The client guide covers the costs of due diligence before contract and the costs of contract and registering title, including notary fees on the Continent and lawyers' fees based on CMS rates.
The guide reveals a widely differing approach to legal fees from one jurisdiction to the next. In Austria, for example, legal fees usually cost from 1-3 per cent of the purchase price, plus 20 per cent VAT, while in France clients are billed according to the time taken and face VAT of 19.6 per cent on legal fees.
In Switzerland, CMS lawyers' rates per hour range from o175 (£109) to o400 (£248). But partner Charles Romney said: “In most cases you agree some sort of scale with the client.”
The CMS guide covers the 12 European jurisdictions in which the alliance is represented.
Romney, who is responsible for integrating CMS real estate practices across the alliance, said: “Many, many investors are looking for properties to invest in, and obviously they compare values and yields and the legal differences in each jurisdiction; but one wonders how often they take account of the actual costs of doing the deal.
“Europe is all about comparison and this adds to the amount of comparison that's available. There have been certain comparisons of tax costs before, but I'm not aware of comparisons of professional fees.”
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