Corporate Real Estate

Whatever the current state of the property market, experience counts – and our dedicated team has more than most. We’ve handled some of the largest real estate transactions in Singapore and the region. And we’re proud of our reputation for thinking beyond the obvious, to come up with innovative solutions to complex property-related issues.

Our dedicated team of lawyers, paralegals and legal executives brings enormous experience and professionalism to real estate transactions of every kind, including the largest and most complex. We act for both local and foreign parties, in relation to all sectors of the market, public or private, and all asset classes.

End to end service

We handle all kinds of real estate transactions, including but not limited to acquisition, financing, development, ownership, leasing and disposition, through all the various stages such as deal structuring, negotiations, deal documentation and advising on legal risks.

We also provide property due diligence and advisory services on all property issues including applications to the relevant governmental and statutory authorities on stamp duty remissions and approvals for subleasing, subdivision, change of use, land use and easements. We routinely provide real estate support in relation to listing and mergers and acquisitions transactions as well.

Thinking beyond the obvious

As the needs of property developers, owners, users and investors evolve rapidly, and with real estate deals becoming increasingly sophisticated and multifaceted, it is critical for your lawyers to fully understand the dynamics of the real estate industry. The Practice has won a reputation for thinking beyond obvious legal issues, and coming up with creative but pragmatic answers to challenging questions that impact our clients’ commercial decisions. Being an integral part of a full service firm, we can draw freely on the specialist expertise of colleagues in other practice areas, such as construction, insolvency and tax – which enables us to provide comprehensive solutions to our clients’ most complex real estate issues.

Meet some of the team

Both Margaret Chin and Elsa Chai, who head the Practice, have extensive real estate and financing experience. They frequently act for real estate developers in various residential, public housing, commercial and industrial project developments as well as represent Banks in the real estate aspects of the financing of such project developments. The Practice has also advised on the real estate aspects of bank mergers.
The Practice includes veteran property lawyer, Lee Lay See, who has three decades of practice in the fields of real estate and real estate-related corporate law. Lay See has been frequently mentioned in the leading legal industry guides.

Norman Ho has over 30 years of experience in corporate real estate work and 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.

Conveyancing, Real Estate Acquisitions, Disposals and Investments

We regularly represent and advise institutional investors, property fund managers, real estate investment trusts and corporations in connection with the acquisition, disposals, investments and divestments of various types of commercial, industrial and residential properties, including hotels and other leisure developments, offices, retail malls, serviced apartments, medical centres, industrial parks, warehouses, data centres, as well as sites for large-scale development and redevelopment projects. In addition to traditional conveyancing, we handle sale and purchase by private treaty, auction or tender, both for individuals and on a collective basis. We also handle acquisitions and disposals of, or investments in, property holding companies, as well as joint ventures relating to both direct and indirect real estate investments.

The Practice also plays an integral role in sales by mortgagees, judicial managers, receivers and liquidators. For example, we advised the receivers and managers of the owners of a major hotel in the heart of downtown Singapore which was involved in one of the largest hotel insolvencies in Singapore’s history.

Our work extends beyond Singapore, the team having, for example, acted for liquidators in the sale of a building to a boutique investment advisory firm, as well as to several investors from Indonesia and the Middle East.

Real Estate Development

We have an active practice in direct and indirect real estate investments, real estate project financing, sale and leaseback property transactions, real estate joint venture / joint developments, en bloc sales and purchases, development projects and real estate securitisation.

Leasing

The Practice also routinely represents landlords and tenants (including major commercial landlords and anchor tenants) in leasing and subleasing transactions for various types of commercial, industrial and residential properties. We advise building owners, lessees, mortgagees, and receivers and managers on all the related legal issues and stamp duty implications. Our team of lawyers are also very familiar with the issues relating to state leases, long-term leases, build-to-suit arrangements, turnkey projects, sale and leaseback agreements, as well as the lease management and subletting policies of the Housing and Development Board and JTC Corporation relating to the commercial and industrial properties under the purview of the respective statutory boards.

Real Estate Financing and Refinancing

The Practice supports a myriad of property-related financing and refinancing transactions – whether the lender is a local or foreign bank, finance company, financial institution or private lender, and whether the facility involves a syndicated loan, a club loan or a bilateral loan. We have handled financing and refinancing arrangements relating to large-scale en bloc acquisitions or other acquisitions of land for development or redevelopment projects (i.e. land loans and constructions loans), mezzanine loans and bridging loans, just to name a few. We also provide advice on loan structuring and restructuring, as well as advice on compliance and regulatory issues, and have worked on highly complex and sophisticated real estate deals, many of which have a cross-border element.