Real estate in Hong Kong

Edmond Chan and Rico Chan lead the team at Baker McKenzie, which recently advised the Hengli Investments Holding Group on the HK$15bn acquisition of Cityplaza Three and Cityplaza Four, two office towers located in residential development Taikoo Shing, from Swire Properties. High-value acquisitions, joint ventures and disposals of hotel and retail assets are prominent in the group's workload, and the team is equally adept at handling complex REIT transactions.

Practice head(s):

Edmond Chan; Rico Chan

Testimonials

The Baker McKenzie team step forward into the client’s viewpoint and ensure clients can pragmatically accomplish the task. They are not only professional, but also dedicated to their client‘.

Key clients

Gaw Capital Partners

Hengli Investments Holding Group

Link REIT

Shui On Land

Spring REIT

TPG Asia Capital

Yuexiu REIT

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Spring REIT against an unsolicited $730m takeover bid by Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG Real Estate, who had sought to acquire a controlling stake in Spring REIT.
  • Advised Link REIT on its HK$12bn disposal of a portfolio of 12 retail properties to a consortium led by Gaw Capital.
  • Assisted Taubman Centers with its $480m sale of 50% of Taubman Asia’s interests in three Asia-based shopping centres to funds managed by Blackstone.

Mayer Brown's department stands out for its 'full range of coverage in real estate law', handling big-ticket development, financing, disposals, transactions, M&A and investment instructions for a client base predominantly made up of prominent private equity firms and property developers. Keith Cheung leads the practice, in which Fun Kuen Au and Robert Lynn are key contacts. Jasmine Chiu was made partner in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Keith Cheung

Other key lawyers:

Fun Kuen Au; Robert Lynn

Key clients

Swire Properties

Airport Authority of Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong

Gaw Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for Swire Properties in the sale of the Cityplaza office towers in residential development Taikoo Shing via the disposal of the entire equity interest in a property-holding entity.
  • Assisted the University of Hong Kong with the HK$423.6m acquisition of a vet clinic.
  • Advising the HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE), an affiliate of the University of Hong Kong, on the HK$324m sale by tender of HKU SPACE’s Kowloon West Campus.

Matthias Feldmann and Dauwood Malik head up the team at Clifford Chance. The group is well known for operating as part of a real estate, gaming and lodging practice, and counts real estate M&A, joint ventures, high-value refinancings and acquisitions among its areas of expertise. Recent work includes advising Kai Tak Sports Park Limited (a consortium made up of New World Development and its subsidiary NWS Holdings) on the successful award of a 25-year contract worth $3.8bn to design and build the Kai Tak Sports Park.

Practice head(s):

Matthias Feldmann; Dauwood Malik

Key clients

HSBC

CK Asset Holdings

Chelsfield Group (Asia)

Kai Tak Sports

Phoenix Property Investors

Work highlights

  • Advised global private markets investment manager Partners Group on the international aspects of its $1.34bn acquisition via a joint venture of Dinghao Electronics Plaza, a mixed-use office and retail complex in Beijing’s technology hub Zhongguancun from Taiwanese developer Sino Horizon Holdings.

Deacons' 'very experienced' and 'efficient' team is well known for advising developer clients on industrial, commercial and residential real estate projects. Conveyancing work is another prominent area of instruction for the group. Practice head Lilian Chiang is 'extremely efficient; excellency is her goal'.

Practice head(s):

Lilian Chiang

Testimonials

They are very efficient in their work, can think from the clients’ perspective and are always prudent and reliable in their advice. Overall, they are a value for money firm and  a firm that you can trust and build a long term partnership with‘.

Key clients

Urban Renewal Authority

MTR Corporation

Wheelock Properties

Jardine Group

Kowloon–Canton Railway Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Urban Renewal Authority with planning the launch of an Integrated Building Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme and a Lift Modernisation Subsidy Scheme to assist owners of properties with building rehabilitation.
  • Advising MTR Corporation on the development of the LOHAS Park residential project.

DLA Piper's real estate practice is perhaps best known for its strength in cross-border transactions. The 'effective' team is highly experienced in advising sponsor and lender clients on all aspects of financing multi-jurisdictional mandates, and counts investment managers, domestic and international real estate funds and widely recognised corporations as clients. Practice head Susheela Rivers is 'great in distilling complex issues and providing workable solutions'. Of counsel Janice Yau Garton is also singled out.

Practice head(s):

Susheela Rivers

Other key lawyers:

Janice Yau Garton

Work highlights

  • Advised an international real estate investment and asset manager on acquiring a 50% stake in a portfolio of logistics assets in China, which are currently owned by a Gaw Capital-managed fund.
  • Assisted a US-based entertainment company on a joint venture concerning the construction of two arenas in Bangkok.
  • Acted for a prominent food and beverages company on acquiring the lease for its first Hong Kong premises.

At King & Wood Mallesons, the Hong Kong real estate team is representing both the Urban Renewal Authority in its capacity as vendor, alongside Union Score Investments, in the HK$1.8bn pre-sale of 300 residential units located in Kowloon, as part of the Kwun Tong Town Centre project. Siu Ngor Chow and Hayden Flinn head the practice, which is also able to draw on bench strength from the firm's Beijing and Shanghai offices. The group also handles REITs, high-value acquisitions and investments, and commercial leasing transactions, particularly for clients in the retail sector.

Practice head(s):

Siu Ngor Chow; Hayden Flinn

Key clients

Asian View Development

Hanison Construction Holdings

Hang Seng Bank

KaiLong Investment Management Hong Kong

Shui On Land

Sino Land Group

UBS Asset Management

Urban Renewal Authority

Yuexiu REIT Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Assisting Manful Global Development with the HK$1.69bn pre-sale of residential units as part of the Solaria housing project located in Pak Shek Kok.
  • Acting for Asian View Development in the pre-sale of residential units of a development in the New Territories.

The real estate team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is 'well known for its expertise in the hospitality industry', particularly in matters involving hotels as an asset class. The group also has experience in joint ventures, acquisitions, disposals, REITs, sale-leasebacks, and land grant matters. Practice head Andrew MacGeoch is 'very candid, sensible and efficient'. Of counsel Ann Ho is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Andrew MacGeoch

Other key lawyers:

Ann Ho

Testimonials

Ann Ho is an excellent conveyancing lawyer for Hong Kong real estate transactions‘.

Work highlights

  • Advised US-based private equity fund Privet Fund Management LLC on all aspects of the sale and leaseback of an industrial site in Taiwan.

David Blumenfeld leads the team at Paul Hastings LLP. The team's recent workload includes assisting asset managers and developers with high-value investments in and acquisitions of real estate portfolios, often with an international flavour. The 'diligent' Paul Guan has extensive expertise in cross-border real estate transactions and fund formation mandates.

Practice head(s):

David Blumenfeld

Other key lawyers:

Paul Guan

Key clients

The Carlyle Group

Goldman Sachs

ARA Asset Management

Evergrande Group

Sigma Delta Partners Investment

Ascent Real Estate Investors

Work highlights

  • Advised Ascent Real Estate Investors (ARE) and Sigma Delta Partners Investment on forming an institutional investor consortium, and assisted with the consortium’s subsequent $1.34bn acquisition of Dinghao Electronics Plaza, a complex based in Beijing; the transaction marked ARE’s debut investment.
  • Assisted developer SCPG Holdings, construction and residential service provider China Vanke, and Triwater Asset Management Holdings with forming an offshore consortium regarding the $1.33bn acquisition of a large-scale China real estate portfolio from CapitaMalls Asia.
  • Acted for ARA Asia Dragon Fund II, a fund managed by an affiliate of ARA Asset Management, in its $369m disposal of shopping mall Beijing Jingtong Roosevelt Plaza.

Ropes & Gray LLP's practice counts real estate finance as a core strength, and reports an increase in investment-side work. The team's recent instructions include REITs, high-value acquisitions, secured financings, private equity and institutional investment matters. Real estate asset managers and global financial institutions feature prominently in the group's client base. Ed Sheremeta heads up the team; associates Anthony Chan and Sally Law are also singled out.

Practice head(s):

Ed Sheremeta

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Chan; Sally Law

Testimonials

The team is good at problem-solving in a commercial manner‘.

Woo Kwan Lee & Lo has a solid track record in handling conveyancing mandates. Recent work includes acting for a developer client in acquiring a 100% stake in a residential development in the Central business district in Hong Kong by acquiring the entire issued share capital of the property holding companies. Key names in the practice include William Kwan, Peter Lo, Ivy Cheng and Ma Ho Fai.

Practice head(s):

William Kwan

Other key lawyers:

Peter Lo; Ivy Cheng; Ma Ho Fai

Work highlights

  • Assisted a developer with acquiring a 90% stake in a multi-storey property located in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay.