Stephen J. Kelly

Stephen-Kelly

Stephen J. Kelly

Partner

Dubai | Unit 501, Level 5, Precinct Building 2, Dubai International Financial Centre, PO Box 506675, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 4 425 6364 | +971 4 425 6301

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Stephen J. Kelly is a partner based in Dechert’s Dubai office. Mr. Kelly has over 10 years of experience in the Middle East, having relocated to Dubai in April 2008 after practicing within the real estate development and hospitality industries in Sydney, Australia for 15 years.

Mr. Kelly is widely recognised as a leading real estate development and hospitality lawyer in the region and has extensive experience advising master developers, developers, hotel operators, service providers and other players in the real estate development and hospitality industries. He assists clients in all development, hospitality and commercial real estate related matters. He has particular experience advising on title structuring of complex development projects and structuring developments within the various community and strata title regimes, specifically large scale master communities, mixed use and hotel developments.

In the 2018 edition of Chambers Global, Mr. Kelly is noted for his sophisticated development practice, with clients describing him as "an extremely experienced development lawyer who is able to give a well thought through perspective on the market." Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Kelly was a partner with another international law firm based in Dubai, and previously worked for a highly regarded law firm in Australia.

Experience

Middle East Development Matters

  • Emaar Properties PJSC, with respect to the title structuring and preparation of governance and management documents for many of its complex master communities and developments including Emirates Living, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Burj Khalifa, Emaar Square, Emaar Boulevard, South Ridge and many other Emaar Developments across Dubai.
  • Leading UAE Master Developer with respect to the title structuring and the preparation of governance and sales documentation for a number of large iconic landmark and island developments in Dubai.
  • Arcapita with respect to the acquisition and lease-back of a number of warehouses in Dubai Investment Park and Dubai, in addition to the acquisition and lease-back of a warehouse complex in Al Quoz under construction.
  • Meydan Group LLC with respect to the formulation of the sub-divisional, management and operational strategies for the Meydan master community (including the Meydan Racecourse), including the preparation of the master community declaration for Meydan and the template governance documentation for the multiply-owned precincts and buildings contained therein.
  • Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA) with respect to the review and redrafting of the DIFC Real Property Law and DIFC Strata Law and their supporting regulations, in addition to the title strategy for the DIFC master community and the preparation of an updated master community declaration regulating the operation and management of the Dubai International Financial Centre. 
  • TECOM Investments FZ LLC (now Dubai Creative Clusters Authority) in the preparation of the master community declarations for all of the TECOM master communities and the preparation of the sales, disclosure and governance documentation for Villa Lantana, a villa community within Dubai Science Park.
  • World Trade Centre LLC in the initial title structuring for the World Trade Centre master community and EXPO Village, a large mixed-use predominantly residential development being constructed to support the 2020 EXPO.
  • Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC) with respect to the Uptown Dubai development in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, including advice in relation to the subdivision structure for the hotel, office, branded residences and retail components.  Also advised in respect to the negotiation with its appointed hotel operator with respect to the suite of branded residences documentation with respect to the operation and management of the branded residences.
  • Aldar PJSC in relation to the title structuring and preparation of the governance documents for numerous Aldar developments and master communities in Abu Dhabi, including the preparation of the sales, disclosure and governance documentation for Yas Acres on Yas Island and Water's Edge on Al Raha Beach.
  • Tourism Development Investment Corporation (TDIC), the master developer of Saadiyat Island, on the community framework and preparation of the master community declaration for Saadiyat Island and with respect to the subdivision, management, operation, sale and leasing of a number of its developments on Saadiyat Island and on-shore Abu Dhabi, including St Regis Hotel and Residences, Saadiyat Beach Villas and Apartments, and Eastern Mangroves.
  • The Wave Muscat SAOC, the master developer of The Wave – Muscat in Oman, with respect to the legal and community framework for The Wave being an “Integrated Tourism Complex” governed by Royal Decree no. 12/2006 enabling foreign ownership in Oman. The Wave community includes residential retail and hotel precincts, together with a golf course, marina, beach and other community facilities.
  • Meydan Sobha LLC with respect to the title structuring and the preparation of governance documentation for the District One Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City master community development in Meydan Dubai being a luxury, high-end branded residences development.
  • Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC/Wasl) in relation to its various development projects in the Emirate of Dubai including the Hyatt Creek Heights Hotel and Residences, Nad Al Hamar master community, the new Wasl One Park Gate mixed-use development and a new master community in Jebel Ali. 
  • Seven Tides Limited in relation to its various development projects in the Emirate of Dubai including the Seven Hotel and Residences, Palm Jumeirah and its new Seven City mixed-use development in Jumeirah Lake Towers. 
  • Al Habtoor Group in relation to the structuring, sales and disclosure documents for Al Habtoor City, a large mixed-use hotel and residential development including a large retail component and tennis academy.
  • Dubai Sports City LLC with respect to the title structuring and preparation of the master community declaration for Dubai Sports City, a large master community comprising sporting and leisure precincts, hospitality, retail and commercial uses (including Victory Heights).
  • Jumeirah Golf Estates LLC in relation to the title structuring and preparation of the sales, disclosure and governance documentation for Alandalus at Jumeirah Golf Estates, a large multi-phased residential apartment development within the Jumeirah Golf Estates master community. 

Middle East Hospitality Matters

  • Marriott and Starwood Group of Companies in relation to Marriott’s operation and management of various hotel and branded residences developments throughout the Middle East and Africa, including advising with respect to the title structuring of each complex mixed-use developments and the negotiation of a suite of hotel and residences documentation.
  • Investment Corporation Dubai (ICD) in relation to the title structuring and preparation of the sales, disclosure and governance documentation for Royal Atlantis Hotel and Residences being a complex mixed-use hotel and branded residences development adjacent to the existing Atlantis Resort and Aquaventure water park on Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. 
  • Enshaa Services Group with respect to the title structuring and preparation of the governance, management and sales documentation for Palazzo Versace and D1 located on Dubai Creek. Palazzo Versace is a landmark mixed–use hotel, condominium and marina development and D1 is an 80 level residential tower.
  • Al Sharq Investments in the structuring and preparation of the governance, management and sales documentation for the W Hotel and Alef Residences, a large residential and hotel resort development located on the crescent of Palm Jumeirah, including advising on the management arrangements with Starwood for the hotel and residences.
  • Select Group in relation to the structuring, sales and disclosure documentation for Jumeirah Living Marina Gate in Dubai Marina, a hotel apartment development branded by Jumeirah under its Jumeirah Living brand.
  • Dubai Real Estate Corporation with respect to the title structuring, preparation of residential hotel management documentation, and the governance, sales and managed rental scheme documentation for the Hyatt Creek Hotel and Residences.
  • Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer and operator of the Address Hotels, with respect to the title structuring and preparation of governance and management documents for their hotel mixed-use developments in Downtown Dubai.
  • Tameer Holding Investment LLC and Gemstone in relation to the structuring. sales and disclosure documents for The Imperial Residences and the Kempinski Residences, Business Bay, Dubai, being a stand-alone branded residences project.
  • Seven Tides Limited with respect to the structuring and preparation of the governance, management and sales documentation for Anantara Palm Jumeirah, Dubai - Royal Amwaj, a large residential and hotel resort development located on the crescent of Palm Jumeirah including advising with respect to the management arrangements with Anantara for the hotel and branded residences.
  • Zabeel Investments LLC, the developer of Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and Tiara Hotel & Residences, with respect to the preparation of sales and disclosure documents (and associated title structuring and governance documents) with respect to the sale of branded residential villas in Zabeel Saray and apartments in Tiara.
  • Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) with respect to the sales and governance documentation (including advising with respect to title structuring and preparation of the governance and management documentation) for the St Regis Hotel and Residences, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.

Education
  • Otago University, B.Com. (Management), LL.B., 1992
Admissions
  • New Zealand
  • Supreme Court of New South Wales
Memberships
  • Law Society of New South Wales