The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
The real estate sector is alive and kicking, as evidenced by this year’s showing at Mipim. Emma Vere-Jones reports
As always, Mipim involved a mix of business both within the Palais des Festivals and, perhaps more importantly, within the hotels and restaurants dotted along Cannes’ Croisette. At presentations inside the Palais this year, much of the focus was on real estate investment opportunities outside Western Europe – in particular in Asia, the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe.
But there was a consensus among many that while returns on such deals can be good, risks are higher, in part because the legal systems are not so well developed.
On investment opportunities in Dubai, Richard Cotton, senior partner of surveyors Cluttons, said property law needed resolving. Despite Dubai being one of the more Westernised parts of the Middle East, the legal system is still immature, he said. And while it may not be a problem when times are good, when disputes occur investors need to know there is a legal system that will protect them. “Dubai needs to develop the system to a much greater extent than they have today,” he added.
Likewise, in areas such as Qatar, which surveyors have identified as a top investment opportunity, the situation is much worse. “It’s significantly behind Dubai,” said Cotton. Until the legal systems are improved in developing markets, more cautious investors will stay away.
But caution inside the Palais did not dampen the spirits of those discussing deals. Lawyers were out in force, grabbing any business development opportunities that came along.
All in all, there was much to suggest that the sun is really shining on the real estate world – just as it was in Cannes.