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Thought Leader

WWL says

Sources would “definitely recommend” Wolfgang Müller, who is revered for his “outstanding” ability on real estate transactions.

Questions & Answers

Wolfgang Müller is a partner at Meyerlustenberger Lachenal and heads the real estate team. His practice focuses on real estate, in particular real estate M&A, and capital markets. Wolfgang Müller is, among others, recommended by Chambers and Partners and The Legal500 and he is listed by The Legal500 as a “leading individual” for real estate and construction in Switzerland.

What inspired you to pursue a legal career? 

The fascination of big transactions – the opportunity to shape deals as a corporate lawyer.

What do you enjoy most about your role as head of the firm’s real estate team? 

The contact with interesting individuals, the diversity of tasks and the variety of opportunities.

How has the real estate transactional market developed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic? 

In contrast to other jurisdictions, transactions continued to close in Switzerland even during the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, some transactions have been postponed. Since Swiss institutional investors have not adjusted their targets for 2020 in terms of acquisitions and sales of properties, we are looking forward to, and are ready for, a busy autumn.

How has covid-19 impacted commercial tenants in the Swiss market, and the type of work you have received from them? 

We experienced high demand for advice in covid-19 driven topics relating to commercial leases, both from landlords and tenants. Obviously, an ambiguous legal situation is good for the lawyers’ business.

For example, institutional investors had to assess in their asset management activities whether they wanted to approach their retail shop tenants with an offer regarding rent reduction and/or extension of payment deadlines and how they wanted to structure such offer, taking into account legal, economic and reputational arguments. They had to consider how to deal with outstanding rents in order to best preserve their legal position, however, based on a realistic assessment of the economic facts and the overall situation. We supported them in preparing their offers.

To what extent do you think covid-19 will affect the future of office-related real estate? 

Big Swiss companies such as ABB, Nestle or Swisscom are considering carrying the home office trend into the future which will reduce the need for office space. While Germany’s Bain & Company managing partner stated in June 2020 that the future demand for office space will decline by 20% to 30% in Germany, Credit Suisse expects in its Real Estate Monitor Q2 2020 that service companies will reduce their office space by 7% and industrial companies by 3.6%. It is thus well possible that coronavirus will develop into a game changer for office-related real estate, including the reduction of rents and pressure on office building prices.

What has been your most memorable case to date and why? 

For a period of several years I had the chance to advise a Swiss-based client regarding its M&A activities in the USA and Asia, in particular China and Taiwan – obviously a very unusual assignment for a Swiss lawyer who is usually bound to Swiss law. The assignment included the management of local law firms and the preparation of a special assessment of the target and the transaction for the benefit of the CEO. It was nice to experience that with common sense considerations it is possible to come to valuable conclusions even in an unknown environment.

In your opinion, where does the future of the real estate sector lie? 

Land is a limited resource – the future is bright.

What advice would you give to younger lawyers looking to specialise in real estate law? 

Ride the proptech wave and put an emphasis on tax law.

Global Leader

Real Estate 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Wolfgang Müller is widely regarded as a leading light in the Swiss market and excels in advising private equity investors and financial institutions on real estate developments. 

Biography

Wolfgang Müller heads MLL’s real estate team. He has been a partner since 2004, having joined the company in 1997 after successfully completing his MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney, Australia, and the University of Michigan Business School in Ann Arbor, USA.

The practice of Wolfgang Müller focuses on real estate, in particular real estate M&A, and capital markets. MLL offers the full range of services relating to real estate and provides comprehensive advice at all stages, from acquisition to the sale of properties and from planning to the construction (project development) and use of buildings and properties. Particular strengths include: advising non-Swiss investors in the acquisition and development of Swiss properties (including the structuring of real estate transactions (legal and tax), the use of vehicles based on the Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes, German investment law issues, advising on Lex Koller and zoning law issues, and performing complex due diligence relating to, among other things, rental agreements and servitudes); advising investors, landlords and tenants regarding rental agreements, including court representation; and knowing the real estate business first hand, with experience gained from board positions held in major real estate companies and their subsidiaries such as Allreal Holding AG.

MLL is one of Switzerland’s leading business law firms with a legal staff of more than 100 professionals. With offices in Zurich, Geneva, Zug, and Lausanne, MLL advises domestic and international clients in all areas of business law. The real estate team of MLL comprises eight partners and eight associates.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Wolfgang Müller is an expert in real estate transactions with a wealth of experience advising on high-value property acquisitions.

Biography

Wolfgang Müller heads MLL’s real estate team. He has been a partner since 2004, having joined the company in 1997 after successfully completing his MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management in Sydney, Australia, and the University of Michigan Business School in Ann Arbor, USA.

The practice of Wolfgang Müller focuses on real estate, in particular real estate M&A, and capital markets. MLL offers the full range of services relating to real estate and provides comprehensive advice at all stages, from acquisition to the sale of properties and from planning to the construction (project development) and use of buildings and properties. Particular strengths include: advising non-Swiss investors in the acquisition and development of Swiss properties (including the structuring of real estate transactions (legal and tax), the use of vehicles based on the Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes, German investment law issues, advising on Lex Koller and zoning law issues, and performing complex due diligence relating to, among other things, rental agreements and servitudes); advising investors, landlords and tenants regarding rental agreements, including court representation; and knowing the real estate business first hand, with experience gained from board positions held in major real estate companies and their subsidiaries such as Allreal Holding AG.

Features by Wolfgang Müller


Switzerland: Construction & Real Estate Review 2019

Switzerland: Construction & Real Estate Review 2019

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