Tag Archives: legal

Czech agricultural land just got more expensive

Happy 2011!
Anyone still planning to buy agricultural land in order to build on it will really wish they’d gotten around to it back in 2010, as the price for getting an exemption from the  agricultural fund just went up. That’s the word from the legal firm Wilson & Partners.

The Amendment was published in the Collection of Acts (Sbírka zákonů) on 28 December 2010 andbecame effective as of 1 January 2011. It will have substantial impact on all the upcomingprojects as in most cases the Payment shall be increased several fold.

Here’s the original. It might just be worth reading, seeing as some land could jump 9x in price.

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Use of Poland’s Civil Code point 685.1

Last week,  the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza published an article about an unnamed tenant in an unnamed building in central Warsaw whose landlord had suddenly jacked up its rent by 60%. The only way not to pay would be to leave.

Turns out, they’ve decided to pay, and to fight it. And it didn’t take too much digging to find out the name of the company in question. What makes unilateral rent rises possible is a previously obscure piece of Polish law  [to be specific: Civil Code point 685.1] which the building’s landlord claims allows landlords to “terminate” the original rental rate. Really??!? Bet that’s news to a few tenants around town.

The owner of the building is not an international fund, but rather a separate company, and as we’ve been informed that the matter is currently a matter of arbitration, we’ve removed our original post and will wait to see how it all turns out before commenting further.

In the meantime, we would still like to know how widespread this practice is, as the law clearly has serious implications for owner/landlord relations. We welcome any views on this, of course.

Pawel Debowski joins Salans

In a show of strength, Salans has raided Clifford Chance’s ranks and signed its star lawyer Pawel Debowski along with core members of his team:  Piotr Szafarz, Maciej Ryniewicz and Tomasz Stasiak. Earlier in the crisis, companies were consolidating their teams by offloading excess staff, but the changes now underway in many of the top CEE real estate companies indicate that fundamental, structural changes are afoot.

Kotva back in the news

The Czech department store Kotva is undergoing renovations at the moment, but the ownership issues have never gone away completely. Cyprus-based Forminster Enterprises is now seeking reparations of nearly CZK 1bn from the Czech state for its failure to honor a treaty with Cyprus on the mutual protection of investments. The Czech Finance Ministry says if no negotiated settlement is reached by April, arbitration proceedings could be held. Hospodarske noviny notes the transfer of shares in Kotva from the Trend fund is considered by many to have been one of the biggest ever examples of tunneling.

Comings and goings

We don’t comment on every single changing of the guards, but we do cover some of the more interesting ones. And there were some interesting legal stories today. In Prague, Monika Rutland has announced that tomorrow will be her last day in the White & Case office in Prague. Quite a switch after nineteen years. The forwarding email address is a personal one, so no word yet where she’s headed.

Meanwhile, down in Budapest, Kinstellar announced that Andras Csapo would be leaving the company as of the end of the year. Nothing else to report – yet – though we can’t rule out some last minute updates.

Update: So in reaction, we’re told that a lawyer in Poland is leaving one of the big-name firms to join a logistics giant, while a defection of property lawyers from a company in Prague could be imminent. Wait and see.