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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 20 years' experience, six 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, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as well as emerging markets such as the Philippines, Maldives, Seychelles, Vietnam and Africa.  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:

  • 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
  • a prominent UAE family in the development, management and licensing agreements with international brands to deliver approximately 1.8 million m² featuring 75 storey tower hotels and residences
  • an investment vehicle of a member of the Saudi Arabian Royal family, in the development and management of branded hotels and residences at DaNang, Vietnam, Makati, Philippines, the Seychelles and Morocco
  • 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
  • a fund manager in drafting and negotiating key commercial terms and legal agreements for the sale and leaseback of a significant, purpose built, industrial complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates



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