Chris Townsend, III
For over 30 years, Mr. Townsend has provided consulting services and legal representation for hospitality companies and airports throughout North America, Europe, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. He has developed tourism practices in growing economies such as Doha, Qatar, representing food, beverage, merchandise and duty free concessionaires at airports and other transportation venues throughout the world, and representing hotel and resort owners.
Mr. Townsend represented the landlord (Qatar Airways and Qatar Duty Free) at the new Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar negotiating food & beverage concessions and merchandise contracts at the airport and preparing a joint venture agreement between the landlord and a major international concessions company.
Following military service and positions with the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC, Mr. Townsend served in a variety of legal capacities with Marriott Corporation, one of the leading hotel operators in the world and as General Counsel of Host Hotels and Resorts, Inc. (formerly Host Marriott Corporation), the largest lodging REIT in the United States and one of the larger owners of hotels in the world.
Mr. Townsend has also served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of HMSHost Corporation (formerly Host Marriott Services Corporation), which with its Italian parent company Autogrill SpA, is the largest provider of food, beverage and merchandise concessions to travelers in the world. He was also a partner and of counsel to Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP, an international law firm with offices in 21 countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Representative clients include Qatar Airways, Qatar Duty Free, Qatar National Hotel Company (now Katara Hospitality), Qatar Tourism, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), hotel owners in the Middle East, North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, government agencies in the Middle East, international hotel operators and sovereign wealth funds in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.