The Lawyer publishes Yolanda Lobao’s opinion in its March issue.
“A deeper knowledge on financing transactions, AI technology and the impact of globalisation are required nowadays for a real estate lawyer,” says Yolanda Lobao, a partner at ECIJA.
Clients in recent years have called for a greater knowledge of the various industries in which each one operates (shopping centres, hotels, student housing, logistics or residential) and of their market practices. They also demand special agility in transactions, not only in risk assessment but also in completion of the transcation itself. There is less room for in-depth legal discussion; descision making requires immediacy and co-operation.
Technology will drive future growth
Lobao’s firm ECIJA has a focus on IP, technology, media and telecommunications, and as such she sees that one of the big trends for the Spanish real estate market will be the implementation of blockchain and smart contracts. The first time cryptocurrencies were used in a real estate transaction in Spain was in 2018, but there were some issues. Blockchain’s validation technology would also imply elimination of all intermediaries and save a considerable amount of money and time for investors; however given the lack of existence of a human component in certain transactions such as the purchase of a main home, blockchain’s implementation market-wide is uncertain, at least in the short term, she explains.
“Executing rental and purchase contracts with smart contracts will be possible via blockchain; however the technology is not fully ready as it has regulatory implications not resolved yet such as the compliance with data protection laws,”she adds.