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Real Property and Construction

Our Real Property and Construction Group helps investors, developers, builders, owners, lessors and tenants maximize the value and utility of real-estate assets.

Global Overview

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a business world growing increasingly virtual, the need for real estate and related property assets remains as strong as ever. Traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores, factories, hotels and resorts are competing for space with new forms of commercial and manufacturing properties, including high-volume data centers, expanded logistics, distribution and shipping facilities, flexible manufacturing operations, environmentally friendly office towers and multifamily residential developments.

We understand that real estate is a means to many business ends, including increased efficiency, better customer service and higher profitability. Our lawyers represent individual, corporate and institutional real estate investors, developers, owners, lessors and lessees, as well as construction contractors, subcontractors, architects and designers.

The Ally Law Advantage

Our team includes a number of member firms whose real estate practices were launched more than a century ago. Together, we bring clients a level of institutional knowledge and accrued experience nearly unmatched among legal providers.

We are equally creative and responsive when helping clients address emerging real estate and construction issues, including global, green building practices, new forms of real estate financing and fluctuating interest rates.

Ally Law member firms and individual lawyers have been recognized by Chambers Europe, The Legal 500, Best Lawyers and World Tax, and in numerous local and regional real estate and legal publications.

Our CLients

We counsel clients from across the economic spectrum, including businesses for which real estate and construction are primary areas of focus, as well as companies engaged in industries — such as retail, hospitality, manufacturing, technology, healthcare — that depend on real estate assets to achieve their core strategies and objectives.

Leaders

Resources

Overseas Owners of UK Property

Edwin Coe reviews the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022, which is significant for any non-UK companies or other entities that own local property.

Real Estate Projects in Vietnam

LNT & Partners takes you through common types of local real estate acquisitions.

Optimally Identifying Real Estate Sites

Vista Site Selection, an ancillary business of Vorys (Ohio/Texas), uses data analytics to help companies select the most advantageous and economically viable real estate sites.

News

The amendment to the Vienna Building Code that everyone is talking about is in the final stages of the legislative process: after the end of the assessment period in autumn 2023, the amended government proposal has now been submitted to the Vienna State Parliament.
The first remediation order has been made against Kedai Ltd, the freeholder of a multi-unit residential building, under the new Building Safety Act 2022 (“BSA”).
Recently, the City of Quincy attempted to shut down a client’s ability to rent part of her home on Airbnb.
It is hard to believe that yet another British summer is over.
Owners of old buildings who fail to carry out compulsory maintenance work have been put on notice that they face tougher action from the authorities.
Since its introduction, the Building Safety Act 2022 (the “Act”) has greatly changed the landscape of dealing with fire safety matters in higher-risk buildings (“HRBs”).
The Home Secretary announced on 7 August 2023 that fines for employers and landlords who allow illegal migrants to work for them or rent their properties are to be more than tripled, marking the biggest transformation of Civil Penalties since 2014.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals this week addressed an important issue involving leases, options to renew, and the North Carolina recordation statutes known as the “Connor Act.”

Services

Working with lawyers from across member firms and jurisdictions, we provide coordinated, cost-effective counsel and customized, strategic services in the following areas, among others:

Sales, Purchases and Leases
  • Sales and purchases of commercial, industrial, residential and mixed-use property
  • Tenancy, rental, lease, sublease and other agreements
  • Litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution
  • Tax advice, disputes and appeals
  • Public-private partnerships (PPP)
  • Mortgage, refinancing and loan agreements
  • Public finance and investment
  • Public and private bonds and issues
  • Securities acquisition and sales
  • Debt rescheduling, workouts and restructurings
  • Real estate funds and banking trusts
  • Mezzanine, leasehold and permanent finance transactions
  • Joint venture agreements
  • Permitting, licensing and approvals
  • Construction loan agreements
  • Construction, work and services contracts and subcontracting agreements
  • Arbitration and litigation construction claims, bid protests and other controversies
  • Revitalization and development of unused and fallow properties
  • Condominium development and conversions
  • Land use regulation and planning
  • Title, zoning, rezoning, permitting and appeals
  • Heritage designation/preservation
  • Structuring of public-use rights
  • Air space subdivisions
  • Annexation and boundary disputes
  • Compulsory land acquisitions and compensation
  • Conditional uses, variances and nonconforming uses
  • Financing, acquisition, transfer and redevelopment of contaminated or potentially contaminated property
  • Compliance, environmental approvals, permits and operational issues
  • Remediation of brownfields and contaminated property
  • Green-area project development, planning and construction compliance
  • Environmental compliance, LEED-certified construction and green building issues
  • Water and air quality
  • Conservation easements, covenants and equitable servitudes

Rankings

The Chambers Canada Guide ranks the top lawyers and law firms across Canada. Member highlights in the latest edition include:

Torkin Manes LLP (Ontario) is ranked Band 1 in Real Estate: Mainly Mid-Market, handling the full range of commercial real estate matters with particular experience in the retail and shopping centre arena and multi-residential and senior living spaces. Leasing is another area of expertise for the group. Leonard Rodness is rated in Band 1; Stephanie Eiley in Band 2; Aaron English in Band 3, and Seth Zuk, as an Up and Coming lawyer. One real estate client commented, “…they demonstrate a strong understanding of our work.”

Kornfeld, Shapray & Partners (Vancouver, British Columbia) is ranked in Band 4 in Real Estate and handles the full gamut of commercial real estate work regularly advising on M&A work, real estate financing matters, joint ventures and land use law, as well as First Nations issues and real estate litigation. Neil Kornfeld is ranked in Band 2 and Jordan Langlois is rated as an Up and Coming lawyer. One real estate client said, “They have a good understanding of complex issues and offer good, practical solutions when negotiations hit a roadblock.”

Chambers Latin America ranks the top lawyers and law firms in 19 jurisdictions, spanning Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as all Spanish-speaking countries in South America. Some member highlights from the latest guide include:

ROBALINO (Ecuador) is ranked in Band 3 in Real Estate, known for advising on the structuring and development of real estate projects, handling complex sale, purchase and lease agreements, sector-related regulatory issues and investment disputes and construction arbitration proceedings. One real estate client commented, “ROBALINO shows their high business acumen and very strong commercial awareness.”

The Chambers USA Guide ranks the top lawyers and law firms across the USA. Members highlighted in the latest guide include:

Moye White (Colorado) is ranked Band 4 in Real Estate offering a wide range of commercial real estate matters, including acquisitions, leases and developments for a range of clients including real estate developers, investment funds and pension schemes, as well as companies in the entertainment sector. One real estate client commented, “They provide excellent client communication and service at fair rates.” Keely Downs is rated as an Up and Coming lawyer.

Varnum (Michigan) is ranked Band 3 in Real Estate with a strong transactional focus and significant experience in finance-related matters, advising banks, hospitals, developers, brokers and individual investors on high-value commercial, industrial and residential development work. Thomas W. Forster is ranked in Band 3 and Nyal Deems is rated a Senior Statesperson.

Smith Anderson (North Carolina) is ranked Band 1 in Real Estate, representing developers in state, national and regional acquisitions and development of retail and residential projects, significant lease negotiations and zoning and land use matters. One real estate client commented, ” The Smith Anderson team is both wide and deep across all of our needs.”

Notable practitioners include Lacey H Reaves, Band 1, C Steven Mason, Band 3, Micharl R Thorton, Band 3, C Allen York, Band 3, and Tobey Coleman, Band 2.

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP (Ohio) is ranked Band 3 in Real Estate, handling a wide range of matters such as financing (HUD), lease negotiation and entity structuring for its work on condominium development and urban redevelopment projects among others. It also continues to be a go-to practice for land use, zoning and eminent domain matters. J Theodore (Ted) Smith is ranked Band 3 in Ohio Real Estate and Jill S Tangeman is ranked Band 1 in Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use.

The Chambers Europe Guide ranks top lawyers and law firms across the European legal market. Some member highlights from the most recent edition include:

Hayes solicitors LLP (Ireland) is ranked Band 4 in Real Estate, often representing clients from the retail sector with lease agreements, tenancy disputes, sale and management of property portfolios, acquisition, finance and disposal of development sites and transactions involving distressed assets. One real estate client commented, “”Hayes solicitors are knowledgeable and diligent in representing their clients’ interests.” Jackie Buckley is ranked in Band 4 and is described as “…an excellent solicitor who provides a great service.”

The Chambers Asia Pacific Guide ranks the top lawyers and law firms across markets in Asia-Pacific. Some member highlights from the latest guide include:

LNT Partners (Vietnam) is ranked Band 3 in Real Estate, acts for clients on the acquisition of industrial and residential properties for major Vietnamese and foreign companies developers and investors. The firm is also local counsel on solar and wind mandates and in the energy and construction sphere. One real estate client commented, “The firm’s ability to handle complex and sophisticated matters is very strong.” Thai Binh Tran is ranked Band 2 and is known for his work with financial investors and real estate developers. Le Net is ranked in Band 3, and has considerable experience on the development of power projects, as well as construction disputes.

The Chambers UK Guide ranks the top lawyers and law firms across the United Kingdom. Here’s a highlight from the latest guide:

Joanna Osbourne is ranked as Band 5 in Real Estate Litigation, handing contentious matters including disputes relating to joint ventures and conveyancing issues for a host of notable retailers and individual clients. One real estate litigation client commented, “She’s always thinking about how to resolve disputes in the most efficient way. She’s constantly coming up with different ideas on how to tackle problems and is tough.”

The Legal 500 EMEA edition analyzes capabilities of law firms in 80 jurisdictions across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Member firms highlighted in the most recent guide include:

Edwin Coe (UK) is ranked in Tier 3 in Real Estate, Residential Property, for advising wealthy individuals on all aspects of residential and rural real estate ownership, including transactional and financing advice, as well as advising on landlord and tenant matters. They handle financing of residential property portfolios, landed estates, agricultural land and acquisitions under leasehold reform legislation. One real estate client said they operate at the”…highest level of professionalism… “and they “Strongly recommend working with Edwin Coe LLP to any potential client.”

Edwin Coe was also ranked in Tier 4 in Real Estate Litigation, regularly handling cases in the High Court and the Court of Appeal, offering advice to a wide-range of landlords, tenants and developers on the full spectrum of property litigation, with particular experience in joint venture disputes, professional negligence and issues stemming from the Building Safety Act. One real estate client commented, “The Edwin Coe team is well-equipped to deal with a wide-range of issues, with an in-depth knowledge of complex real estate. They are forward-thinking but also remain very personable, with client care paramount.’

Edwin Coe is ranked in Tier 6 in Real Estate Property Finance for their activity in restructuring, loan workout and non-performing loan related mandates. One real estate client commented about the group, “Great team with a good commercial understanding and easy to speak to. Always cut to the chase on calls and know what the issues are.”

KCG Partners Law Firm (Hungary) is ranked Tier 3 in Real Estate and Construction for their focus on industrial developments and greenfield and brownfield investments, working closely with the firm’s tax and projects departments. One real estate client commented, “We appreciate that they are responsive and practical, and have a historical knowledge about our contractors and cases. For us, the long-standing and trustworthy relationship is important.”

Hayes Solicitors LLP (Ireland) is rated Tier 3 in Real Estate for its counsel to retail, logistics, real estate development, technology, finance, and the public sectors, advising on all aspects of the sale, purchase, leasing, development and financing of properties, landlord and tenant matters, and acquisition, management, and disposal of real estate assets. On real estate client commented, “They have an in-depth knowledge of the property legislation and all aspects of the property business …their strength is in their attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile for the client. They are transparent in all aspects of the engagement including setting fees and detailing the work programme to be achieved.”

Lipa Meir & Co (Israel) is ranked Tier 3 in Real Estate and Construction, distinguished by its experience in redesignation of land proceedings, urban renewal projects and shopping mall-related matters. They have a real estate, hotels and leisure practice who specialises in large mixed-use projects and advising on the rezoning of agricultural land for urban use. One real estate client commented, “In one word: WOW! Lipa’s real estate team are true professionals. They are versatile and goal-oriented. They bring added value to every transaction, both in the legal and commercial aspects. The partners show outstanding interpersonal skills.”

Gitti & Partners (Italy) is ranked as a Firm to Watch in Real Estate and Construction for their specialization of real estate law, land development, urban planning and real estate investment funds.

Blum & Grob Attorneys at Law Ltd (Switzerland) is ranked in Tier 4 in Real Estate and Construction, handling acquisition and financing transactions, related M&A, and disputes, including a focus on building projects, that entails new technologies such as Building Information Modelling and real estate data management. One real estate client commented about the firm, they are, “A team that covers the needs throughout the life cycle of a property.”

The Legal 500 Latin America edition analyzes capabilities of law firms in Mexico, Central America and South America. Member firms highlighted in latest guide include:

PPO Abogados (Bolivia) is ranked Tier 3 in Real Estate for its transactional, regulatory and dispute resolution teams, with particular strengths in permitting and compliance.

Robalino (Ecuador) is ranked Tier 2 in Real Estate for its project investment structuring and construction-related litigation and arbitration proceedings, with a particular focus in the agriculture industry. One real estate client commented, “Robalino’s team is capable of understanding the business need from the client’s point of view, managing to reach favourable negotiations.”

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific provides unbiased commentary and insight into the legal marketplaces of 25 Asia Pacific jurisdictions. Members highlighted in the most recent guide include:

LNT & Partners LLC (Vietnam) is ranked Tier 3 in Real Estate and Construction for their handling of property acquisition, property tax issues, and project developments and construction matters. The firm has been described by a real estate client as being, “…excellent… very responsive, professional and has an excellent grasp of technicalities.”

Formosan Brothers Attorneys at Law (Taiwan) is ranked Tier 2 in Real Estate, regularly advising on major energy construction projects at all stages of development, with particular experience in urban renewal and urban redevelopment law.