Norman Ho, who has over 40 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 (such as JTC, HDB, PUB etc.), property consultants, investors, financial institutions and REITs in their corporate real estate matters, including the development and financing of major shopping and office projects and the acquisition of large commercial buildings in Singapore's Central Business District.
Norman has been consistently ranked as a leading real estate lawyer by independent legal directories. He has been ranked a Band 1 Leading Individual in the Real Estate – Singapore Practice by Chambers Asia Pacific 2023 and recognised as an Elite Practitioner in Real Estate by Asialaw Profiles 2023. He has also been ranked as an Expert in Real Estate by Expert Guides 2022, included in Best Lawyers 2024 for Real Estate, and recognised as a Leading Individual by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023, where he is quoted to be “one of the most experienced real estate specialists in the market”. Norman is also recognised in the Asia Business Law Journal’s The A-List 2023 as one of Singapore’s Top 100 Lawyers.
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 over 200 developments and has successfully completed more than 150 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 and again consulted during a review of en bloc legislation and the ensuing amendments to the Act in 2007.
Notable Cases & Transactions
- Lendlease Investment Management Pte. Ltd. on Land Amalgamation and Subdivision of 31 Exeter Road Singapore, which Singtel’s Comcentre headquarters is situated for its redevelopment into a S$3 billion sustainable office development and the subsequent lease back of the parts of the redeveloped land lots.
- Gaw Capital Partners in the S$1.58 billion acquisition by a consortium of a wholly-owned subsidiary of M+S Pte Ltd, which owns the properties known as “Duo DUO Tower” and “Duo DUO Galleria”.
- Purchasers in the S$1.28 billion acquisition of One George Street, a Grade A office building located at the heart of the Singapore’s Central Business District. The firm also acted in the financing of the acquisition.
- Golden Compass (BVI) Ltd. in its S$1.025 billion acquisition of the balance issued and paid-up share capital of the registered proprietor of the 32-storey “Oxley @ Raffles” (previously known as Chevron House).
- Purchaser in the S$810.8 million acquisition of the property known as Cross Street Exchange and situated at 18, 20 and 22 Cross Street, Singapore (which includes the 4 retails units at 181 South Bridge Road, Singapore) from British and Malayan Trustees Limited (in its capacity as trustee of Frasers Commercial Trust).
- Facebook in its acquisition of S$1.4 billion first-in-Asia data centre in Singapore comprising an 11-storey, 1.8 million square feet facility. The negotiations involve Jurong Town Corporation, Public Utilities Board and the Economic Development Board.
- AEW in the purchase of Westgate Tower, which has 295 commercial office strata units at the property situated at 1 Gateway Drive known as "Westgate Tower", a 20-Storey Grade A office tower for about S$680 million.
- Hywel Investments Ltd. in the sale of 100% shares of Universal Storage Pte. Ltd., the holding company of region’s largest self-storage operator, Extra Space Asia. Universal Storage Pte. Ltd. owns the region’s largest self-storage business with about 70 owned and leased facilities across 6 countries (Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, Hong Kong).
- M&G REAL ESTATE ASIA PTE. LTD. in the purchase and leaseback of a portfolio of 4 properties (188 Pandan Loop, 209 Pandan Gardens, 239 & 241 Alexandra Road, and 301 Alexandra Road) for an aggregate of S$333 million.
- United Overseas Bank Limited as lessees at JTC’s Punggol Digital District with the establishment of a 300,000 square feet centre, which will house around 3,000 talents engaging in technology, innovation, and digital roles.
- Owners of 22 lots at Thiam Siew Avenue in the largest residential development site sold since July 2018 – the S$815 million collective sale of the 22 lots at Thiam Siew Avenue to Hoi Hup Realty Pte Ltd and Sunway Developments Pte Ltd.
- 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.
- Swedish retailer Ikea in its lease of approximately 70,000 square feet at JEM, a suburban mall in Jurong East, Singapore and will offer the full range of Ikea products and a restaurant.
- 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 the 290-unit freehold residential development known as Pacific Mansions in River Valley, Singapore.
- 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.
- 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.
- Areca Investment Pte Ltd (wholly-owned subsidiary of CapitaLand’s CRL Realty Pte Ltd) in the purchase of the 99-year leasehold residential development known as Pearl Bank Apartments and assisted on the topping of a fresh 99-year tenure.
- 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. Summervale successfully obtained a clearance certificate from the controller of residential property on the date of completion.
- RB Capital Group in its S$232.5 million acquisition of Gallery Hotel at 1 Nanson Road Singapore (now Intercontinental at Robertson Quay).
- Exklusiv Resorts Pte Ltd in its S$318 million sale to Oxley Gem Pte Ltd of the leasehold estate for a term of 103 years in 30 Stevens Road, Singapore.
- 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.
- Public Utilities Board as the lessor in the lease to Singapore Island Country Club (the “SICC”) of the golf courses at Thomson Road and near MacRtichie Reservoir, as well as in the lease to Sport Singapore of the public golf course at Bukit (Sime) location. Other government agencies were also involved as SICC was required to construct and maintain a public access trail within the land for Island Location.
- 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)
- Co-author, “Halsbury's Laws and Precedents – Land”, Vol 14, Butterworths Asia (2001)
- Contributed a chapter for “The Practice of Law”, LexisNexis (2011)
- Practical Law - Foreign Companies Leasing Office Space in Singapore – Thomson Reuters (2022)
- Business Times - Real Estate Tokenisation - A Myth or Reality – 6 May 2023
- Practical Law – Real Estate Considerations in Corporate Transactions in Singapore – Thomson Reuters (2023)