Christopher L. Bennett
Chief Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Officer
Vice Chair, Hospitality & Gaming
Chris Bennett on Helping International Clients
Chris Bennett, a member of Eckert Seamans' Hospitality Group and Washington, D.C., office, discusses why some European companies are surprised to discover the complexity of doing business in the USA, which requires compliance at the federal, state, and local levels.WATCH VIDEO
Chris Bennett is a general corporate attorney with a significant focus on the hospitality and gaming industries. Prior to joining the firm, Chris served a 16-year tenure at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc., a manager of more than 450 hotels across North America, Europe, and Asia. Chris was chief administrative officer and general counsel of Interstate, overseeing all legal affairs of the global hotel management company including:
- Three public company mergers;
- More than 10 private mergers and acquisitions;
- $2 billion in public and private debt and equity issuances; senior credit facilities, subordinated term debt, securitized financings, and mortgage loans;
- A New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) IPO, a successful challenge to a NYSE delisting process, and a take-private transaction off the NYSE;
- More than $1.5 billion of hotel real estate acquisitions;
- More than 30 U.S. and foreign joint ventures;
- Corporate compliance including FCPA and UK Bribery Act;
- Corporate governance and ethics;
- More than 800 hotel management agreements and franchise agreements;
- Managed transactions and other legal matters outside the United States in the following countries:
- North America and the Caribbean – Canada, Mexico and Aruba
- Europe – the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, and Hungary
- Asia – China, Russia, India, Cambodia and Kazakhstan
- Africa – Egypt; and
- Established businesses in Shanghai, China and New Delhi, India. Chris has managed transactions and other legal matters in Canada, Mexico, Russia, China, India, the U.K, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Hungary, Cambodia, Egypt, Kazakhstan and Aruba.
While at Interstate, Chris also oversaw Interstate’s human resources department with its 33,000 global associates, served as managing director of the company’s international portfolio, and oversaw the company’s public relations team. Chris is also a certified public accountant.
- American Bar Association
- New York Bar Association
- Virginia Bar Association
- Georgetown Law Hotel and Lodging Legal Summit Board
- The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) Law Conference Board
- Virginia Tech Feiertag Hospitality and Tourism Management Board
- Fairfax County Foster Care and Adoption
News and Insights
- “Should Your Lawyer Do More Than Law,” Forefront Magazine, January/February 2014.
- “How to Form a Hotel Management Company,” presented at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee, April 2016.
- Georgetown Law Conference – General Counsel’s Panel – November 2014