Mercuris Legal

We will assist you and represent your interests as property owners or residents, contractors or architects, local authorities or associations

Land and real estate law, (co-)ownership, leases

Land and real estate ownership is guaranteed in Switzerland, but it is strictly regulated: depending on whether you are a Swiss or foreign national, whether or not the asset you wish to acquire, retain or dispose is to be used as your principal or secondary residence or for running your business and whether is agricultural or not, you will face numerous and often complex rules, but practical solutions do exist and we will work with you to find them.

Property owners, usufructuaries, holders of building rights and tenants will almost always have neighbours and will sometimes co-own property, as well as often being indebted to a third party (mortgage loan, lease, municipal tax). We will help to maintain and protect both your personal interests, for example in the case of neighbourhood disturbances or consolidation of smallholdings, and your financial interests, with regard to the level of condominium expenses, mortgage interest, rent and market value for the purposes of tax and fire.

Management of construction work, subcontracting, public procurement

From filing the plans to the launch of the public enquiry, award of a contract, execution of the work, often by subcontractors, dealing with any statutory charges or increasingly frequent guarantees in relation to due performance, up to the grant of the habitation licence, the preparation, opening and management of a public or private construction site raise multiple, very specific legal issues which require a clear response and swift action, sometimes before the courts, and most frequently with authorities and contractual partners.

There are several stakeholders in a real estate project: architect or surveyor, project owner (work’s customer), principal contractor or subcontractor, bidder or tenderer. We will assist you in advance with a view to mitigating the risk which is always inherent in late and/or defective performance by a stakeholder, notably by drafting the contracts. We will support you after the event in seeking compensation for any unavoidable losses, notably through debt recovery proceedings.

Spatial planning, building and environmental policy

Clients seek our assistance when underlying trends, such as the increasing shortage of available accommodation and building land, housing densification and more stringent town planning requirements as well as the urgency of dealing with climate change, energy requirements and biodiversity loss translate into new regulations (resizing of the building zone, use of renewable energy) and different administrative practices – every time these regulations and practices evolve or are revised.

The issues you might be confronted with can be classification in a reserved zone or a State or municipal right to purchase, or refusal of planning permission or constrained by a district plan. Conversely, you might have concerns about a building or town planning project. We are aware of the significant impact of such issues and take robust steps in all cases to ensure that your interests are protected.