BLP strengthens Real Estate team in UAE with hire of Scott Antel from DLA Piper

International law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has today (26 January 2015) announced the appointment of hospitality and leisure expert Scott Antel as a Partner in its Abu Dhabi office. He will join BLP on 2 February 2015.

Scott was previously a Senior Partner and Head of the Hospitality & Leisure sector for Russia/CIS at DLA Piper Moscow. He has many years’ emerging markets experience, specialising in hospitality and franchise advisory work, real estate, general corporate transactions, tax and compliance. His client portfolio in Russia consists of some of the biggest names in global hotel investment, development and management and his knowledge of the market will also benefit the team at GoltsblatBLP, BLP’s Russian practice. In 2012 Scott was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Russian Hotel Investment Forum for his significant contribution to the industry’s development in Russia, the only lawyer/consultant ever to receive the Award.

Scott will be based in BLP’s Abu Dhabi office and will lead the Hotels Team in the MEA Region, helping the firm to grow its successful hotels practice in the Middle East and to maximise opportunities in Africa in the hotels sector. As a key member of BLP’s International Hotels Team, Scott will be working closely with London-based Hotels Partner Karen Friebe and with Bob Charlton, BLP’s newly appointed Head of Asia – both of whom are also former DLA Piper Partners. Scott’s remit will extend to helping develop the firm’s Asia Pacific hotels business.

Chris de Pury, Head of Real Estate at BLP, said: “The reality is that there are very few true hotel experts in the market. In Scott, we’ve not only found someone who fits the bill, but he’s also undoubtedly one of the best there is. His track record of growing a hotels practice in a buoyant market speaks for itself and this is a great opportunity for BLP to further our already sizeable credentials in the region and internationally.”

Scott Antel said: “Investor confidence in the UAE has increased over the last year and has been underpinned by strong trading performance and tourism demand growth in the area. This is bolstered by strong government commitment to the sector[as an economic and international relations driver. As tourism and leisure offerings develop, the hospitality sector is poised to witness growth in the medium to long term. This is an exciting time to be involved in this area of the world and with BLP which has such a renowned brand in the hospitality and leisure and wider real estate market. I am joining the best in my industry sector and am confident that we will play a significant part in the growth in the region’s hospitality and leisure offering.”

BLP’s Real Estate department is ranked in Tier 1 by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. BLP’s Hotels Team has also been ranked in Tier 1 since 2003.


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