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Donald Rowlands


Don is a London-based real estate specialist with in-depth knowledge of commercial market practice.



Don provides advice on a wide range of institutional purchases and disposals, joint venture investments, developments and letting and finance transactions for overseas investors, funds, developers, corporate and professional tenants on some of the most high profile transactions in the UK and EMEA.

Based in London, Don has particular expertise in acting for clients on large development projects and in the corporate, property and taxation aspects of disposing of and acquiring property by structured corporate acquisition and disposal for a variety of investors. His expertise in real estate and his "strategic leadership" style is highlighted in Chambers Global (where he is ranked Band 1). The Herbert Smith Freehills Real Estate Practice has been ranked in Tier 1 since 2012.

Don's experience includes advising:

  • Hammerson on the joint venture arrangements and acquisition with Allianz of a portfolio of loans secured against a portfolio of market leading retail assets in Dublin (including Dundrum Town Centre) for €1.85 billion.  Also advised Hammerson on the consensual agreement with the borrowers to transfer ownership in the underlying properties to Hammerson and Allianz and associated joint venture and development management arrangements
  • Brookfield on the development, pre-letting and financing of London Wall Place (a 500,000 sq ft City of London development scheme partly pre let to Schroders Plc and Clearly Gottlieb)
  • Brookfield on the development, pre-letting and funding of 100 Bishopsgate (a 1 million sq ft City of London tower building)
  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on several UK investments including its 50:50 development joint venture with Land Securities Group to redevelop Nova Victoria (a c. £1billion mixed use office, retail and residential scheme)
  • Qatar Holding on the structured acquisition from the National Pension Service of Korea of the HSBC Tower Building 8, Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London (the largest single acquisition in the UK in 2014)