Hogan Lovells advised on the first ever blockchain technology-based transaction in the Polish office market

In August 2018, the Polish startup, ShareSpace, carried out the first ever blockchain technology-based transaction in the Polish office market. ShareSpace provides tenants with innovative management technological solutions in relation to the co-working office leasing process, as well as also providing speedy access and servicing.

The parties involved were Business Link (the Landlord), and Ricoh (the Tenant). Business Link is the largest co-working spaces operator in Poland offering access to the business startup and corporations community. Ricoh is a company which offers many differing products and services including office and production printing devices.

The innovative solution based on blockchain technology was implemented in order to ensure the safety of the lease transactions, the indisputability of the commercial and legal conditions, as well as the reduction of agency and consultation costs. The access, verification, and validation of the documents and commercial arrangements took place through a decentralized platform which significantly reduced the time of the negotiations while simultaneously maintaining the security guarantees of the online process even with multiple entities engaged. The agreement template was also developed based on blockchain technology.

The Hogan Lovells Warsaw office provided comprehensive legal consulting services from the first stage of the transaction to its finalization. The team of Hogan Lovells lawyers was responsible for the implementation of the project in accordance with the legal regulations in force, as well as for preparing a flexible, new generation contract which, in combination with the ShareSpace technology, could be applied to both large and small area transactions. The team consisted of:

  • Corporate and M&A Practice: advocate Marek Wroniak (Partner), legal advisors Tomasz Grygorczuk (Counsel), and Tomasz Pietrzak (Associate),
  • Tax Practice: legal advisor Andrzej Dębiec (Partner), and trainee advocate Jan Starybrat (Lawyer),
  • Intellectual Property, Media and New Technology Practice: legal advisor Ewa Kacperek (Counsel),
  • Real Estate Practice: trainee legal advisor Adam Nowosielski (Lawyer).

The company Cushman & Wakefield provided a business-market analysis and maintenance of the highest standards of commercial real estate leasing. Atende S.A provided test scenarios and test applications verifying the blockchain transaction's compliance with the functional requirements. The System Research Institute (Polish Academy of Sciences) oversaw the project.

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