Real estate: local firms in Singapore

Allen & Gledhill LLP

Allen & Gledhill LLP has 'a strong reputation' in the real estate market. It advises on REITs and supports institutional clients with the acquisitions divestments, joint developments, build-to-suit and leasing transactions concerning commercial, hospitality, industrial and residential projects. Key mandates include advising Far East Organization on its joint venture with Sekisui House and Sino Group on its S$1.21bn acquisition of a landmark site at Holland Village Land Parcel. The 'focused and diligent team' is jointly led by Penny Goh and Ho Kin San, who are recommended for their 'excellent knowledge of market practices and commercial norms'. Hoo Sheau Farn, Eudora Tan, Fock Kah Yan and Tan Boon Wah are the other key figures.

Practice head(s):

Penny Goh, Ho Kin San

Testimonials

Quick turnaround, professional and business savvy lawyers that are experts in their field.’

Strong and in-depth knowledge of market practices, ability to guide clients in identifying critical considerations for a transaction, structuring and commercial negotiations.

Penny Goh and Ho Kin San are excellent lawyers who are probably the most experienced commercial real estate lawyers in Singapore. Excellent knowledge of market practices and commercial norms.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a global conglomerate on the S$11bn sale of the real estate-related business.
  • Advised a private property developer on its joint venture with a consortium, and the S$1.21bn acquisition of the landmark site at Holland Road, Singapore.
  • Advised a REIT management company on its S$908m acquisition of the office components of OUE Downtown.
  • Acted for two of the largest public-listed property developers in Singapore, on the joint acquisition structure of a 99-year leasehold interest in the land parcel at Sengkang Central for approximately S$778m.

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP

Jointly led by Liat Yeang Lee, Maureen Ann and Pat Lynn Leong, the real estate team at Dentons Rodyk is active on a big-ticket acquisitions and sales, project developments, commercial leasing, fund-build-and-lease arrangements and real estate finance. Recent mandates include acting for  a joint venture between Lian Beng Group and Apricot Capital on its acquisition of Sembawang Shopping Centre, and Park Mall on the lease negotiation for UBS in setting up a campus-style office in Singapore. Melanie Lim advises developers on the negotiation and documentation of transactions in the areas of acquisition, finance, development and sale of property.

Practice head(s):

Liat Yeang Lee, Maureen Ann, Pat Lynn Leong

Other key lawyers:

Melanie Lim

Key clients

RBC Investor Services

Oxley Holdings Limited

CapitaLand Commercial Trust Management Limited

Infinity Mall Trust

Mapletree Logistics Trust Management Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acted for RBC Investor Services Trust Singapore Limited, as trustee of ESR-REIT, on the merger of the stapled securities of Viva Industrial Trust and the units in ESR-REIT.
  • Advised Oxley Holdings on its sale of Chevron House for S$1.025bn to Golden Compass.
  • Acting for Infinity Mall Trust, which holds Westgate Mall, on CapitaLand Limited’s sale of its 70% stake for S$789m to HSBC Institutional Trust Services.
  • Assisting Mapletree Logistics Trust with its proposed acquisition of five Singaporean properties for S$778.3m.
  • Advised CapitaLand Commercial Trust Management Limited (manager of the SGX-listed REIT, CapitaLand Commercial Trust), on the sale of Twenty Anson for approximately S$516m.

WongPartnership LLP

WongPartnership LLP is regularly instructed by leading real estate developers, foreign and local property funds and government-linked companies on structured acquisitions and financing arrangements, divestments, joint ventures, commercial leasing and extensive development projects. Practice head Dorothy Marie Ng is 'a well-respected name in the industry', and is 'a go-to adviser' for big-ticket developments, such as Grab's construction of its new headquarters in Singapore. Monica Yip, Teck Howe Tan, Angela Lim and Serene Soh comprise the other partners in the sizeable team.

Practice head(s):

Dorothy Marie Ng

Key clients

ESR-REIT

UOL Group Limited

CapitaLand Group/CapitaLand Commercial Trust/CapitaLand Malls Asia Trust

Mapletree Group/Mapletree Industrial Trust

AIMS AMP – Capital Industrial REIT

Work highlights

  • Advised GrabTaxi Holdings on the development and lease of a purpose-built building to be built at one-north business park, Singapore, specifically for use by Grab and its various related entities.
  • Advising Resorts World Sentosa and Genting Singapore on the proposed expansion of the Integrated Resort, with the addition of two new themed attractions and two new hotels.
  • Acted for TCRE Partners, a real estate investment company, on the acquisition of Wangz Hotel, a niche and uniquely designed boutique hotel in Singapore.
  • Acted for a club of lenders on a S$925m financing granted to Commons Residential, Commons SR Trustee and Commons Commercial Trustee, which are special purpose vehicles owned by a joint venture between Far East Organization, Sekisui House and Sino Group, for the development of a highly-coveted commercial and residential site located at Holland Road.
  • Acted for the arrangers and lenders, BNP Paribas, DBS Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, among others, on the S$325m facilities granted to Millenia Tower Investments Limited.

Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore

Clyde & Co Clasis Singapore is well known for its strong focus on major developments in the hospitality and retail sectors, counting household names such as Hyatt Hotels, Radisson and Langham Hospitality Group among its active clients. Head of the hospitality and leisure department Ben  Hirasawa acts for developers on multi-jurisdictional real estate transactions, private equity financings, joint ventures, management agreements, operational issues and licence agreements. Senior associate Hailing Liu frequently works alongside Hirasawa, with a strong track record in cross-border real estate matters across Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Practice head(s):

Ben Hirasawa

Other key lawyers:

Hailing Liu 

Key clients

Dusit Thani International

Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Radisson Hotel Group

Raimon Land Public Company Limited

 

Work highlights

  • Advised InterContinental Hotels Group, as part of a cross-border team, on its acquisition of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas for approximately $300m.
  • Advising Dusit Thani on its worldwide projects, including proposed hotel investments or acquisitions in countries outside Thailand and management agreements with different hotel owners.

Drew & Napier LLC

Drew & Napier LLC's wide-ranging capabilities in real estate include advising developers, financial institutions, foreign and local investors and private individuals on land sales and acquisitions, financing and leasing of residential property. It also acts for receivers and mortgagees on their sale of real estate. Key partners include Soo Lih Ho, Wai Cheong Yeong and Sok Hiang Lau. Former head of practice Geraldine Ong departed to Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow in June 2018.

Practice head(s):

Soo Lih Ho, Wai Cheong Yeong and Sok Hiang Lau

Work highlights

  • Acted for a limited liability partnership on the acquisition of a Grade A office building located in Singapore central business district in Singapore for approximately S$1.18bn.
  • Advised on the acquisition and divestment of land, commercial, and industrial buildings by local and foreign companies, funds, and others including the acquisition by New Star Asset Management of transactions in excess of $128m.
  • Acted for the developer of Chijmes, a conservation/restoration development featuring commercial and retail outlets and a monument.
  • Acted on the S$85m acquisition of a mixed-development residential and commercial building.

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP has a strong offering for real estate acquisitions and disposals of commercial and residential properties through share sale arrangement and mergers. The team also advises on large-scale development and redevelopment, as well as associated financing. Norman Ho regularly advises major local and foreign property developers, investment funds, financial institutions and purchasers on the acquisition, sale-and-leaseback and financing of commercial buildings, retail centres and residential projects. Elsa Chai, Benjamin Tay and Gazalle Mok are the other names to note for mortgage loans (conventional and Islamic financings), REIT transactions and conveyancing, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Norman Ho

Other key lawyers:

Elsa Chai; Gazalle Mok; Benjamin Tay

Testimonials

‘Team is made up of strong individuals which are well versed in their respective sections. Each playing a strong part like a well oiled machine’

‘Logical, commercially minded and able to craft great legal clauses to capture the essence of the commercial point’. 

Key clients

Facebook, Inc.

Golden Compass (BVI) Ltd. /AEW

Carmel Development Pte. Ltd.

Viva Industrial Trust Management Pte. Ltd.

Capitaland Group

OUE Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Facebook on its S$1.4bn first-in-Asia data centre in Singapore, located in Tanjong Kling.
  • Acting for Golden Compass Ltd. on the acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of Oxley Beryl Pte.
  • Advised Carmel Development, a joint venture between Hong Leong Holdings Limited, Hong Realty and Guocoland Limited, on the S$980m acquisition of all the strata lots and common property comprised in the 290-unit freehold residential development known as Pacific Mansions in River Valley, Singapore.
  • Assisted CWT Pte. Limited and its related companies with the sale of five logistics properties in Singapore for an estimated sale price of S$730m to Mapletree Logistics Trust.
  • Acted for AirTrunk on the Singapore real estate aspects of AirTrunk’s S$450m debt and equity financing and acquisition of land to develop a hyperscale data centre in Loyang, Singapore.

Shook Lin & Bok LLP

Shook Lin & Bok LLP's 'commercial and efficient' real estate team has expertise in a broad range of multi-disciplinary matters including acquisitions and sales, property development and financing, securitisation, joint ventures, property funds, REITs, commercial leasing and built-to-suit developments. Corporate real estate specialists Chew Mei Choo and Lee Chau Hwei are praised for their 'outstanding ability to explain legal clauses in a clear and concise manner'. Tan Woon Hum focuses on structuring complex real estate investments, joint ventures and tender projects.

Practice head(s):

Chew Mei Choo, Lee Chau Hwei

Other key lawyers:

Tan Woon Hum

Testimonials

The team is commercial and willing to understand the client’s case before proposing a suitable solution. They are prompt and efficient in their work.’

Chew Mei Choo and May Loo are highly recommended – both are passionate about their job and helping their clients to solve the issue. They are outstanding in their ability to explain issues and legal clauses to their clients in a clear and concise manner.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a real estate management firm on the sale of a data centre building for S$99.6m.
  • Advised a real estate management firm on acquisition of a 95% interest in Hotel Cerretani Florence, MGallery By Sofitel in Florence, Italy
  • Acting for a listed real estate investment trust on the amalgamation of two plots of land involving the surrender of leases issued by JTC Corporation and surrender of leases at the state level and issuance of fresh title of the amalgamated lot and at the same time preserving the rights and interests of existing mortgagees.