Canadian Lawyer

August 2019

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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www.canadianlawyermag.com 55 COMMERCIAL REAL estate lawyers are seeing a growing business in international property purchases as large investors exhaust their domestic interests and look further afield in a world that is becoming increas- ingly smaller. Thomas von Hahn, a partner at Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto, points to an increasing trend with Canadian pension funds investing in property in Europe and North America, as well as Asia. While funds have been increasing their focus in property 'Dirt' lawyers plough international property deals As real estate investors go global, Canadian lawyers must help them navigate a whole new set of legal and business issues FEATURE REAL ESTATE investment, often creating real estate sections to oversee their management, they've been looking further afield more recently. In fact, during the first four months of 2019, Blakes has seen more real estate action involving pension funds than ever before, says von Hahn. "It used to be that a real estate lawyer was only interested in the province of Ontario or maybe even only the city of Toronto because that was a very local practice. What we've developed into are international practi- tioners," says von Hahn, adding that he now goes to at least six international conferences per year to watch out for trends and oppor- tunities. "Also, the importance of networking internationally has never been as important for a little dirt lawyer as it is today." The Canadian lawyer's role is helping to develop the relationships between the client and the international players, including finding legal representation in that market and ensuring the client's best interests and their requirements are maintained in those

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