

Rental Law
We advise (predominantly) owners in the renting of office and industrial premises.

Examples:

  • Representation of a chemical producer in the rental of subplots and buildings at a production plant.
  • Regular rental law advice and representation of the administrators and owners of shopping centres.
  • Rental law advice on sale and leaseback transactions.
  • Litigation in rental matters

 

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Civil Law Notaries
At our location in Basel, we have one of the largest civil law notary offices Switzerland. Our activities include, in particular, the notarial recording of the purchase and sale of real estate, mortgages and easements. Our notary office is very efficient with rich transactional experience. We are also accustomed to providing notarial services as part of more complex real estate projects. The notarial expertise also benefits us and our clients in projects outside of Basel-Stadt, where we cooperate with local notaries.

Examples:

  • Complex land register filings for areas re the development of residential and commercial buildings (e.g., parcelling, easement concepts, building rights, floor associations, co-ownership for underground parking garages).
  • Notarial concepts for complex buildings (e.g., underground parking garages, connected building complexes across parcel boundaries).
  • Transfers of real estate portfolios (e.g., with or without transfer of assets under the Merger Act).
  • Continual notarial recording of real estate transfers in Basel-Stadt
  • Tax support for the completion of real estate capital gains tax returns, clarification of real estate transfer taxation issues and parcel splits.

Disputes during Construction / concerning Defects
We regularly support our clients if there are problems during construction or when it is necessary to alleviate or ward off disputes relating to construction defects. We are aware of the fact that the search for out-of-court solutions is generally in the foreground, but we also represent clients should disputes proceed to court.

Examples:

  • Registration or defence of builders’ liens.
  • Consultation on conflict resolution with the various participants involved in the construction (building owners, contractors, planners, trade unions, etc.).
  • Precautionary taking of evidence.
  • Representation when construction defects occur against a sole contractor in connection with the repair (guarantee work) of more than 100 wet cells in a hotel).

Contaminated Sites
We regularly advise clients in connection with public-law procedures regarding contaminated sites.

Examples of our work:

  • Representation of current and former owners of contaminated sites as against authorities and private persons in the context of investigative and/or remediation measures under the environmental protection legislation.
  • Legal advice as against the authorities on the allocation of costs as a result of legally required investigations / remediation procedures.
  • Advice on environmental issues in connection with the purchase or sale of real estate.
  • Consultation on environmental issues with regard to construction activities.
  • Expert opinions and input in connection with fundamental questions on landfills and other contaminated sites.

Real Estate Financing
We advise both lenders and borrowers on real estate financing, on the one hand, in the preparation of the required documentation, on the other hand, in particular, on specific legal questions relating to the newer property rights legislation and credit guarantees (e.g., the safeguarding of paper promissory notes or the transfer and pledge of registered promissory notes).

Examples:

  • Advising Dekabank, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in connection with the repayment of financing in an aggregate principal amount in excess of CHF 200 million for a Swiss real estate portfolio.
  • Advising UBS AG in its role as arranger, agent and security agent in the CHF 240 million secured syndicated loan financing for a SIX Swiss Exchange listed real estate company.
  • Advising Lamesa Holding S.A., which is owned by Russian investor Viktor Vekselberg, and which holds a substantial interest in SIX Swiss Exchange-listed real estate holding company Züblin Immobilien Holding AG; in connection with its secured credit facilities granted to Züblin in connection with its public tender offer for its listed bond.

 

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Contact

VISCHER AG, Zürich
Schützengasse 1, Postfach 5090, 8021 Zürich
Phone +41 58 211 34 00, Fax +41 58 211 34 10

VISCHER AG, Basel
Aeschenvorstadt 4, Postfach 526, 4010 Basel
Phone +41 58 211 33 00, Fax +41 58 211 33 10

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