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Agricultural Sector

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The agricultural sector is constantly changing. Sustainable agriculture and concern for animal welfare make new demands on the balance between environment and economy. Farms face new rules on size ("factory farming"), manure processing and rural homes. Furthermore, entitlements and lease prices affect the business. Lease and expropriation laws are also constantly developing and farms and municipalities can face lengthy negotiations on the conditions under which the redevelopment of rural areas can take place. A large number of cases that influence the development and production in the agricultural sector.

The over 60,000 companies engaged in the sector, but also government agencies, land agents, manufacturers of agricultural machinery and individuals active in agriculture, may therefore encounter various legal questions. These may be issues in the field of private law, such as lease, contract law, liability and expropriation, as in the field of public law in relation to increasing legal prescriptions and permits. Moreover, specific tax regulations apply to the agricultural sector.

Therefore, CMS has a specialist team for the agricultural sector consisting of lawyers and tax consultants who specialise in the various areas of law affecting the sector and who have an affinity with the rural area.

The team advises and assists clients in litigation on topics including:

  • land use (ownership, ground lease, tenancy, land reparcelling)
  • contract law
  • expropriation law
  • (government) liability
  • business succession
  • law of succession
  • livestock improvement
  • planning and development
  • permits
  • subsidies
  • nature conservation law
  • environmental law
  • production quotas
  • tax law

The specialist team also act as arbitrators and organise regular seminars for clients to keep them informed on current developments in the agricultural sector.

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.
16/04/2019
CMS Soil and Ground­wa­ter Con­tam­in­a­tion Guide
From the 1970s on­wards, soil and ground­wa­ter con­tam­in­a­tion has be­come an in­creas­ingly im­port­ant reg­u­lat­ory is­sue. However, there are still no uni­form reg­u­la­tions. Nu­mer­ous sets of rules have been de­veloped...
25/08/2021
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...