About Me

I am a London-based Of Counsel in our international Real Estate Group with many years' experience in real estate transactions. I also lead our international hotels, hospitality and leisure team, specialising in the acquisition, development and disposal of all types of hotels, from budget to luxury and in the negotiation of hotel management agreements.

Working with my skilled team, we buy, sell and develop hotels. We also negotiate hotel franchise agreements and hotel management agreements and related documents such as IP licences and technical services agreements. In recent years, I have successfully concluded a number of high profile M&A transactions and hotel management agreements in London and globally.

In the commercial property arena I represent investors, developers, landlords and tenants and have long standing expertise in the acquisition of corporate headquarters and in the development of motorway service areas.

You'll find me listed in the legal directories as an expert in the hotels and leisure sector. In addition, I'm a regular panellist at industry conferences such as the International Hotel Investment Forum.

I am one of the founder members of Real Estate Balance, which works to address the gender imbalance in the real estate sector, and the Chair of its Talent and Development Committee. We bring people together from all areas of real estate to help address gender inequality in the sector. I am also one of the founders of the Women in Hospitality Network, which supports and provides mentoring opportunities for women hoping to further their careers in hospitality.
  • Advising the owner of a hotel in Albania on its conversion to an international high-end brand; including the negotiation of a hotel management agreement (HMA) and related documents including a technical services agreement and trade mark licence, with the brand.
  • Advising the owner of a luxury hotel in central London on its negotiations with the current operator, a major international brand, for the grant to the operator of an operational lease.
  • Advising Qatari Diar on an ongoing basis in the run-up to the prospective opening of the ultra-luxury Rosewood hotel scheduled to open around 2022, having represented QD on the negotiation of the management agreement with Rosewood in 2017.
  • Advising Cadogan Estates Limited on matters relating to its hotels in Chelsea, including the five star luxury Belmond Hotel, Sloane Street, London, to be opened in Spring 2019. In 2018 Karen advised Cadogan on the negotiation of a food and beverage consultancy agreement for the operation of the hotel restaurant and other food and beverage areas within the hotel, with Adam Handling (UK Celebrity Masterchef winner and owner of the Frog Restaurant in London).


  • UCL, LLB, Laws


  • Law Society of England & Wales in 1983
Testimonials Carousel Megaphone


Karen Friebe is 'commercial, astute and technically really good, with broad market experience'.

Chambers UK

Karen is recognised as being a 'standout for hotel management agreements for boutique hotels'.

Legal 500 UK

Karen is a well-known practitioner in the market who is held in high regard by her peers, with clients adding that she is a 'doyenne of the hotel legal world' and 'very sure footed'.

Chambers UK

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