The Hospitality Group has extensive experience in transactional work involving hotels, spas, tourism, restaurants, entertainment venues, car rental companies, timeshares, condominiums, and golf courses. That experience involves representation of private equity funds, real estate investment trusts (REITS), lenders, owners, developers, hotel management companies, and operators of spas and restaurants. We handle a variety of matters for these clients, including acquisitions, dispositions, and financings of hotel and resort real estate, joint venture agreements, management agreements, franchise agreements, public and private financing arrangements, mergers and acquisitions, and general securities matters.
In addition to a strong transactional base, the Hospitality Group has unique industry experience representing hotel, spa, and restaurant managers; developers; lenders; and owners in day-to-day operational matters. Such matters include service contracts, concession agreements, leases, in-room entertainment and technology systems, sales and catering agreements, service marks, employee relations matters, employee benefits issues, guests issues, premises liability, crisis management, and administrative licensing. Thirty percent of the Members of the Hospitality Group have in-house hotel company experience. Only this hands-on hotel company experience provides the practical industry knowledge-based insights that clients value from our team.
As part of its operational experience in the hospitality industry, the firm’s attorneys have significant experience in advising and representing clients in employee relations matters, with the goal of preventing problems. That practice includes helping clients establish policies and procedures and controls to create a harmonious relationship between hotel companies and their employees. When those relationships break down, the firm handles numerous Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and litigation matters stemming from the employment issues. The Hospitality Group also has taken part in numerous collective bargaining negotiations with the hotel and restaurant workers’ unions throughout the country and regularly counsels clients on union-related issues.
Eckert Seamans’ Hospitality Group also has a team of litigators with hotel and restaurant experience to advise and consult with clients to achieve practical business solutions to disputes among hotel owners, franchisors, and managers – and, when necessary, represent clients in general commercial litigation, defend clients in litigation involving guest claims and employment disputes at the administrative and judicial levels.
The growth of our hospitality practice has led to a very large international practice, including representation of U.S.-based owners and operators in transactions outside of the U.S. and non-U.S.-based owners and operators in transactions within and outside of the U.S.