Practice Areas

Best Lawyers works with leaders in the legal marketplace to keep our practice area lists current, allowing clients and referring lawyers to more easily locate the precise expertise they are seeking.

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  • Real Estate Law

    Real Estate Law Definition

    Real estate law often comes down to legal advice on the sale or purchase of real estate properties.

    However, the scope of this law field, also referred to as real estate business law in Germany, actually extends much further. It also encompasses the development, purchase, management and utilization of real property. Think in terms of property appraisal, financing and tax matters, as well as supervisory and regulatory matters, including public issues related to the approval of real estate objects and the preparation thereof as well as changes in the use of existing properties, such as reclassification from commercial to residential property. Real estate business law is treated separately from "private construction law," which comprises, among others, architectural and brokerage law and even service contract law.

    At its core, real estate business law deals with the legal aspects of

    • Project development (building and zoning permits)
    • Real estate transactions (due diligence, contract drafting, and negotiations, including financing contracts with banks, mezzanine capital partners, and the like)
    • Real estate management (tenant and lease laws, refurbishment, FM contracts, or contracting)
    • Public-private partnerships (advisory services for business and public sector clients regarding real estate law)
    • Real estate funds (advisory services for real estate fund development, contract drafting involving all participating parties, prospectus drafting, due diligence, and supervisory matters)

    Given the complexity of this law field, attorneys specializing in real estate law should be able to offer a wide range of qualifications as well as industry expertise and in-depth business knowledge. That’s because their work not only involves core real estate law matters but also matters from other law fields that may be closely related in terms of general real estate. In particular, comprehensive consulting services for, say, project developers, building contractors and real estate companies require the kind of legal competence that far extends basic real estate law. For example, in the project development business, it’s not uncommon for lawyers to fulfill, manage, and coordinate functions for various participating parties, which is when management qualifications come in handy, to say the least. Another asset any real estate lawyer should have at his or her disposal is a network of equally qualified lawyers to turn to in any matters that may be out of his or her league. Then there the really complex real estate law matters, in which it is recommended to have legal teams to perform all tasks necessary to successfully wrap up a case for any client facing a narrow time-frame.

These practice areas are open for nominations but are not yet included in our publications.

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