November 28, 2016

ASEAN Plus Group congratulates member firms on largest law firm rankings by Asian Legal Business

The ASEAN Plus Group (APG) congratulates our member firms on their largest law firm rankings, released by Asian Legal Business (ALB) for 2016. APG congratulates: RHTLaw Taylor Wessing on being ranked 7th largest in Singapore Azmi & Associates on being ranked 7th largest in Malaysia DR & AJU on being ranked 8th largest in South Korea Hanafiah Ponggawa & Partners on being ranked 6th largest in Indonesia Lee & Li on retaining its 1st place ranking in Taiwan Siam City Law Offices on being ranked 5th largest in Thailand RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam on being ranked 9th in Vietnam Villaraza & Angangco on being ranked 7th largest in Philippines The extensive regional reach and expertise of the APG sets us apart as it provides clients direct access to more than 1,000 legal professionals across 12 countries.
November 23, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Partners Wun Rizwi and Jack Ow conducted second MasterClass for BNP Paribas

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing conducted a second internal IT MasterClass for BNP Paribas, where topics discussed included Cyber Security, Data Protection, Technology Risk Management Regulatory Guidelines and the new MAS Outsourcing Guidelines 2016. The session concluded with our Partners sharing their thoughts on a taste of things to come in terms of cyber security regulation. Partners Wun Rizwi and Jack Ow conducted this portion of the session.
November 15, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing congratulates RHT Holdings Chief Executive Officer Jayaprakash Jagateesan on being awarded a Service to Education medallion by the Ministry of Education

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing congratulates RHT Holdings Chief Executive Officer Jayaprakash Jagateesan on being awarded a Service to Education medallion by the Ministry of Education (MOE). Prakash received this prestigious award for his role and contribution from being part of the School Advisory Committee and Board Member of government schools. MOE recognised recipients who made significant contributions to schools, working closely with principals, staff and pupils to promote school development, pupil well-being and forging closer relationships between the community and school. This award is given to members of public who voluntarily serve in local schools. In 2016, a total of 295 members received the Service to Education award.
November 11, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Deputy Head of Real Estate Practice Sandra Han featured in The Edge Property

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Deputy Head of Real Estate Practice Sandra Han was quoted in The Edge Property article titled “Collective sales sputtering back to life”. The article was first published in The Edge Property on 11 November 2016. Collective sales sputtering back to life Source: The Edge Property Date: 11 November 2016 Author: Cecilia Chow After a two-year drought with zero sales in 2014 and the lone en bloc deal of Thong Sia Building last year, the recent three deals topping $1 billion foreshadow an awakening of the collective sale market. “Based on a three-year snapshot, naturally $1 billion sounds like a lot,” says Karamjit Singh, JLL’s international director and head of residential. “But when compared with the preceding four years — from 2010 to 2013 — during which collective sales averaged $1.9 billion a year, it’s still low.” (See chart.) Singh attributes the recent collective sale deals to a confluence of factors: developers’ outlook having turned more positive as projects launched recently have sold reasonably well; inventory of unsold units has been reduced, spurring developers’ need to replenish their land bank; and reduced supply of development land available under the government land sales (GLS) programme since 2H2015, prompting developers to turn to collective sale sites as an alternative. JLL brokered the sale of Thong Sia Building for $380 million in July last year; it marked the largest collective sale of a mixed-use development to date. The project is located just off prime Orchard Road, opposite Paragon shopping centre. This year, JLL brokered two of the three collective sale deals: The 358-unit Shunfu Ville sold to mainland Chinese developer Qingjian Realty for $638 million in May, and the 175-unit Raintree Gardens at Potong Pasir sold to a joint venture (JV) between Singapore-listed developers UOL Group and sister company United Industrial Corp for $334.2 million in October. The third sale this year was Harbour View Gardens in Pasir Panjang, a freehold 14-unit apartment block purchased by Singapore-listed property group Roxy-Pacific Holdings for $33.25 million at end-August. These successful deals have spurred owners of other ageing private condominiums to revisit the collective sale route. “Many owners are asking if this is a good time to embark on a collective sale process,” says Singh. Owners sitting on a goldmine? Other property consultants have also been receiving similar calls. “These are mainly from hopeful owners wondering if the boom times have returned, and whether they are sitting on a goldmine,” says Jeremy Lake, CBRE executive director of investment properties. The enquires straddle all segments — privatised HUDC estates, older leasehold private condos, and some of the old private freehold projects that may have been unsuccessful in the past and are now looking to revive the collective sale process, Lake adds. Even lawyers have been besieged by phone calls. After representing the buyers in the collective sale of Shunfu Ville and Raintree Gardens, Lee Liat Yeang, senior partner of real estate practice group at Dentons Rodyk & Davidson, says he has received many enquiries from developers. Most of their concerns revolve around the issue of lease top-up and the likelihood of obtaining approval at the High Court or Strata Titles Board (STB) stage, Lee observes. Shunfu Ville, a privatised HUDC estate, has 69 years left on its lease. Therefore, part of the purchase price of $638 million includes a differential premium payable to the state to top up the lease for another 99 years and intensify the land use. Based on the site’s land area of 408,927 sq ft and gross plot ratio of 2.8, the new development can potentially yield over 1,100 units of an average size of 1,000 sq ft. JLL has estimated a breakeven price of $1,250 psf, with selling prices in the range of $1,400 to $1,500 psf. Qingjian had hoped to build towers of 30 to 36 storeys, but was told by URA to stick to the height limit of 21 to 23 storeys for the new project, according to news reports last month. This means the residential blocks will be lower and stouter. That could affect the premium it could otherwise command for high floor units with unblocked views, property observers say. Obstacles part of collective sale process Although 82% of the owners at Shunfu Ville had agreed to the collective sale, there were five who raised objections. After two mediation sessions failed, the STB issued a stop order to the collective sales committee, which has since applied to the High Court to seek approval for the sale. Shunfu Ville marks Qingjian Realty’s first en bloc purchase after eight years as a developer in Singapore. “We will await the final outcome of the [en bloc] purchase,” says Li Jun, managing director of Qingjian Realty (South Pacific) Group in response to email queries from The Edge Singapore. “We will definitely want to maximise the plot ratio, within the scope of the URA guidelines, when it is time to embark on the design. “Whatever the outcome, Qingjian Realty remains committed to building homes that are relevant to, and complement, the lifestyles of our homeowners,” says Li. At $638 million, each of the 358 owners at Shunfu Ville will walk away with an average of $1.782 million — which is almost 50% higher than the price an individual unit could command in the resale market, says JLL. And this is despite the fact that the sale price is below the reserve price of $688 million. For Raintree Gardens, the sale price of $334.2 million reflects a land cost of $797 psf per plot ratio on the potential gross floor area, inclusive of a differential premium payable to the state to top up the lease and for a redevelopment of the site to a gross plot ratio of 2.8. Raintree Gardens is also a privatised HUDC estate, with 70 years left on its existing lease. If the sale is successful, each apartment owner at Raintree Gardens will get an average of $1.9 million. The sale is subject to several conditions, including an order of sale by the STB or High Court. Minority owner objections throw spanner in the works “For bigger developments,