Real estate legal services. An interview with Simon Reid-Kay, founder of Simon Reid-Kay & Associates.
The scale and diversity of real estate transactions in Hong Kong is always growing. Whether it’s a carpark space up for sale or the construction of an entire building complex, transactions involve complex transfer of ownership and lengthy legal procedures. Needless to say, a lawyer with experience of the field is an indispensable part of the process.
Simon Reid-Kay has practiced and been resident in Hong Kong since 1985. Along with his team, he deals with all types of real estate transactions in Hong Kong. He founded Simon Reid-Kay & Associates in 2012, focusing on local real estate legal services. As well as handling purchases, sales and leases, the team at Simon Reid-Kay & Associates has advised owners, developers and lenders on the planning and construction aspects of many major developments and infrastructure projects in Hong Kong and the region. Unique specialisation and positioning have won the firm a strong reputation within the law community of Hong Kong.
Comprehensive real estate legal services, tackling transactions of all sizes
Simon Reid-Kay & Associates (SRKA) adopts a “specialised and sophisticated” approach, covering a full spectrum of real estate legal services. SRKA’s specialist lawyers regularly advise on the real estate aspects of IPOs, funds (including REIT’s), securitisation, sale and leaseback, land exchanges and portfolio management for substantial Hong Kong-based international investment banks and conglomerates, as well as private funds, investment banks and their clients’ real estate requirements including investments, financing and property management
Positioning itself as a “boutique” law firm, SRKA can handle and follow up all legal matters in the real estate category. A classic law firm’s team often includes many solicitors from different specialties, thereby increasing operational reach and diversifying its business capabilities. SRKA, on the other hand, adopts a vertical approach, focusing on offering bespoke real estate services. Research is more in-depth and knowledge on the industry is extensive, gaining the trust of clients whatever their size. SRKA’s client source is, Simon remarks, wide and ranges from individuals buying their first property to governments and international investment firms.
Experience in international firms
In addition to professional expertise, SRKA adds a personal touch to its business model. Simon pointed out that the senior management members of the firm had had extensive experience in international law firms before joining SRKA and brought their operating and management experience to SRKA. “When we first established, we only had 7 colleagues. After almost 10 years, we have grown into a 25-person team. Although not as large as other large law firms, our professional orientation is focused and we are familiar with the international community. The management model has won the support of our clients and partners.”
SRKA’s team is capable of handling large and small legal matters in the real estate industry, and it is evident that many local and international law firms hold them in high regard, cooperate with them and refer cases. “SRKA is perhaps the only law firm in Hong Kong that specialises in real estate legal services in this way. On the other hand, other law firms may not be equipped with relevant specialised lawyers, so other colleagues will refer cases to us from time to time. Of course, our performance over the years has built considerable trust in them.”
With his eyes set on the future, Simon believes that his solid foundation of clients, partners and the reputation accumulated over many years practicing in Hong Kong, will give future clients the confidence to choose to work with SRKA should the opportunity present itself. Simon’s optimism about the Hong Kong property market and the development of new types of buildings in Hong Kong, including data centers, green buildings, and the improvement in public housing, serves as a positive sign that with regard to the real estate industry in Hong Kong, the best is yet to come, and Simon Reid-Kay & Associates will continue to serve.