The pandemic has transformed the Czech real estate market. While the residential and logistics real estate markets strengthened, the retail, tourism, and hotel sectors are among the worst affected. However, interest in investing in real estate has not waned as, in uncertain times, the purchase of real estate represents a safe place to park one’s funds and watch them appreciate. There has been no significant decline in property prices, even in the case of commercial real estate, as some investors had anticipated. The Czech market still lacks enough quality investment opportunities. The clear winner of this situation is the logistics segment. Our Prague office assisted in several transactions in the logistics segment, the largest being the purchase of 130 hectares of land intended for warehouse development, at one of the exits of the western D5 motorway. According to some real estate players, we can also expect increased interest in the industrial segment soon, including sale & leaseback transactions.
Thinking about my journey and experiences as an expat lawyer in the Czech Republic, I vividly recall one of the early client meetings I had fresh off the boat in the mid-1990s. A CEE client came to the office with a “suitcase” telephone … an old school plastic telephone with a rotary dial and a long antenna, encased in an MDF “custom telecommunications suitcase” which he proudly lugged onto the desk … (He was also wearing one of those plum-colored shiny polyester suits so beloved by New Europe Entrepreneurs in the 90s). Note to incredulous young lawyers reading this: in those days there were no mobile phones (The horror!).
As the Czech government signed off on the EU “Green Deal”, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050, the Czech Republic needs to find ways to achieve this goal, or at least to get close to it. Even though certain legislative and other supporting measures are currently being undertaken towards transitioning to low carbon energy – changes to the Czech Act on supported sources of energy, state subsidies for the (re)construction of power plants – given its geographical specifics and historical background, nuclear power is likely to play a key role in replacing coal-burning power plants. Under current state policy, construction of new nuclear reactors is to begin shortly. The first new reactors, to be located at the current Dukovany power plant, should begin operations by 2037. The Dukovany project took precedence over the construction of new nuclear blocks at the Temelin power plant, a priority at the beginning of the 21st century.
On October 6, 2021, the Grand Chamber of the of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered its decision in Case C-882/19 Sumal SL v Mercedes Benz Trucks España, clarifying certain issues related to the imputability of anticompetitive conduct within a group of companies and the related private law consequences.