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Simon Etchells

Work 0330 222 1738

Work Department

Real Estate


Dual Qualified real estate partner working from Dentons' Glasgow and London offices, Simon is active in England, Wales and Scotland in the investment, development, hotel, leisure, retail, utilities, alternative energy, aquaculture and industrial sectors. He has particular expertise in cinema development and leasing, property funding, development structuring, mixed use development, institutional and shopping centre investment, and commercial advice to industry.  His clients include property developers, investors, funders and leisure operators, as well as overseas investors, owner managed businesses and high street retailers. Simon has a long record in the successful co-ordination and delivery of complex real estate and development transactions across the UK, and has been rated by the law directories as a key individual in England and Scotland.


Trained W & J Burness WS 1985-87; qualified 1987; qualified in England and Wales 2004. Assistant Bird Semple Fyfe Ireland WS, Glasgow 1987-90; founder member Semple Fraser WS 1990; partner 1992-2013; managing partner 2012-13; partner Maclay, Murray & Spens 2013 to 2017.


Law Society of Scotland and Law Society of England and Wales; Investment Property Forum; Governor Lomond School


Hermitage Academy, Helensburgh; Edinburgh University (1984 LLB (Hons); 1985 Diploma Legal Practice).


Alpine skiing; sailing; family; books and good wine.

Scotland: Real estate

Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Within: Commercial property: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Dentons expanded its coverage of the UK market, when it merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in 2017. A sizeable number of the Scottish team are dual-qualified in English law and Scottish law, and a significant proportion of the work it handles is written under English law. Colin Keenan has a notable English and Scottish practice, with particular experience of transactions involving shopping centres (acquisitions, disposals and asset management). Simon Etchells advises English and Scottish clients on projects UK-wide involving cinemas, mixed-use and industrial developments. Barry McKeown is at the forefront of the team's advice to clients such as Sigma Capital Group and Gatehouse Bank on the delivery of new PRS housing units across the UK. Also recommended is Allan Cairns, who assisted Alpha Real Capital with the Scottish property aspects of a circa £125m sale and leaseback transaction involving 109 care homes across the UK, including 15 in Scotland.  Gordon Aitken (who co-heads the practice with Etchells) led a team, which included director Susan Gillon and senior associate Sheena Mackintosh, in the advice to Lime Property Fund on its circa £52.8m acquisition of the EcoCampus at Hamilton International Park. The firm has a strong track record in the retail sector; in 2017, a highlight involved acting for Long Row Properties Limited in its £25m acquisition of Debenhams department store in Nottingham. Elsewhere, McKeown and Gillian Downie are key figures in the specialist housebuilder unit which generates work from clients such as Barratt Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon Homes.

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