LAU Sok Hiang

Sok Hiang is a Partner in our Banking and Finance Department.

Sok Hiang’s primary areas of practice include banking, finance and real estate transactions.

Sok Hiang has extensive real estate and real estate financing experience and her practice encompasses real estate acquisitions and divestments, real estate project financing, real estate joint venture/joint developments and en-bloc purchase and sale of strata titled developments.

She has advised major institutional clients including real estate investment trusts, listed real estate developers, multi-national corporations, major investment and property development groups with operations in the Asia Pacific region and beyond, property funds and asset managers on major real estate and real estate financing transactions.

She also advises banks, financial institutions on loan and other debt-related financing, including bilateral and syndicated loans and acquisition financings. She acts for major local as well as offshore banks and lending syndicates.

Sok Hiang is experienced in the structuring of loans and other financial transactions. She has drafted, advised and negotiated on a myriad of facility and loan and security documentation, including facility agreements, amendment and restatement agreements, accession deeds, mortgages, debentures, assignments, charges, deeds of subordination, funding and other completion undertakings, guarantees and inter creditor and priority sharing deeds.

Her expertise is in loan and security documentation relating to all forms of real estate projects – residential, commercial and industrial properties, including JTC properties, HDB properties, hotels, executive condominiums and mixed residential and commercial developments.

Sok Hiang’s experience include:

  • Acting as local counsel in advising a syndicate of banks (six international banks acted as mandated lead arrangers to the transaction, namely Axis Bank Ltd, CIMB Bank Berhad, KFW IPEX-Bank GMBH, National Australia Bank Limited, Standard Chartered Bank and West LB AG) in the real estate aspects and the taking of securities in relation to an India-linked company’s flagship 800 MW combined cycle project at Jurong Island, Singapore. The financing package comprised of S$670 million of a term loan facility and a USD 270 million credit and working capital facility.
  • Acting for the Australian Government’s export credit agency in relation to the drafting of security documents relating to facilities granted to a leading construction and engineering group based in Melbourne, Australia and issuing a legal opinion in relation thereto.
  • Acting for the Singapore branch of a French bank to draft its Memoranda of Mortgage which was registered at the Singapore Land Authority.
  • Advising the Bank of Scotland plc on Singapore law in relation to, inter alia, the execution of certain documents and the various securities granted by a Singapore entity in a global group of companies and issuing a legal opinion in relation thereto.
  • Acting for a major local bank in relation to inter alia the construction financing of a residential development to be built on two separate pieces of land owned by two different companies.
  • Acting for a major local bank in the grant of facilities to the borrower in the refinancing of a development comprising commercial and residential units and liaising with inter alia the Controller of Housing and the Singapore Land Authority in relation to issues relating thereto.
  • Advising an insurance company in relation to the issuance of a financial guarantee bond and drafting the securities relating thereto, including a second mortgage.
  • Acting for a wholly owned subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned enterprise and a Fortune 500 company listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, and its related companies in their acquisition and construction financings of real estate properties in Singapore.
  • Advising a Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Main Board-listed company, an urban environmental resources recycling solutions provider in the People’s Republic of China, in relation to the charge and assignment of the company’s rights, title and interest in and to an interest reserve account opened and maintained in respect of the inaugural issuance of the first series of notes comprising S$50,000,000 in aggregate principal amount of 7.50 per cent. per annum fixed rate notes, pursuant to its S$300,000,000 Multicurrency Medium Term Note Programme
  • Acting for an associate company of a company listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange Main Board in its borrowing from a syndicate of banks for the refinancing of the development of its flagship property and which involved, inter alia the amalgamation of state land with the existing development, where the lands were of different tenures.
  • Acting for the trustee of a real estate investment trust in relation to real estate acquisitions and the financing and refinancing of existing borrowings of the real estate investment trust, secured by a mortgage over real properties and securities over other related assets.
  • Acting for the manager of a real estate investment trust in relation to the financing taken by the real estate investment trust, which financing was secured by a mortgage over real property and securities over other related assets.
  • Acting for a company in its financing transaction which also involved liaising with the Housing and Development Board and the Singapore Land Authority on issues relating to surrender and amalgamation of lands with inter alia different tenures.
  • Acting for a multinational hospitality and real estate group founded in Hong Kong with investments spanning span several continents—United States, United Kingdom and Continental Europe, Hong Kong, China, and Japan – in the acquisition financing of luxury condominium units in Singapore amounting to approximately S$50 million.
  • Acting for a consortium comprising of 3 listed companies in the acquisition and construction financing relating to its en-bloc acquisition of properties. The investment was held through wholly owned subsidiaries of the respective listed companies. In view that the respective listed companies also stood as guarantors for the consortium’s financing, specific amendments to the respective prescribed-form guarantees had to be negotiated for.

Sok Hiang has also handled the following work:

  • Legal work relating to commercial and residential development, including applications for approvals, subdivision of land and application for separate titles and preparation of sale and purchase agreements and leases.
  • Representing local developers, including:
    • Handling residential and commercial development projects comprising condominium, executive condominium, semi-detached and detached houses and commercial and industrial properties
    • Assisting in the application for Qualifying Certificate and Developers’ Licence, preparation of sale and purchase agreements and advising on the Housing Developers (Control & Licensing) Act and Rules and the Sale of Commercial Properties Act and Rules
  • Vesting of property in connection with mergers of financial institutions/banks
  • Acquisition and Divestment of Land, Commercial and Industrial Buildings by local and foreign companies, funds, etc and handling “change of use” applications and negotiations
  • Acting for vendors and purchasers in respect of unlicensed developments
  • Acting in leases/tenancies of residential and commercial premises, as well as office buildings
  • Acting for banks and the Official Assignee in mortgagee sales
  • Drafting and review of terms of auction, tender and other sale and purchase documentation
  • Advising and representing the Central Provident Fund Board in the withdrawal of CPF monies by members and in respect of privatisation of HUDC properties