Gaw Seng Suan, John is the managing partner of LandConsult LLP.
Gaw graduated with an upper second-class honours degree in Estate Management from the National University of Singapore in 1984. He is a member of the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers and is a registered property salesperson with the Council for Estate Agencies. He has 30 years of land and property experience and expertise, mainly in State land and property administration with the then Land Office and subsequently with the Singapore Land Authority. He started his career as a Collector of Land Revenue and rose through the ranks to become Deputy Commissioner of Lands. He was subsequently re-designated as Director, Land Resource Group in 2001 when the Singapore Land Authority was incorporated through the merger of 4 land related departments under the Ministry of Law. Since then, he has held different appointments within the Authority, the last being Director, Land Data and Chief Data Officer.
As the key operations person at Land Office and later Singapore Land Authority, Gaw oversaw the full scope of land work including sales, purchase, tender, auction, leasing, licensing, lease renewal/extension, change/ intensification of land use (differential premium matters), asset management and valuation. He was directly involved with the formulation of the many land policies. In his capacity as Deputy Commissioner of Lands and Director, Land Resource Group, Gaw also sat on numerous land related inter-agency committees and work-groups such as the Master Plan Committee, Tender Evaluation Committees for Sale of Sites, One-North Science Hub Steering Committee, Economic Review Committee – Land Sub-Work Group, etc.
With his good knowledge and understanding of land work and land issues, and the thinking and rationale behind land policies, Gaw resigned from the Singapore Land Authority in Oct 2010 and set up LandConsult LLP with the aim to influence land policies towards better outcomes for the nation and to assist landowners, developers and end-users achieve optimal value for their land and property holdings. LandConsult believes in realizing equitable win-win outcomes for all stakeholders including for the State, the Singapore public and for clients.
For about one year from 1997 to 1998, Gaw was Associate Director at Richard Ellis, Singapore and headed its Consultancy and Research Department.
LandConsult provides specialist advice on State land transactions/ issues and on land and property matters in general in Singapore, for example, those pertaining to alienation of State land, lifting of title restriction for change of use (i.e. differential premium matters), topping up or extension of leases, rental of State properties and other peculiar land matters. The purpose of such advice is to help legitimately settle obstacles, optimize value and returns from land and property transactions, and identify opportunities to enhance the value of clients’ land and property holdings. Other than strategic advice, LandConsult can also handhold you through your applications for the following: (i) purchase and rental of State land and properties; (ii) renewal and extension of leases; (iii) lifting of title restriction to allow change and/or intensification of land use i.e. differential land premium matters; (iv) surrender and reissue of titles/amalgamation and subdivision of land; (v) appeals for reduction of premiums/rentals; and other land issues you may face. We can also assist landowners who are affected by compulsory land acquisition.
As an independent land consultant, I normally come in when other property consultants in the market seek my specialist knowledge and expertise to assist their clients i.e. landowners and developers on their transactions with the State or on their other land matters. Other times, I am co-opted in as part of the team to service the landowners and developers. I have helped developers saved substantial sums through reduction of land premiums and successfully appealed and resolved protracted land issues for them. For example, I helped a public-listed company saved millions of dollars by successfully appealing for a reduction of the differential land premium. I also helped a developer successfully appealed to Government for a change of land use and a lessee successfully appealed for lease extension. I have helped clients on various land matters ranging from appealing for topping up of leases for redevelopment projects on en-bloc sites, change of use, alienation of State land and drainage reserves, reduction of rents, etc. Clients include land & property owners, businesses and developers including public listed companies and MNCs.
LandConsult presently runs a short course on land administration with the Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore for members of REDAS and its associates. I also train property salespersons on land administration and land planning matters with Real Centre Network Pte Ltd and Singapore Accredited Estate Agencies Ltd. The knowledge shared will be of value to those involved with the land and property business e.g. developers, owners/investors, consultants and other property professionals serving clients especially on State land matters.
For landowners and developers, the knowledge gained can help them save time and money on their land and property transactions with the State and help identify opportunities to enhance the value of their land and property holdings. For property agents, the knowledge gained will keep them ahead of their peers as they will be better able to service their clients and add value to them. For property investors, the knowledge gained can help them identify opportunities to invest in State land and buildings for profit. For foreign companies and new local start-up companies interested in setting up operations in Singapore, they can gain good knowledge on the possible avenues and options available for securing the land and buildings they need for their businesses.
LandConsult has good knowledge and understanding of Singapore land agencies’ land and building allocation, sale and leasing policies and procedures. Coupled with its extensive contacts within the Singapore public and private sectors, it is well-placed to assist foreign companies planning to start-up operations in Singapore, new local start-ups as well as others source suitable properties for their use. With our good knowledge of the Singapore property market and reliable contacts and network with property developers, property consultants, property agency firms and the government agencies involved with land work, we can help you find the right properties to meet your business needs.
LandConsult can add value to your and your clients’ transactions, land & property holdings and businesses. We have a very niche and in-depth land admin expertise. That specialist knowledge, expertise and network often would enable us to contribute at a strategic level with clear outcomes and benefits for our clients.
There are 3 main areas:
- Knowledge sharing talks and seminars
- Retainer and one-off consultancy and project assignments
- Sourcing of properties for purchase and leasing
Knowledge sharing talks and seminars
LandConsult conducts talks and seminars on land administration in Singapore. The content may include alienation, acquisition, leasing/licensing of State land and properties, lease extension/renewal, change of use and other land matters of interest.
Retainer and one-off consultancy and project assignments
To benefit from LandConsult’s extensive experience, expertise and knowledge in land matters, corporations and businesses with large local land and property holdings and regular transactions with the Singapore land agencies (and foreign developers wishing to break into the Singapore property scene) can appoint us on a retainer basis. The monthly fee can be negotiated and will largely depend on the expected number of hours of active engagement required.
LandConsult can also be engaged for one-off consultancy and project assignments. The fees for such engagements will vary depending on the scope and complexity of the assignments and the value of the land transactions. Where appropriate, the fees charged can be negotiated on a success basis i.e. payable only when a given outcome is achieved or when an appeal is successful.
Sourcing of properties for purchase and leasing
LandConsult LLP has good knowledge and understanding of Singapore land agencies’ land and building allocation, sale and leasing policies and procedures. Coupled with its extensive contacts within the Singapore public and private sectors, it is well-placed to assist foreign companies planning to start-up operations in Singapore, new local start-ups as well as others source suitable properties for their use. With our good knowledge of the Singapore property market and reliable contacts and network with property developers, property consultants, property agency firms and the government agencies involved with land work, we can help you find the right properties to meet your business and personal needs.
LandConsult LLP (T10LL2030G)
Address: Singapore Land Tower, 50 Raffles Place, #19-06, Singapore 048623
Managing Partner: GAW SENG SUAN, JOHN
Mobile: +65 9753 3036