Steven Henderson

Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla


Steven is head of Baker McKenzie’s real estate and hospitality practice in the UAE. He is a New Zealand and UK qualified lawyer who has been working in the Middle East since January 2006 leading another multinational law firm's real estate practice in the region before joining Baker McKenzie in January 2014.

Practice Focus

Steven has extensive real estate (including pre-lets, leasing, acquisitions, disposals), development and hotel related experience. Steven is ranked by Chambers (Tier 1), Legal 500 (leading individual) and highly recommended by PLC Which Lawyer.

Representative Legal Matters

Real Estate Development

  • Advised Emaar on its joint venture with P&O Marinas (a subsidiary of Dubai World) to redevelop and gentrify the old Mina Rashid port area in Dubai (a c. AED29 billion redevelopment).

  • Advised on a joint venture between Solidere International and the Ruler of Ajman, on the Master Development, known as Al Zorah, in Ajman, including hotel, residential and commercial aspects. This on-going transaction involves advice on volumetric and strata subdivision, including drafting the suite of documents for the off-plan sales.

  • Advised on the ownership structure, lease documentation and rules in relation to the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, the form of which is now used as a precedent in the Abu Dhabi market.

  • Advised NCB Capital (DIFC) Limited on the USD 170 million acquisition (and leaseback) of three schools from GEMS Education.

  • Advised Dubai Property Group (DPG) on the first sale of a portfolio of mature real estate assets in Dubai, with an aggregate value of approximately USD 1 billion.

Hotel and Leisure

  • Advised Dubai Properties on its first nine hotel deals, including a Double-Tree hotel in Bay Square, Dubai, two new luxury hotels - a new Anantara Hotel to be developed in Culture Village and a new Edition hotel to be developed in JBR, Dubai.

  • Advised Four Seasons on its new hotels in the UAE and relocating its regional headquarters to Dubai.

  • Advised Jumeirah International on several of its local (UAE) and international hotel projects, including acting as Global Relationship Partner for the firms relationship with Jumeirah following the appointment to its Legal panel in December 2014.

  • Advised Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC) in relation two new hotels in Dubai, an MGM and a Bellagio. The development also includes MGM branded residences, a museum, theatre, retail facilities and a large entertainment/adventure zone, bringing the 'Las Vegas' style resort to Dubai.

  • Advised several prominent Dubai real estate developers on new hotel developments, including negotiating the suite of hotel agreements with the operators.

Professional Honors

  • Tier 1 lawyer for Real Estate in the UAE, Chambers Global, 2008 - 2017
  • Named Leading Individual for UAE Real Estate in Legal 500

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Barrister and Solicitor of High Court of New Zealand
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority, England & Wales


  • England & Wales~United Kingdom (2007)
  • New Zealand (2000)
  • Dubai - Registered Legal Consultant


  • University of Auckland (1999)


  • English