Insight

Here Are Gide's Predictions on the Biggest Trends in Real Estate

Winner of the 2019 "Law Firm of the Year" award for Real Estate Law in France, Hugues Moreau of Gide talks global capital and market changes.

Gide 2019 "Law Firm of the Year" Interview
Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers

February 1, 2019 12:26 PM

Hugues Moreau, an attorney within French law firm Gide's real estate practice group, speaks with Best Lawyers CEO Phillip Greer about his team’s achievements from the last year that earned them the 2019 “Law Firm of the Year” award in their practice and country. Moreau highlights the close relationships of Gide partners as one of their keys to success and speculates on how the French real estate market might change in the upcoming years.

What achievements are you most proud of from this past year that you guys have done in the real estate sector?

What made a real difference in 2018 was, I think, our unique combination of talent and expertise. On the French market, we are probably the only law firm able to display true expertise in not only the real estate sector as an industry, but also in all the areas of law that our clients need to handle their instructions. As well as our specific real estate law expertise, we can also offer advice on investment funds, tax, administrative law (covering planning issues), and corporate law by drawing on the knowledge of those particular practice groups.

I think what we are all proud of is that Gide as a team has consistently demonstrated a combination of talent, which over the past few months has proven to be especially efficient, not only from a business standpoint because we clearly handle most of the high-profile transactions on the market, but also from a quality standpoint. We can be proud that our unique structure has been able to service the whole industry.

Can you tell us about one or two landmark cases that stand out to you in your career at this firm?

I think the most instrumental transaction in my career was the takeover in 2007, just before the credit crunch, of a landmark building in La Défense (Paris Business District). The asset concerned was a tower named Coeur Défense, which was the largest office building in France, and which was divested for more than two billion euros after a highly competitive process. It was purchased by Lehman Brothers just before they collapsed. At that time, the transaction was the largest property-related investment deal ever. When Lehman collapsed, the credit crunch swallowed them, and the market switched. To me, it wasn’t just a deal that kept us busy for 12 or 14 months, but also a turning point in both my career and in the market itself.

I was not a partner at the time. I was the leading associate assisting partner Frédéric Nouel, who was handling the transaction for the sellers. The sellers were Unibail-Rodamco and Goldman Sachs, which we assisted during the day-to-day course of the transaction process.

"When you arrive as a young lawyer, joining Gide like I did at 24, and make partnership a couple of years later, you become the member of a family."

Are there any trends you've witnessed within the real estate sector within the past year, and do you see the real estate sector changing in France in the coming years?

I think the changes have been more on the capital side. Our industry is prone to change given that the capital flowing into Europe for real estate investment is increasingly global, meaning that France is on the radar for investors but only as part of a tiny return or even worldwide strategy, whereas in the past the market was led by more local players. Clearly, we are now working on deals for players who are addressing the real estate industry as a sector in itself and investing their capital in not only Paris, but also other cities across Europe, mainly in Germany and the UK. Some sort of globalization of the capital on deals and of the teams massively working on those deals is a clear trend. Another change is the fact that we do more and more private equity-related investments in our sector, which was not the case in the past. Private equity players only recently started investing in the real estate class of assets, and they add interest to our industry.

In terms of assets, the last 15 or 20 years concerned mostly offices or retail purpose properties, whereas now we clearly see a very strong interest in new classes of assets. Not new in terms of operations, but new in terms of types of property, especially in the hospitality sector. Clearly, hotels are in very high demand at the moment. It's a new capital asset in terms of sophistication in building real and wide portfolios of assets. More recently, we’ve also seen interest from institutional players in residential assets. We used to have small transactions, but jumbo deals addressing the residential sector should, I think, become more commonplace in the near future.

[RELATED: Ballot nominations for the United Kingdom begin February 5]

How does Gide stay agile against competitors in the real estate sector?

That's an interesting one, because on the one hand, we are the largest team in Paris, but on the other, I feel like we are just one big family. We are all very close as we all "grew up" at Gide. When you arrive as a young lawyer, joining Gide like I did at 24, and make partnership a couple of years later, you become the member of a family-like group, growing all together. So we know each other very well. We talk to each other on a day-to-day basis. I think that makes us very agile, compared with most of our competitors. Even though we are a large firm, the fact that we share solid and common roots means we work very smoothly together.


Related Articles

Impact of Climate Change on Real Estate Law


by Best Lawyers

Dr. Christian Schede discusses rent in large cities, the effect of Airbnb, and more.

An Interview With Greenberg Traurig

It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas


by Best Lawyers

Michael Polkinghorne discusses why arbitration or mediation is a better option.

An Interview With White & Case LLP

How Corporate Law in France Is Navigating the Trade Wars


by Best Lawyers

Bertrand Cardi and Cyril Bonan discuss M&A, protectionism, and the trade wars' impact in France.

An Interview With Darrois Villey Maillot Broc

An Interview With Bougartchev Moyne Associés


by Best Lawyers

France’s 2020 “Law Firm of the Year” honoree in Criminal Defense Law

An Interview With Bougartchev Moyne Associés

Client Service in Real Estate Law: Identifying Attorneys Who Truly Care


by Best Lawyers

What is client service in real estate law, and why is it important? Learn more about the value a real estate lawyer who emphasizes client service can provide.

Two unseen individuals shake hands with miniature house models in background

IN PARTNERSHIP

Foiled Plans: How Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Thwarted A Famous Building’s Trickery


by Rebecca Blackwell

When the Frick building, planned renovations that would threaten the welfare of nearby residents, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. jumped in to uncover the truth.

Front of the Frick Building in New York City

4 Essential Steps for Commercial Real Estate Due Diligence


by Best Lawyers

Due diligence in real estate is essential for all parties. Best Lawyers walks through the key steps of effective due diligence in commercial real estate.

Animated magnify glass in front of building and checklist

The Role of Title Insurance in Real Estate Transactions


by Best Lawyers

Title insurance can provide benefits, protection and peace of mind in a real estate transaction, which can often be complex. Best Lawyers take a closer look.

Individual signing a document with house keys in background

The 2024 Best Lawyers in France Awards


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms, including the 14th edition of The Best Lawyers in France™ and the 3rd edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in France™ recipients.

Boat crossing river in front of Eiffel Tower against blue sky

Leasing Commercial Real Estate


by Best Lawyers

We have compiled this “leasing commercial real estate checklist” to help guide discussions with a commercial real estate lawyer before signing a lease.

Unseen figure with pen points to apartment building model

IN PARTNERSHIP

A Street Fight in the Bronx


by Adam Leitman Bailey

Adam Leitman Bailey’s firm helped settle a Bronx brawl over land between two parties and brought victory against a long-standing powerful family in New York.

Warehouse in New York at night

IN PARTNERSHIP

Heroes Among Men: How Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Saved Lives of the Lifesaving


by Rebecca Blackwell

When a 911 Center in New York City was put in danger, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. went to work against the unlawful and hazardous actions of a developer whose construction threatened the peace and safety of all who worked for the Fortune 500 company.

Danger construction site no trespassing sign on fence

The Role of Flood Zones in Florida Real Estate Transactions


by Best Lawyers

Get a comprehensive understanding of flood zones in Florida real estate. Learn about the risks, insurance requirements and disclosure obligations.

Trees blowing in flood waters and storm

How Real Estate Transactions in the Residential Sector Work


by Best Lawyers

Discover how real estate transactions in the residential sector work with this guide. Learn about the stages, parties involved and legal requirements.

Man looking at houses on computer

IN PARTNERSHIP

Adam Leitman Bailey Saves Upper East Cooperative From Forced NYU Combination With Neighboring University Building


by Rebecca Blackwell

When a New York resident of an iconic building was faced with a potentially devastating renovation to his beloved home, powerhouse real estate lawyer Adam Leitman Bailey tightened the knot on the loophole others said didn’t exist.

Large brownstone building with blue sky above in New York City

IN PARTNERSHIP

Residential Real Estate Slowdown Expected To Continue in 2023


by Mick Harris

Rising housing costs and mortgage rates were becoming the norm in 2022. Experts anticipate that 2023 may show much of the same.

Apartment buildings with yellow haze

Trending Articles

How Palworld Is Testing the Limits of Nintendo’s Legal Power


by Gregory Sirico

Many are calling the new game Palworld “Pokémon GO with guns,” noting the games striking similarities. Experts speculate how Nintendo could take legal action.

Animated figures with guns stand on top of creatures

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in America Honorees


by Best Lawyers

Only the top 5.3% of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Gold strings and dots connecting to form US map

The U.S. Best Lawyers Voting Season Is Open


by Best Lawyers

The voting season for the 31st edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and the 5th edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America is officially underway, and we are offering some helpful advice to this year’s voters.

Golden figures of people standing on blue surface connected by white lines

How To Find A Pro Bono Lawyer


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers dives into the vital role pro bono lawyers play in ensuring access to justice for all and the transformative impact they have on communities.

Hands joined around a table with phone, paper, pen and glasses

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

2021 Best Lawyers: The Global Issue


by Best Lawyers

The 2021 Global Issue features top legal talent from the most recent editions of Best Lawyers and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch worldwide.

2021 Best Lawyers: The Global Issue

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom


by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023


by Best Lawyers

The third edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ highlights the legal talent of lawyers who have been in practice less than 10 years.

Three arrows made of lines and dots on blue background

The Best Lawyers in Australia™ 2024 Launch


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers is excited to announce The Best Lawyers in Australia™ for 2023, including the top lawyers and law firms from Australia.

Australian Parliament beside water at sunset

The Upcycle Conundrum


by Karen Kreider Gaunt

Laudable or litigious? What you need to know about potential copyright and trademark infringement when repurposing products.

Repurposed Products and Copyright Infringemen

Inflation Escalation


by Ashley S. Wagner

Inflation and rising costs are at the forefront of everyone’s mind as we enter 2023. The current volatile market makes it more important than ever to understand the rent escalation clauses in current and future commercial lease agreements.

Suited figure in front of rising market and inflated balloon

Wage and Overtime Laws for Truck Drivers


by Greg Mansell

For truck drivers nationwide, underpayment and overtime violations are just the beginning of a long list of problems. Below we explore the wages you are entitled to but may not be receiving.

Truck Driver Wage and Overtime Laws in the US

A Celebration of Excellence: The Best Lawyers in Canada 2024 Awards


by Best Lawyers

As we embark on the 18th edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada™, we are excited to highlight excellence and top legal talent across the country.

Abstract image of red and white Canada flag in triangles

Announcing The Best Lawyers in South Africa™ 2024


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers is excited to announce the landmark 15th edition of The Best Lawyers in South Africa™ for 2024, including the exclusive "Law Firm of the Year" awards.

Sky view of South Africa town and waterways

Best Lawyers Voting Is Now Open


by Best Lawyers

Voting has begun in several countries across the globe, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. Below we offer dates, details and answers to voting-related questions to assist with the voting process.

Hands holding smartphone with five stars above phone

8 Different Types of Criminal Defenses in Law


by Best Lawyers

Learn about the different types of criminal defenses available in law, including innocence, self-defense, insanity and more. Protect your rights today.

Silver handcuffs laying on finger printed papers