Bilal Ambikapathy heads Baker McKenzie's real estate and hotels practice in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. He has a commercial practice focusing on domestic and international hotel projects and real estate transactions, principally in Saudi Arabia and in the broader Middle East and North Africa region. Bilal has negotiated over 80 hotel management agreements for hotel owners against all the world's leading international hotel operators.
Bilal is ranked as one of the Middle East's foremost hotels lawyers and is recognized as a market leader in the hotels and real estate sector in Saudi Arabia. He is also consistently recognized as a leading lawyer in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by Chambers Global and Legal 500.
Bilal regularly acts for investment banks on the formation of real estate funds and REITs in Saudi Arabia and on the acquisition and disposal of assets owned by funds. Bilal has been involved in the establishment of funds in Saudi Arabia since the inception of the Real Estate Investment Fund regulations and has direct experience of how the approach to funds has evolved over time, both in terms of regulation and market sentiment.
Representative Legal Matters
- Acting for Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi Real Estate Investment Company (subsidiary of Awqaf Sulaiman Al Rajhi) in its negotiations with five international hotel operators (Starwood, Rezidor, Millennium, Accor and Shaza) for nine hotels in Makkah and Riyadh.
- Acting for Jabal Omar Development Company in its negotiations with nine of the world’s leading hotel operators (Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Accor, Best Western, Rezidor and Millennium) for the provision of 26 brands to manage 38 towers and 12,000 rooms under construction in Makkah.
- Acting for Majid Al Futtaim Properties in the acquisition of land, formation of a joint venture and development of a super regional shopping mall, hotels, serviced residence and mixed-use residential development north of Riyadh.
- Acting for the owner of five shopping malls in Jeddah in the restructuring of ownership in the malls to facilitate third-party investment, including reviewing the underlying development land leases and retail shopping leases for each shopping mall.
- Advising Al Rajhi Bank on the restructuring of a USD 200 million sukuk in relation to the Villamar property development in Bahrain.
- Acting for the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector in the formation of a middle income housing fund in Labuan, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
- Acting for Samba Capital in the formation of a privately placed real estate fund in Saudi Arabia and subsequent acquisition by the fund of an existing income generating asset in Makkah.
- Acting for ANB Invest in relation to the establishment of a privately placed real estate fund in Saudi Arabia and the acquisition of an operational shopping mall for the fund.
- High Court of Australia~Australia (2005)
- Supreme Court of Victoria~Australia (2004)
- Western Australia~Australia (2000)
- Australian Capital Territory~Australia (1998)
- Australian National University (Master's Degree Environmental Policy and Management) (2002)
- Australian National University (Graduate Diploma Legal Practice) (1998)
- University of Tasmania (Bachelor of Laws LL.B.) (1997)
- University of Tasmania (Bachelor of Arts B.A.) (1997)