Corporate Real Estate, Leasing, Rent Review and Rating

Corporate Real Estate, Leasing, Rent Review and Rating

Corporate real estate and leasing advice forms one of the core elements of our practice.  European and American companies, in particular, often find there to be considerable variance between leasing practices in Hong Kong and Asia and those of their home jurisdictions.  We assist tenants in the analysis of the transactional risks and negotiation of acceptable mitigation measures, and landlords in reaching agreeable terms with tenants so as to establish long-term relationships. Click here for our Briefing Paper: Overview of Hong Kong Leasing Law and Practice (Commercial Premises).

We have advised both landlords and tenants, including many major international banks, in relation to leasing documents and negotiations. Our experience has included many significant transactions in Hong Kong, the PRC, Singapore and India. We also have experience in Australia, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

In addition to office leasing, we have a thriving practice in the leasing of retail space. In this most sensitive of sectors, the leasing terms and conditions, particularly where a pre-lease is concerned, may have real financial and operational impact and we support clients in achieving the best solution.

An area of particular experience is the building and leasing of data centre facilities in Hong Kong where we have acted both for investment banks and IT service providers, including in relation to complex fitting out and service level agreements (Data Centres and Hong Kong Science Park).

We have one of Hong Kong’s leading rent review dispute resolution practices.  We regularly advise regarding the legal hypothesis for the rental valuation and the determination procedure, both of which can considerably affect the financial outcome of the negotiation or dispute, particularly in a fluctuating market.  We have been involved in many successful rent review cases of significant financial consequence.  We also regularly advise with regard to rating issues.

Examples of our experience include:
  • Acting for several insurance companies in connection with major office leases including several HQ premises and the whole of an office building under construction in Hong Kong
  • Acting for investment and retail banks with regard to the lease of HQ and back-up offices in Hong Kong including buildings under construction and the largest transaction of this kind ever in Hong Kong
  • Advising in respect of the leasing of many offices for several investment banks and multi-national companies in Australia, India, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, the People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam
  • Acting for numerous retailers in Hong Kong including in respect of flagship store leases, portfolio shops, mega-stores and warehouse leases (including the warehouse of a local retailer of 1.3m sqf)
  • Advising numerous clients in respect of rent review disputes (both landlords and tenants) including a local developer in respect of a rent review of the lease of office premises in Central to its anchor tenant and a rent review arbitration of significant warehouse premises
  • Advising several clients including resort operators, an air-cargo handling operator and an investment bank in relation to their rating appeals

Hilary Cordell has regularly been appointed to advise experts in respect of the legal issues relating to rent review valuation and she has edited the HKIS and RICS Joint Guidance Note for Independent Experts in Rent Review Disputes.  She has spoken on numerous occasions at seminars on rent review and leasehold law including to the RICS, HKIS, HKMA and Corenet.