Morrison Foerster adds PERE partner in Singapore

Tabitha Saw joins MoFo from White & Case and brings experience advising investors and owner operators on complex real estate and data centre transactions – a sector the law firm sees as offering ample opportunity.
Tabitha Saw
Tabitha Saw

US-headquartered law firm Morrison Foerster (previously Morrison & Foerster; MoFo) has announced the appointment of Tabitha Saw as partner within its transactions department and global private equity real estate (PERE) group, based in Singapore.

Her appointment is effective February 3 and follows the hire of M&A partner, Steven Tran, in January. It brings the size of the firm’s transactions department in Singapore to 20, a spokesperson for the law firm told FinanceAsia.

Saw’s experience lies in advising across real estate and data centre transactions. She most recently served as a partner at White & Case, which she joined in 2013, and earlier, as an associate at Herbert Smith Freehills.

Notable regional deals that she has advised on include PAG portfolio company, Flow Digital Infrastructure’s joint venture (JV) with AyalaLand Logistics Holdings, and the platform’s subsequent acquisition of land for a data centre facility. She also advised industrial real estate asset manager, ESR, on the development of a $2.15 billion multi-phase data centre campus in Osaka City.

MoFo has been present in Asia since 1983 and today has five offices in the region – in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo. According to the release, the firm’s Asia team has advised on more than 50 data centre transactions since 2019.

“We see many of our clients in the real estate space pivot into this sector, whether as owner operators or shell and core development. The sophistication of the asset class and yields on investment are attractive with strong potential for growth. We see a lot of deal activity in Japan, Philippines, Korea and Malaysia at the moment,” Saw told FA.

A recent report by Cushman and Wakefield places Singapore as the world's third top data centre market and the first in Asia. The real estate firm analyses factors such as fibre connectivity and cloud availability to produce its ranking. Hong Kong was ranked fourth globally.

Read also: PE dealmaking at lowest in five years but set to rebound – S&P Global report

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