Clients increasingly want lawyers to help them find real estate deals

Real estate clients are increasingly asking their legal advisers to help them search for potential deals, says Jesús Conde, real estate partner at Araoz & Rueda in Madrid.

“At the moment, the hospitality sector, student housing, retirement homes and medical facilities are booming due to the higher returns and increase in opportunities,” he says. “In particular, student housing is currently attracting many non-Spanish investors, based on the previous brilliant performance of the business in other European countries.” 

Conde adds that one of the most common trends at the moment is investors entering into a development agreement with a local developer for the construction of the building. Meanwhile, there has been an increase in the number of new players entering the real estate market. “One of the main characteristics of these new investors is their increasing level of specialisation in different market niches and even specific assets,” he says. 

However, Conde says real estate lawyers are now being asked by clients to do more to help generate sales. 

“Clients and contacts are increasingly requesting lawyers’ involvement in the search for new potential transactions,” he explains. “In these cases, we try to identify opportunities using our knowledge of the market and if the matchmaking is successful, we then offer our legal advisory services to any of the parties.”

While this is not the most common source of transactional work, according to Conde, it is becoming more common. “We can only try to offer our legal services if a transaction finally happens,” he says. That said, the amount of real estate activity remains at a similar level to last year, according to Conde. “The growth trend seems to be continuing, due to the arrival of new specialised investors.” 

Laura Escarpa