Cuatrecasas joins Clifford´s team in order to valuate Sareb.

Cuatrecasas has joined the legal team of the group lead by Clifford Chance in order to analyze the properties of the bad bank (Sareb). This will be the biggest real estate valuation operation in Spain.

Two weeks ago, Sareb awarded the project to a consortium lead by Clifford Chance, also joined by the real estate company CB RIchard Ellis (now CBRE), the auditing company KPMG and the technological company IBM. The winning proposal also included five law firms: Gómez-Acebo & Pombo, Pérez Llorca, Ramón y Cajal, Deloitte Abogados and Broseta.

In the tender, Sareb established that each consortium had to be led by a law firm. Clifford Chance competed with Cuatrecasas, Garrigues, Uría and Freshfield, who had also formed their teams in order to gain the valuation project.

Finally, Sareb chose the proposal lead by Clifford Chance, one of the most conciliatory ones as it included thirteen companies, as Gesvalt, Savills, Knight Frank and Cushman Wakefield were also a part of the team, coordinated by CB Richard Ellis.

Before the decision taken by Sareb was known, the law firm had already agreed with its team that it would invite its rivals to join the group if they won. As confirmed to Expansion, only Cuatrecasas has accepted the invitation.

Clifford´s proposal left the door open for new collaborators, even though it is the law firm who would be held responsible by Sareb if any of its partners did not comply with the agreement, as the bad bank prefers to have a sole conversational partner. Nevertheless, the decisions on who ends up being a member of the team and who doesn´t are taken in agreement by all law firms included in the original proposal.

Currently, around 300 lawyers work full time on the legal side of the valuation of around 190.000 properties included in Sareb´s portfolio, which needs to be finished by the end of June. The team lead by Clifford should hand in a first analysis of 1500 assets, which are around 40% of the total value of the portfolio of Sareb.

With such a tight timeframe, the entry of new members is a reality which cannot be dismissed by the team.

After the awarding, several law firms have volunteered to be a part of the team. Although new admissions are not dismissed, only the leaders of the competing teams have been invited based on their knowledge of the operation. Cuatrecasas was the legal firm that designed and  and advised in the constitution of Sareb, as well as in the transfer of assets, valued at more than 40.000 million Euros.

The total value of the portfolio of the bad bank could exceed 55.000 million Euros from the nationalized institutions, although the official figure will not be known until the valuation process concludes.

The problem is that all law firms are working against the clock in order to comply with the calendar established by Sareb in a context with great difficulties: the assets came from eight institutions and they are scattered all throughout Spain.

(…) Not all institutions have followed the same criteria when providing the information. All documents are not even digitalized. The great advantage of Clifford´s proposal is that the 14 participating firms cover the whole territory, the law firms and the valuation companies, which are the ones who will need to visit each property.

Source: Expansión