Drew & Napier’s Real Estate Practice is at the cutting edge of the property world.
Our team has overseen numerous high value and complex property transactions, and also regularly advises and acts in major real-estate disputes. As one of the most experienced real estate practices we simplify bureaucracy and adopt a straightforward and pragmatic approach.
Our lawyers offer personal yet professional service. We represent leading developers, corporate groups, statutory boards and financial institutions in real estate transactions involving residential, commercial, and industrial properties.
With our deep knowledge and experience, we deliver comprehensive advice on legal, compliance, and regulatory issues.
We provide a dedicated, first class service to our clients, who also benefit from the expertise offered by the firm’s many other specialists.
We set out below details of our involvement in specific areas of Real Estate.
Commercial and Industrial Property
The Real Estate Practice has an active industrial and commercial property division. We are involved in acquiring sites by tender, auction, private treaty, collective sale, and purchase. We are also involved in leasing property for mixed development, shopping centres, hotels and resorts, warehouses, and distribution centres. Clients include leading developers, corporations, financial institutions, statutory boards, foreign and local investors, and private individuals.
We also routinely act for receivers and mortgagees in their sale of real estate.
Real Estate Financing and Consumer Banking
Real estate financing and consumer banking are closely related to real estate practice. Our lawyers are highly skilled at structuring and advising on financing and refinancing facilities for real estate.
We act for private individuals and corporations in the sale, purchase, financing, and leasing of residential property. To complement our conveyancing and property practice, our lawyers prepare and execute wills and manage probate and the administration of estates.
We actively advise and act in a wide range of real-estate related disputes. They range from commercial landlord-tenant and MCST disputes, to complex collective sale, caveatable interest, property trust and title disputes involving novel questions of law. Our clients include major residential and commercial property developers, operators and owners of major shopping malls, private trusts, real estate agencies, high net worth individuals, and owners of major hotels.
As a leading practice, we are regularly involved with all matters pertaining to the real estate market.
In our more notable achievements we have:
- Acted for a limited liability partnership (with a Singapore listed REIT and an insurance company as its partners) in the acquisition (by way of a purchase and a contribution in kind) of a Grade A office building located in the prime central business district in Singapore with a transactional value of about S$1.18 billion.
- Acted for a consortium comprising KOP, Lian Beng, KSH and Centurion Global, in the $512 million acquisition of Prudential Tower, one of the largest commercial deals in 2014. Also advised on the joint venture agreement amongst the consortium.
- Acted in the acquisition and mortgage of dormitories for a transactional value of S$79 million.
- Acted in the S$85 million acquisition of a mixed residential/ commercial development with view of developing into service apartments.
- Acted for the landlord of the development Knightsbridge in its lease of its retail outlets.
- Acted for the landlord, Keppel Land International Ltd, in its lease of its office and commercial units.
- Acted for purchasers/sellers of Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) industrial property.
- Acted for the developer of CHIJMES, a conservation/restoration development featuring commercial and retail outlets and a monument.
- Developed new banking products for clients and drafted the accompanying credit and security documentation.
- Acted in the surrender of Bukit Timah Race Course and the Lease of Kranji Race Course and other lands. Tender of part of real estate portfolio of the British Government.
- Advised on real estate portfolio of the British Government.
- Represented a developer of mixed developments in their sale of the strata units.
- Handled legal work relating to combined commercial and residential development, including applications for approvals, subdivision, separate titles, and the preparation of sale and purchase agreements and leases.
- Advised and drafted all documents relating to the HDB Shoplease Financing Scheme when it was first launched.
- Drafted, advised and registered Memoranda of Mortgage and drafted standard Terms and Conditions governing secured loans for financial institutions.
- Drafted and advised on Statutory Vesting of Various Parcels of lands in Singapore.
- Represented Statutory Boards including Singapore Totalisator Board in transactions valued in excess of $3 billion and The Central Provident Fund Board.
- Acted in 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 (Bermuda) Ltd in transactions valued in excess of $128 million.
- Participated in the enbloc purchase of condominiums for HPL Properties, Pontiac Land Group etc. in transactions valued at more than $439 million.
- Represented Foreign Governments and Monarchies including the British Government in transactions valued in excess of $50 million and the Malaysian royalty in transactions valued at more than $1 billion.
- Acted in the acquisition, divestment, and lease of industrial properties including JTC, Housing and Development Board and Ascendas. Also handled 'change of use' applications and negotiations including for a biomedical US Company in a transaction valued at more than $145 million.
Some of the contentious matters we have acted on include:
- Acted for a foreign public listed company in a US$3 billion dollar arbitration against a State Government for breach of a development agreement relating to the construction of a major waterfront project.
- Acted for a private land developer against a foreign state government and successfully recovered almost US$70 million in damages for breach of an agreement relating to a large-scale residential development.
- Successfully represented a Singapore property developer in resisting an application to expunge caveats, lodged pursuant to a verbal right of first refusal, for properties worth S$11 million. This was a landmark decision as it involved novel issues of caveatable interests in land.
- Successfully represented the sale committee of a strata title development, Regent Court, in its appeal against the Strata Titles Board, which had rejected the committee’s application for a proposed S$34 million collective sale.
- Successfully represented a purchaser of a $6.3 million Ardmore Park apartment in resisting an application to expunge its caveat lodged pursuant to a verbal option to purchase, where a signed option to purchase was not furnished to the purchaser.
- Successfully representing a purchaser in a S$5 million acquisition of a commercial shop house against the vendor (who resisted the purchase), including removal of a third party caveat, registration of court orders and completing the purchase with the assistance of the courts.
The Asia Pacific Legal 500
Real Estate 2021 – Top Tier for 21 consecutive years
Ho Soo Lih (2 consecutive years)
Lau Sok Hiang (2 consecutive years)
Yeong Wai Cheong (5 consecutive years)
“Efficient and strong in their knowledge of conveyancing and real estate legal contracts. Get things done fast.”
Sources say that Drew’s Real Estate team “delivers on time and propose practical solutions”
“… the ‘very commercially minded’ real estate team at Drew & Napier LLC handles transactions involving commercial, residential and industrial properties for clients such as developers and corporates”
“Drew & Napier LLC is ‘renowned’ for real estate and construction, advising on the contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction, engineering and related insurance issues."
"Drew & Napier LLC has broad and deep expertise in both contentious and non-contentious real estate and construction matters.”
Lau Sok Hiang is praised for her “depth of knowledge, customer engagement, and timely updates. Able to explain things clearly.”
Yeong Wai Cheong is “noted for his 'depth of knowledge in the real estate area' and 'incredibly organised' approach
Chambers Asia Pacific
Real Estate 2021 – Band 3
Real Estate 2020 – Noted Practitioner for 4 consecutive years
“The team takes a very commercial approach."
Real Estate 2021 - Highly recommended for 4 consecutive years
Lau Sok Hiang is commended to be “very responsive and customer-oriented. Able to get things done with little fuss. Knowledgeable about the subject matter”.
Lau Sok Hiang “helped us understand the various possible risks of the loan documents presented for signing, and provided us with recommendations to amend some aspects of the same documents”.
Sources say Benedict is “smart, intelligent, fast, efficient, on the ball, responsive, positive approach, hands-on, good team leader, simply excellent.”
Benedict “responds promptly, quality of work is good and conversant in Mandarin when necessary.”
Best Lawyers International: Singapore (2022 edition)
Real Estate Law - Endorsed Individual - Yeong Wai Cheong
Asian Legal Business S.E. Asia Law Awards 2017
Drew & Napier named Real Estate Law Firm of the Year for the second time