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Scott Aitken

Scott Aitken

Senior Associate

Scott is Head of Middle East Real Estate.



Scott specialises in monetising real estate assets. He is Herbert Smith Freehills' senior real estate resource in the Middle East. He has over 20 years' experience, eight years of which come from being based in the Middle East. Scott has advised on some of the region's leading real estate transactions, particularly mixed use projects in many emerging markets including developments with significant retail, commercial, industrial and hotel components.

Scott has considerable experience in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as well as emerging markets such as several countries across Africa, the Philippines, Maldives, Seychelles and Vietnam. He has very strong negotiation and drafting skills. Some quotes from Scott's clients include:

"…commercially focussed, results driven and protecting the legal positions that mattered."

"He is smart, pragmatic, client focussed and commercially astute."

Scott's experience includes advising:

  • various owners and investors, advising, drafting and negotiating key commercial and legal arrangements for the sale and leaseback of several purpose built industrial complexes in Dubai including properties located in JAFZA, Dubai South and Dubai Investment Park
  • a Saudi Arabian government agency advising on the re-generation of a significant heritage precinct in Riyadh
  • The Address Hotels & Resort in relation to negotiating the development and management arrangements for a new mixed use hotel of 200 keys and a 1,000 apartment residential property in Dubai
  • Gulf Capital PJSC, in connection with a new retail mall development in excess of 2 million square feet, including 'overbuild' issues and drafting complex musataha and usufruct arrangements including direct agreements with financiers and preparing standard documentation for the pre-letting
  • an international airport in overseeing an extensive international procurement process for a new 700,000 m², 65 gate airport terminal
  • Standard Chartered Bank for the development and leasing of purpose built premises in the Republic of Zambia; comprising commercial head office and retail banking chamber and related amenities
  • a government client in a joint venture with two developers for a project over a 122 ha site comprising town centre, educational and community facilities and home to 4500 residents including negotiating and documenting arrangements with infrastructure providers for power, water and transport corridors



Prior to being a lawyer, Scott was a financer for 16 years.