Corrado Rampini
Office:
Brandschenkestrasse 90
8027
City:
Zurich
State:
Zurich
Country:
Switzerland
Tel:
+41 58 261 52 83
Fax:
+41 58 263 52 83

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Switzerland

Corrado Rampini has broad experience in M&A and capital market transactions as well as in regulatory and general corporate matters. He specialises in real estate transactions of all types, including asset deals and large-scale portfolio transactions, acquisitions of real estate companies, capital market transactions of listed real estate companies as well as in the financing of real estate portfolios. Privacy and data protection questions also belong to his expert areas.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER AS A REAL ESTATE LAWYER?

I started my career over 20 years ago as M&A and capital markets lawyer with no particular industry focus. In the early 2000s, when foreign investors were entering the Swiss real estate market, I quickly took responsibility for these transactions at Bär & Karrer and developed our real estate practice. Foreign investors have significantly changed the market and introduced standard M&A practices for real estate transactions that were not previously common in Switzerland.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING ON REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS?

The beauty of real estate is that it is so visible and tangible; you can touch or walk through the asset that you are about to buy or sell for a client. Whenever possible, due to time and other factors, I want to visit the property and enjoy doing so. You can’t fully understand a property until you have seen it with your own eyes. I believe that this is what distinguishes us most from other transactional lawyers: We want to understand the asset and advise beyond just legal matters.

HOW HAS THE SWISS REAL ESTATE MARKET EVOLVED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED PRACTISING?

The Swiss real estate market has experienced an enormous professionalisation in the past 15 years. When I started my career, the market was still governed by traditional local players, small brokers and notaries. Agreements were short, often without any representations and warranties. Even doing a due diligence was not common at the time. Foreign investors that entered the market in the early 2000s introduced standard M&A practices. Nowadays, the market is much more professional, transparent and open to international investors. We have more and larger players in the market, good professional advisers and strong local and international brokers.

WHICH AREAS HAVE BEEN MOST ACTIVE IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET OVER THE PAST YEAR?

Our practice is based on three pillars: transactions, corporate real estate and real estate advisory. In advisory, we have advised a lot on Lex Koller, the law restricting the acquisition of non-commercial real estate by foreigners, and on other regulatory matters. In corporate real estate, where we assist international corporations in their real estate needs in Switzerland, we have had quite a considerable number of lease surrenders and sub-leases in the retail sector, besides the usual new leases, extensions and tenant fittings. In transactions, with yields being lower and lower, more clients are focusing on development projects that still yield higher returns. We thus have had many acquisitions of development projects where the clients acquired the land and a project at different stages of development. 

WHAT IS CURRENTLY THE GREATEST CHALLENGE FACING REAL ESTATE LAWYERS IN SWITZERLAND?

Over the past 15 years, the market has gone in one direction only: upwards. Now we might finally be coming to a turning point. There is a lot of uncertainty about when that will happen and what the effects might be. Some properties may become difficult to sell. We will certainly have to deal again with transactions that last longer or do not complete, and eventually also with transactions in distressed or workout situations. When that will come depends to a great extent on what the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank will do with interest rates. 

WHAT IMPACT DO YOU SEE A RISE IN INTEREST RATES HAVING ON THE SIZE AND NUMBER OF REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS IN SWITZERLAND?

The Swiss real estate market has been hugely driven by the low interest rates. In the search for yield, even non-prime properties achieved top prices. A rise in interest rates will certainly have a moderating effect on prices, but the robust growths we are experiencing these days in Switzerland may moderate this effect. Higher interest rates may also lead to new opportunities, mainly through investors adjusting their asset allocation. 

HOW DO YOU SEE THE PRACTICE OF REAL ESTATE LAW DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

Despite the uncertain prospects of the market, I am convinced that our practice in real estate will continue to grow. Not only because of new opportunities in a changing market, but also because Swiss and international institutional investors are subject to stricter compliance, which increases their need for legal support.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?

Oh, it is difficult to pick one. I had many exceptional transactions during my career and am always proud and happy when we can help a client in a particularly difficult situation. So, it is rather the number of transactions, the number and quality of clients that rely on our services, and the stability of the practice that I would mention. 

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Construction & Real Estate

Corrado Rampini heads the real estate department of Bär & Karrer. He has broad experience in M&A and capital market transactions but specialises in real estate transactions of all types, including asset deals and large-scale portfolio transactions, acquisitions of real estate companies and IPOs and other capital market transactions of listed real estate companies. He also assists lenders and borrowers in financings of real estate portfolios, enforcements and restructurings of defaulting borrowers in the real estate sector.

Corrado Rampini's clients include institutional investors such as listed real estate companies, investment funds, insurance companies, pension funds, but also privately held real estate companies and Swiss and foreign private investors. He is particularly recognised for this expertise in Lex Koller, the law restricting the acquisition of residential properties by foreigners. With his team, Corrado Rampini is active in all language regions of Switzerland.

Beyond M&A and real estate, Corrado Rampini is also considered an expert in data protection and privacy law.

Corrado Rampini holds a Dr iur from the University of St Gallen and a LLM from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). He is a member of the Zurich as well as the Swiss Bar Association. Corrado Rampini has been partner of Bär & Karrer since 2005. He speaks German, English, French and Italian.

Who's Who Legal listed him as a Thought Leader for Real Estate in Switzerland in 2018. He was awarded "Laywer of the Year 2016" for real estate in Switzerland's German speaking area by Best Lawyers and has been recognised as a leading lawyer in real estate by Chambers and Partners Europe, The Legal 500 and Who's Who Legal for many years.

Bär & Karrer is a renowned Swiss law firm with more than 150 lawyers in Zurich, Geneva, Lugano and Zug. Its core business is advising clients on innovative and complex transactions and representing them in litigation, arbitration and regulatory proceedings. The firm's clients range from multinational corporations to private individuals in Switzerland and around the world.

Bär & Karrer has been repeatedly awarded Switzerland's "Law Firm of the Year" by the most prestigious international legal ranking agencies.

WWL says: Corrado Rampini is an elite name in the Swiss real estate market who earns special praise from interviewees for his work across the full spectrum of transactional matters.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Switzerland which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Real Estate

Corrado Rampini heads the real estate department of Bär & Karrer. He has broad experience in M&A and capital market transactions but specialises in real estate transactions of all types, including asset deals and large-scale portfolio transactions, acquisitions of real estate companies and IPOs and other capital market transactions of listed real estate companies. He also assists lenders and borrowers in financings of real estate portfolios, enforcements and restructurings of defaulting borrowers in the real estate sector.

Corrado Rampini’s clients include institutional investors such as listed real estate companies, investment funds, insurance companies, pension funds, but also privately held real estate companies and Swiss and foreign private investors. He is particularly recognised for this expertise in Lex Koller, the law restricting the acquisition of residential properties by foreigners. With his team, Corrado Rampini is active in all language regions of Switzerland.

Beyond M&A and real estate, Corrado Rampini is also considered an expert in data protection and privacy law.

Corrado Rampini holds a Dr iur from the University of St Gallen and a LLM from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). He is a member of the Zurich as well as the Swiss Bar Association. Corrado Rampini has been partner of Bär & Karrer since 2005. He speaks German, English, French and Italian.

WWL says: Corrado Rampini wins praise for his “broad focus in real estate matters”. He brings his extensive M&A experience to bear on complex transactions in the sector and also possesses notable financing expertise.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Real Estate which can be purchased from our Shop.

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