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Portrait ofBruno Duquesne

Bruno Duquesne

Partner

CMS DeBacker
Chaussée de La Hulpe 178
1170 Brussels
Belgium
Languages French, Dutch, English

Bruno advises both domestic and foreign clients on all aspects of property transactions, including deal structuring, due diligence, drafting and negotiating sale and purchase of properties and real estate companies, joint venture development and credit facility documentation. 

He also has extensive experience with cross-border deals and is able to coordinate and monitor transactions involving several jurisdictions. 

Bruno joined the Belgian Bar in 1989. He started his career at a major Belgian law firm in the Corporate & Finance practice group where he participated in various transactions. He then joined the Belgian law firm that ultimately became the Belgian member of CMS where he gradually specialized in Corporate Real Estate.  

He holds a law degree from the University of Louvain and an LL.M. in Comparative Law Studies from Georgetown University Law Center. 

He is fluent in French, Dutch and English. 

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"Bruno Duquesne provides excellent advice."

Real Estate client, Chambers Europe, 2024

"We are big fans of Bruno Duquesne."

Real Estate client, Chambers Europe, 2024

"Bruno Duquesne is always a pleasure to work with."

Chambers Europe, 2023

"The two partners involved in the deal, Benoit Vandervelde and Bruno Duquesne, did well in summarizing main issues without getting lost in details that are not that important for banks. Despite us being new in the deal, they gave the same attention and weight to our concerns as the remaining incumbent lender, which is not evident, and put time pressure on client and his counsel at the correct moments. I had the feeling they did everything they could to represent us well and maximized their attention on the file"

Feedback from a client - Legal 500, 2023

"Bruno Duquesne is impressive and consistently delivers high-quality commercial advice."

Feedback from a client - Chambers Europe, 2022

"helpful and reliable"

Feedback from a client - Chambers Europe, 2022

Relevant experience

  • Acting for a German investment fund on the sale of various properties in Brussels
  • Regularly acting for various domestic and foreign financial institutions in their lending operations in Belgium relating to acquisition of real estate
  • Acting for several French real estate groups in their plans for developing shopping centres in Belgium
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Publications

  • B. DUQUESNE & L. DE CRANE, “La scission de société et les conventions d’occupation”, in JurimPratique, 2021/1-2, 273-288.  
  • B. DUQUESNE, « Le bail commercial de courte durée arrive enfin à Bruxelles », in L’Echo, 15/05/2019.  
  • B. DUQUESNE, « Quel bilan 5 ans après la régionalisation des baux ? », in L’Echo, 18/04/2019.  
  • B. DUQUESNE, "Property finance: what the coming year?", in Belgian Real Estate Showcase, 2011 
  • B. DUQUESNE, "Belgian Real Estate Certificates: rediscovering an ancestor", in Belgian Real Estate Showcase, 2010 
  • B. DUQUESNE, "Le club deal, comme soupape à la crise ?", in L’Echo, 20/05/2010. 
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Education

  • 1989 - Bar admission (Brussels, Belgium)  
  • 1987 - Georgetown University Law Centre - USA (LL.M.) 
  • 1986 - University of Louvain, UCLouvain - Belgium (Law Degree) 
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18/12/2017
10 questions about the new Belgian security interests regime
The reform of the legal framework of security interests over movable assets was seen as long overdue. The transition from the previous system, based on the dispossession of the pledged assets, to a new...
04/10/2016
CMS European Real Estate Deal Point Study 2016
2015 was another record year, with the deal value of the European investment market reaching an unprecedented high of almost EUR 250bn. Highest growth was in Germany, where deal values were almost EUR...

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17/05/2024
Real estate finance law in Belgium
A. Mortgages 1. Can security be granted to a foreign lender? Yes. 2. Can lenders take a mortgage over land and buildings on the land? Yes. 2.1 The distinction between mortgages on land and buildings...
15/03/2024
CMS Real Estate Data Centre Consenting in Belgium
1. Do you have to enter into a form of agreement with the local au­thor­ity/mu­ni­cip­al­ity when applying for consent for a data centre in your jurisdiction? The construction of a data centre requires a permit...
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12/03/2024
CMS advised AG Real Estate and Atenor in connection with a EUR 88 million...
CMS advised AG Real Estate and Atenor in securing EUR 88 million in project financing for the NOR Bruxsels project. The cutting-edge, sustainable, mixed-use redevelopment project around the North Station...
03/05/2023
Real estate transaction costs and taxes in Belgium
1. Due diligence costs for the purchase of real estate 1.1 Municipal search Cost EUR 250 VAT Nil 1.2 Utility search (each service) Cost N/A VAT Nil 1.3 Land registry search (per search) Cost EUR...
28/10/2022
CMS Real Estate Global Brochure
Globalisation, political turbulence, changes in urban living patterns, increased digitisation, shifting consumer behaviour and flexible working are just some of the issues that are transforming the demands...
07/10/2022
CMS Belgium assisted the lenders in the acquisition of the Brussels office...
CMS Belgium advised the lenders on the acquisition of the Egmont office complex in Brussels by Union Bancaire Privée (UBP, Geneva) from its Korean owners. Egmont is located in the heart of Brussels and...
08/07/2022
CMS advised Investcorp on their acquisition and financing of two office...
CMS advised the alternative investment firm Investcorp on their acquisition and financing of two office buildings in Belgium, Avenue de la Porte de Hal 27, occupied by the Flemish government, and Avenue...
13/07/2021
Cutting-edge Real Estate in Belgium
Globalisation, political turbulence, changes in urban living patterns, increased digitisation, shifting consumer behaviour and flexible working are just some of the issues that are transforming the demands...
12/07/2021
Webinar: Real Estate & Insolvency
Although the economy seems to recover quickly, the real estate planet is and will continue to be facing challenging times. The end of the protection and support measures put in place by our governments...
19/04/2021
CMS European Real Estate Deal Point Study 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on the European investment market. Investment volumes were around 23% lower than in the previous year, 2019, with its record performance. Buyers focused primarily on properties with stable income and those only minimally affected by the pandemic. The number of transactions in which steps were taken to ensure the buyer met its financial obligations was at a record high. The trend towards more buyer-friendly arrangements continued. Those are the key findings of the CMS European Real Estate Deal Point Study 2021. For the latest edition of this survey of the European real estate transaction market, international commercial law firm CMS systematically assessed and evaluated more than 1,900 real estate agreements on which it advised in countries across Europe from the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2020. The key find­ings:In­vestors focus on stable incomeThe COVID-19 pandemic led to a change in investor interest in the individual asset classes. Buyers focused primarily on properties with stable income and those that were only minimally affected by the pandemic. Logistics and residential properties were especially popular. Office real estate remained the strongest asset class in Europe, but its share of the market fell to a record low of 30%. Demand for retail properties remained at a consistently low level (15%). Logistics real estate performed particularly well, posting a rise to 19% , a new record. The proportion of investment going into specialist properties such as hotels fell significantly (14%). Residential real estate proved popular with investors, with its share rising to 22%. Sellers taking steps to ensure that buyers meet their financial ob­lig­a­tionsDur­ing the pandemic, an increased need for security on the part of sellers was apparent. The proportion of transactions in which steps were taken to ensure the buyer met its financial obligations rose to a record high of 64%. In previous years, security was agreed in less than 50% of all transactions. This high level is due to the increased desire for security on the part of sellers as a result of the pandemic; they were often uncertain about the buyer’s solvency going forward. As a means of providing security, both bank guarantees (17%) and a notary’s escrow account (10%) became less popular. In many cases, in contrast, the buyer made an advance payment (29%). In 9% of transactions, use was made of submission to immediate enforcement. Risk allocation in contracts: buyers catching up in a seller-friendly marketBuyers were able to strengthen their position further in 2020 with regard to risk allocation in contracts. In a market environment that remained very seller-friendly, they succeeded in obtaining favourable contract terms more often than in previous years. As part of the warranty, guarantees were again agreed more often in favour of buyers. The percentage of agreements with individual liability provisions increased to 75%. It was common practice to provide for both subjective and objective guarantees. The proportion of deals with seller-friendly limits on liability, such as de minimis and basket clauses and caps, dropped slightly below the prior-year level in 2020. The upward trend seen over many years in agreements aimed at limiting liability has thus been curbed somewhat, while buyers were able to negotiate more favourable contract terms more often than before. Buyers also prepared ground with regard to the contractual provisions on limitation periods. An increasing number of limitation periods from 18 to 24 months were agreed in 2020, while there was a slight fall in the proportion of short limitation periods of up to 18 months. National investors more prom­in­entIn­t­er­na­tion­al investors had a tough time in 2020. While international sellers have been responsible for the majority of deals since 2017, their percentage dropped back down to 43% in 2020, with national investors becoming more active. National investors accounted for 48% of deals in 2018, while in 2020, 57% of real estate investments were made by national investors.
16/04/2021
Belgium
Recent work highlights Planning and environmental Klépierre | Assisting Klépierre on various aspects of their shopping mall in Louv­ain-la-Neuve, including its extension. AG Real Estate | Advising on various planning related matters in relation with ongoing construction and refurbishment projects in the retail/office and housing segments. Plastic Omnium | Advice in the context of the development of a research center in Brussels including planning and environmental advice. Construction and development Unibail Rodamco | Advising Unibail Rodamco and the winning consortium on the €550m redevelopment of the Heysel site (Project NEO) as a mixed use project comprising a shopping mall, 590 housing units, two day nurseries, 3,500m² of­fices, a retirement home, 112,000m² ded­ic­ated to indoor and outdoor leisure and 30 restaurants. Pharma Belgium | Assisting Pharma Belgium in their recent expansion plans in Belgium and the establishment of new logistic and warehouse centers both in the Walloon and the Flemish regions. NH Hotels | Advising NH Hotels on the sale of a hotel located in Ghent. This building has been sold to private developer Promiris that shall redevelop the building in the coming next months. Castleforge | Assisting private real estate investment firm Castleforge Partners (and its Belgian asset/property manager Phicap) in the drafting and negotiation of the construction agreement (architect, contractor, engineer, etc.) relating to two office buildings, in Brussels CBD and the center of Antwerp. Eiffage Dévelop­pe­ment | Advising Eiffage Développement in connection with a long-term occupation agreement to be proposed to possible tenants of a brand new office development in the Brussels vicinity. Investment and disposal Coca Cola | Assisting Investcorp on the acquisition of the Brussels Headquarters of Coca-Cola in the context of a sale and leaseback transaction. The acquisition was financed by Helaba. The transaction was structured in a fairly complex manner with Luxembourg intermediate holding and financing structures. Seven | Advising HSBC on the acquisition of “Immo-Jac­q­main”, a Belgian SPV that owns an office building located at 7 Boulevard Albert II in Brussels from two Flem­ish­developers, Baltisse and Downtown.M&G Real Estate | Advising M&G in the management of their Belgian portfolio including acquisition and disposal of office buildings in Brussels CBD. Leoville Properties | Assisting Leoville Properties SCA through numerous share deals acquisitions, with retail properties essentially located in high-street in Brussels, Antwerpen and Gent. Leoville is a Belgian retail investment fund, specialized in long term capital development. HNW individuals led by HSBC Private Bank in Luxembourg | The transaction involved the acquisition of “Immo-Jac­q­main”, a Belgian SPV that owns an office building located at 7 Boulevard Albert II in Brussels from two Flemish developers, Baltisse and Downtown. The building is let a.o. to Fosbury & Sons, Luminus and the Flemish Government. Managers and occupiers Logicor | Advising Logicor, a European leading warehouse and logistics company, in all tax and legal matters relating to their logistic properties across Belgium. DSV | Advising DSV on the sale and leaseback of logistics units in Flanders. Aroundtown | Advising Aroundtown in the context of the rebranding (from private white label to major international brand) of the President Hotel in Brussels North. This included reviewing the Franchise Agreement, Property Owner Agreement, Lease Agreement, Guarantee agreement, etc. Standard International | Acting for the American hotel operator Standard International in the negotiation of a long-term hotel management agreement with a view to operate a brand-new 5 stars hotel currently under development in old iconic Brussels towers being entirely refurbished. Immowal | Assisting Immowal (Administrative arm of the Walloon government), in the open bit process for the choice of a 15.000 m2 office building to be taken into occupation for a 20 year period. Pierre & Vacances | Advising French group Pierre & Vacances on a large range of real estate matters in relation with their 3 large leisure parcs based in Belgium as well as their apart hotel properties located in CBD. Ennismore Hotel Hoxton | Acting for the London based hotel operator Ennismore in the negotiation of a long-term hotel management agreement to operate a brand-new 5 stars hotel under the brand “Hoxton” in Brussels central district. Financing Aareal Bank of Germany | Advising long standing client Aareal Bank of Germany in connection with the refinancing of the acquisition of the ”Mondrian”, an iconic office building located at Rue du Champ de Mars in Brussels. The building is owned by Fondo Cicerone, asset managed by CBRE Global Investors and occupied by the EC under a usufruct contract. NH Hotels | Advising NH Hotels on various transactions, including their acquisition of a 20+ years lease of two Brussels hotels totalling more than 500 rooms from hotel investment fund Pandox, the renegotiation of their emphytiotic lease on a major hotel in Brussels owned by WestInvest and on the development of a new 180 rooms hotel in Antwerp. 
04/01/2021
Law and regulation of Covid-19 loan moratoriums in Belgium
1. Description of the legislation 1.1 Is there a moratorium on loans legislation implemented in your jurisdiction? Yes. 1.2 If no: Are there any ongoing discussions regarding a potential introduction...
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