Old photo_edited.png

Norman Ho

Deputy Head, Corporate Real Estate
Senior Partner, Corporate Real Estate

Practice Area:

Corporate Real Estate

LLM, University of London
LLB (Hons), National University of Singapore
Solicitor, England & Wales (non-practising)
Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore

T +65 6232 0514
E norman.ho@rajahtann.com

Norman, who has over 35 years of experience in corporate real estate work, has advised on a wide spectrum of property-related transactions, including investment sales and purchase (by way of share or asset sales), collective sales and project development transactions. He regularly advises property developers, investment funds, statutory boards, property consultants, investors, financial institutions and purchasers in corporate real estate matters.

Norman has been identified as a leading real estate lawyer by independent legal directories such as Chambers Asia Pacific and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific. He has been recognised as an Elite Practitioner in Real Estate by Asialaw Profiles 2021 and named “Lawyer of the Year - Real Estate Law” by Best Lawyers 2020, a recognition is allocated annually to the lawyer who has the highest overall peer-review feedback in a certain practice area for a particular geographic region.

  • “Brilliant with clients and highly responsive - he will always tell you not to do things if he thinks it won't be advantageous” (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2009)
  • “Has finely honed skills on tap and impressive focus during a transaction” (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2010)
  • “Efficient, responsive and well-connected” (The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2011)
  • “He is an authority when it comes to real estate.” (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2012)
  • “Very detailed” (The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2014)
  • “Thorough, commercial and pleasant to deal with”, “is very diligent and keeps up to date with registration changes” (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2014)
  • “Very experienced, efficient, detailed and responsible” (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2015)
  • “Leading authority ... creative problem-solving abilities” (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2016)
  • “Decisively navigates through real estate issues” (The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2017)
  • “An outstanding understanding of the market as well as strong commercial judgement and management skills” (The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2018)
  • “Highly experienced in advising developers and financial institutions on a broad range of real estate transactions. He is able to take into account    commercial realities and balance them with the legal background” (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2019)
  • “Well regarded for his experience handling a range of real estate transactions” (Chambers Asia Pacific, 2021)

Norman has acted for owners and investors in commercial, retail, residential and resort developments both within and outside Singapore (including United Kingdom, China, Indonesia and Australia). His projects include the development and financing of major shopping and office projects and the acquisition of large commercial buildings in Singapore's Central Business District (“CBD”). He has acted for major developers in large residential projects, such as the CBD Marina Bay Residence. He has also acted in the acquisition, sale and leaseback of industrial developments, involving the Housing Development Board and Jurong Town Corporation.

A leader in collective sale transactions, Norman was involved in one of the earliest collective sales, as well as one of the largest of such sales (Farrer Court with 618 units) in Singapore. To date, he has been instructed to act for owners of almost 200 developments and has successfully completed more than 120 of such transactions.

Norman was selected to make representations to the Select Committee, commissioned by the Singapore Parliament, on amendments to the Land Titles (Strata) Act in 1999 to facilitate collective sales. He was again consulted during a review of en bloc legislation and the ensuing amendments to the Act in 2007.

Experience 

Norman’s experience includes acting for:

  • Gaw Capital Partners in the S$1.58 billion acquisition by a consortium of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of Ophir-Rochor Commercial Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of M+S Pte Ltd, which owns the properties known as “Duo DUO Tower” and “Duo DUO Galleria”. This was the largest single commercial building deal in 2019. Also acted in the S$945 million syndicated green loan financing for the acquisition.
  • Golden Compass (BVI) Ltd. in its S$1.025 billion acquisition of the balance issued and paid-up share capital of Oxley Beryl Pte. Ltd., the registered proprietor of the now strata-subdivided 32-storey commercial tower of the property known as “Oxley @ Raffles” (previously known as Chevron House).
  • Boustead Industrial Fund Management (as fund manager) in Boustead Industrial Fund’s S$422.4 million acquisition of a portfolio of 13 industrial real estate assets and interests comprising investments in business parks, logistics and industrial properties.
  • Lucas Real Estate Singapore in the S$175.8 million sale of 30-year leasehold interest in 1 Fusionopolis View, Singapore together with the iconic Sandcrawler building erected on it.
  • The S$142 million acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in a special purpose vehicle which holds a high specification light industrial building known as Admirax, is situated on a site with 60-year leasehold tenure.
  • The purchase in the S$220 million acquisition of a retail mall situated at 21 Choa Chu Kang North 6, Singapore 689578 and known as “YewTee Point” from HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore) Limited (in its capacity as trustee of Frasers Centrepoint Trust).
  • Mediacorp in its S$280.09 million sale by tender of the former Caldecott Broadcast Centre. This was the largest private redevelopment site sold in 2020.
  • Facebook in its acquisition of S$1.4 billion first-in-Asia data centre in Singapore which will be an 11-storey, 1.8 million square feet facility completely powered by renewable energy and new StatePoint Liquid Cooling system. The negotiations involve Jurong Town Corporation, Public Utilities Board and the Economic Development Board.
  • OUE Hospitality REIT Management Pte. Ltd. and OUE Hospitality Trust Management Pte. Ltd. on the approximately S$1.49 billion proposed merger of OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust and OUE Hospitality Trust.
  • Carmel Development Pte. Ltd., a joint venture between Hong Leong Holdings Limited, Hong Realty (Private) Limited and Guocoland Limited, in the S$980 million 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.
  • OUE Limited in the sale of the strata-titled office components of the development known as OUE Downtown which is refurbished mixed use development comprising two high-rise towers of 50 storeys and 37 storeys each, as well as a retail podium and multi-storey carpark. is located in the Singapore financial hub with all the plant, machinery, equipment and all component parts in the Office Components for S$908 million with a rental support arrangement for a period of up to five years from completion.
  • Viva Industrial Trust Management Pte. Ltd. and Viva Industrial Business Trust on the S$936.7 million merger of ESR-REIT and Viva Industrial Trust by way of a trust scheme of arrangement with a combined S$3 billion in properties predominantly for business parks and other industrial uses.
  • Gaw Capital Partners in the S$710 million acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in Arch Investment Limited, a Cayman Islands company whose wholly-owned Singapore subsidiary is the registered proprietor of the property situated at 77 Robinson Road, Singapore.
  • The collective sale committee of Goodluck Garden in the S$610 million collective sale of all the strata lots and common property in the residential developments known as Goodluck Garden.
  • AirTrunk in the Singapore real estate aspects of AirTrunk’s SG$450 million debt and equity financing and acquisition of land to develop a 60+ megawatt (MW) hyperscale data centre in Loyang Singapore, which state-of-the-art facility will be the largest neutral data centre in Singapore.
  • Glopeak Development Pte. Ltd. (“Developer”) in the S$462 million acquisition of 67 Cairnhill Road, Singapore and the collective acquisition of all the strata lots and common property comprised in the 61-unit freehold residential development known as Cairnhill Mansions, Singapore.
  • Ascend TGrande Pte. Ltd. in the S$395 million acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in T-Grande Investment Holding Pte. Ltd. whose wholly-owned Singapore subsidiary, T-Grande Property Holding Pte. Ltd., is the registered proprietor of the property situated at 7 & 9 Tampines Grande, Singapore.
  • Collective acquisition of all the strata lots and common property comprised in the 139-unit leasehold residential development known as Landmark Tower, Singapore.
  • Arch Capital Management in the S$210 million acquisition of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in Yongjin Holdings Pte. Ltd., the registered proprietor of the property situated at 72 Anson Road, known as Anson House, on behalf of a German fund.
  • Areca Investment Pte Ltd (wholly-owned subsidiary of CapitaLand’s CRL Realty Pte Ltd) in the purchase of all the strata lots and common property in the 99-year leasehold residential development known as Pearl Bank Apartments, and assisted on the topping of a fresh 99 year tenure.
  • ADC Singapore Trust in its S$99.6 million acquisition of the JTC property (comprising a six-storey industrial building used as a carrier hotel / data centre) at 9 Tai Seng Drive, Singapore, from Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust.
  • Owners of Park House comprising of 60-unit freehold residential development, situated at 21 Orchard Boulevard for a total consideration of more than S$375 million, which translates to a record price of S$2,910 per square foot per plot ratio, on the maximum allowable gross floor area of 129,035 square feet. This is the record collective sale price per plot ratio per square foot.
  • Logan Property Group and Nanshan Group Singapore Co. Pte. Ltd. (collectively, “Companies”) in the successful first ever bid for a government 99 years leasehold residential land parcel at Stirling Road land site that crosses over the S$1 billion mark. LN Development (Stirling) Pte. Ltd. which is jointly owned by the Companies subsequently completed the acquisition of the land site. The site has a land area of 227,221 square feet and it is projected that the developer will be able to construct around 1,200 private residential units on this site and will also be acting in the project sales. We also assisted LN Development in the legal aspects of the related financing of about S$900 million from a syndicate of lenders for the purposes of, inter alia, financing the acquisition, payment of the development charge and construction of the residential development.
  • Green 18 Pte. Ltd in its investment in Summervale Properties Pte. Ltd. ("Summervale"), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of City Developments Limited ("CDL") which is the registered proprietor of all 156 strata units in the high-end freehold residential development known as Nouvel 18, situated at 16 and 18 Anderson Road, valued at S$965.4 million. This transaction is also the third profit participation securities investment platform initiated by CDL, which saw the raising of a total of S$977.6 million through equity injection, issuance of notes and provision of credit facilities by two local banks. Summervale successfully obtained a clearance certificate from the controller of residential property on the date of completion.
  • Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investment GmbH, on behalf of its fund Morgan Stanley EuroAsia, in the S$149 million sale of the entire issued and paid-up share capital in KAG 1 Holding SG Pte. Ltd. ("KAG") to Radiant Charm Limited, which is affiliated to the Tang group of companies. KAG is the registered proprietor of 23 strata units comprised in the condominium development known as Draycott 8 located at 8 Draycott Park, a prestigious high-end residence located near the popular shopping and entertainment belt of Orchard Road.
  • SC Aetas Holdings Pte. Ltd, a subsidiary of SIN Capital Group, in its S$380 million en bloc acquisition of all 45 commercial and residential strata units in the development known as Thong Sia Building.
  • Pamfleet on behalf of Tuckman Limited, a British Virgin Island-incorporated investment vehicle ("Tuckman"), in its S$127.1 million acquisition of the entire interest in JSCL Investments Pte. Ltd. ("JSCL") from Reef Lodge Pte Ltd and Ang Ming Chiang. The registered proprietor of JSCL is the proprietor of Homestay Lodge (the "Property"), a workers' dormitory development comprising 10 blocks of about 6,000 beds. The Property is held by JSCL under a leasehold estate from the Housing and Development Board ("HDB"). The acquisition was subjected to the approval of HDB. Also acted for JSCL in the secured term loan facilities of up to S$76.26 million granted to JSCL to refinance its existing loans and for the purpose of on-tending to Tuckman to partially finance the acquisition.
  • Blackstone Singapore Pte Ltd, on behalf of Amber Investment Holding (Cayman) Limited, in its S$164 million acquisition from Arch Capital Asian Partners, LP, of the entire issued and paid-up share capital of Highest Reach Investments Limited, which holds 34 strata units comprised in the residential development located at 21 Anderson Road, a high-end residence located near Orchard Road shopping belt, through its indirectly wholly-owned subsidiaries, Anderson International Properties Pte Ltd and Raffles Legend Properties Pte Ltd (together, “Borrowers”). Also acted for the Borrowers in the credit facilities of up to S$103 million granted to the Borrowers from a local bank to refinance its existing loans and also assisted with the whitewash procedure required in relation to the refinancing.
  • RB Capital Group in its S$232.5 million acquisition of Gallery Hotel at 1 Nanson Road Singapore, which translates to over S$1 million per room.
  • Exklusiv Resorts Pte Ltd (“Vendor)” in its S$318 million sale to Oxley Gem Pte Ltd (“Purchaser”), of the leasehold estate for a term of 103 years in the property known as 30 Stevens Road, Singapore (“Property”). Funds for the purchase comprised both bank borrowings as well as S$100 million 6% bonds due 2015 issued by the Purchaser to the Vendor and guaranteed by Oxley Holdings; also advised the Vendor on issues relating to the contractual rights of club members, the relevant notices to be issued to members and the suspension of the club membership in view of the sale and redevelopment of the property and closure of the Pines club.
  • LVND Investments Pte Ltd in its S$163 million purchase of Hotel Windsor located at 401 Macpherson Road from Ho Bee Developments Pte Ltd (“Ho Bee”). This deal also involved the leaseback of the hotel component to Ho Bee, the entry into a management agreement with Ho Bee for the provision of management services for the commercial retail space of the property, and financing from United Overseas Bank Limited. We were involved in the drafting, negotiations, amendments and finalisation of these agreements as well. Subsequently, we were also involved in acting on the Hotel Consultancy Services Agreement and Hotel Management Agreement with AAPC Singapore Pte Ltd. (AAPC), a subsidiary of ACCOR Asia SA, to, among other things, provide hotel consultancy and management services for the new hotel development knows as Ibis Styles Singapore on MacPherson.
  • Morgan Stanley in its S$380 million divestment of the whole of its indirect interest in an investment holding company which held four dormitories in Jalan Papan, Woodlands, Kian Teck and Tampines in Singapore.
  • Owners of Farrer Court in its sale of the 618-unit development to Morganite Pte Ltd, a consortium comprising CapitaLand, Hotel Properties and Wachovia Development Corporation for S$1.34 billion. This remains Singapore’s largest collective sale transaction to date.
Memberships/Directorships
  • Honorary Legal Advisor, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (2001 - present)
  • Board Member of Asia-Pacific Real Estate Association (Singapore Chapter) (2020 – present)
  • Notary Public and Commissioner for Oaths (1996 – 2008)
  • Legal Advisor and Member, Bone Marrow Donor Program (Registered Charity) (1993 – 2018)
  • President, Bone Marrow Donor Programme (Registered Charity) (2014 –2018)
  • Consultant, Singapore Academy of Law (Stakeholding Rules) (1996 - present)
Publications
  • Co-author, “Halsbury's Laws and Precedents – Land”, Vol 14, Butterworths Asia (2001)
  • Contributed a chapter for “The Practice of Law”, LexisNexis (2011)