Monday, February 18, 2008

Confessions of a Deal Junkie

I stumbled across this Chicago Lawyer piece today on international real estate. The gist of the article is that real estate transactions are global these days, not local. (This has been a trend for years, by the way.)

Now, while transactions abroad are becoming more and more like what we might expect to see here, that does not mean you can go into these deals with blinders on. First and foremost, if you are not at a megafirm with offices everywhere, finding good local counsel is the most important thing you can do. (The lawyers interviewed were all from global firms, and I have worked on deals with about half of them in the past.) Next, make sure you totally grasp the differences. For instance:
  • Is title insurance available, and/or are you dealing with registered land?
  • How are the conveyances prepared?
  • How do you deal with international tax issues?
  • How do you handle dispute resolution?
  • What is the best way to structure the deal?
  • What about zoning? Construction? Lien rights? Perfection of security interests?
You get the picture. And there is so, so much more to it than that. Take the glasses off, get to work and work hard!

The lawyers profiled in the story are all deal junkies. They live to do deals, no matter the place or type. And that is fun. I give them credit. What about me? I still consider myself a deal junkie, because I love seeing clients buy and sell and lease and make money. I also enjoy helping make someone's dream come true.

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