Mr Cowie (pictured) worked at Allens for 21 years, 18 of those as a partner, before swapping to Herbert Smith Freehills.
He has worked on a range of significant and complex property matters for high-profile and diverse clients in the Asia-Pacific region.
David Sinn, Herbert Smith Freehills’ head of real estate, Asia-Pacific, said Mr Cowie was a valuable addition to the team.
“Nicholas has a strong Asia-Pacific practice and an excellent reputation for outstanding technical legal skills and exceptional client service,” Mr Sinn said.
“As one of the key sector groups of the firm globally, the real estate sector group is able to provide global clients with corporate and funds management knowledge and expertise, in addition to direct real estate expertise. Nicholas has this experience and will complement the skill set and transactional capability of the team.”