In the world of hospitality and leisure, the challenges and opportunities are as diverse as the businesses that make up the sector. That’s why Womble Bond Dickinson provides our clients with a diverse team of lawyers deeply familiar with the sector. 

Our hospitality lawyers work with clients involved in hotel and restaurant development, ownership, financing, franchising, operations and third-party management. This team includes:

  • Real estate lawyers who routinely represent hotel and restaurant owners in the development, entitlement, franchising, acquisition, management and disposition of hotels and restaurants, including closing equity and debt financing. 
  • Transactional lawyers experienced in negotiating franchises, leases and management agreements unique to hotel and restaurant operations. 
  • Employment lawyers who work with hotel and restaurant owners on employment matters arising in a field which is labor intensive Franchise lawyers adept at negotiating license agreements with international brands.  
  • Litigators well-versed in common issues arising in hotel and restaurant construction and operations, including disputes concerning the interpretation of construction contracts, management agreements and hotel formations.  
  • Commercial lawyers experienced in advising on supply chain contracts, the outsourcing of services, payment services and data protection. 
  • Lawyers advising on advertising and marketing, food safety, general health & safety and fire safety regulations. 
  • Tax lawyers whose practices focus on incentives and historic and new market tax credits, sales and use tax, hotel/motel tax and joint venture structuring issues.

These lawyers have deep experience in and knowledge of the hospitality industry, which enables them to provide industry knowledge and cost-effective service to our hotel and hospitality clients.

What we do

  • Real estate
  • Transactional
  • Employment
  • Litigation
  • Tax

Examples of work

  • Negotiated and led the closing of a well-known boutique hotel developer’s $300 million mixed-use development involving the historic rehabilitation of a decommissioned power plant in Savannah, Georgia.  This project involved eight different debt sources, including construction, mezzanine and tax credit facilities. The tax credit financing involved working with the State of Georgia General Assembly to increase the maximum limit of state historic tax credits for the project. The deal also brought together four equity sources all knit together in five inter-creditor agreements and six operating agreements.  
  • Negotiated and led the $250 million acquisition from an opportunistic New York private equity firm of 194 quick-service restaurants (QSR) in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi and negotiated the related refinancing of the acquirer’s entire restaurant portfolio. The acquisition included negotiation of equity funding from family offices. This deal catapulted the client into the #1 ranking of fastest growing companies in the Southeastern US according to the Association of Corporate Growth. 
  • Represented Hilton Grand Vacation in connection with its spin-off from Hilton Worldwide in a $9.0 billion reorganization transaction.
  • Served as lead counsel on all aspects of the $100 million development of a five-star luxury hotel in downtown Charleston, SC, including land acquisition, zoning and land use issues, regulatory matters and construction financing.
  • Multiple clients on the outsourcing of services including catering, cleaning, security, cash collection, facilities management, equipment maintenance, vehicle fleet management and recruitment. 
  • A multi-national hospitality and leisure client in relation to its data protection compliance issues including the cross-border transfer of personal data from the UK to US and other jurisdictions. 
  • Accor UK in relation to development projects and general estate management work, in particular development agreements and leases for numerous turnkey developments for their Ibis Budget and Ibis brands. 
  • A range of clients in this sector on civil and criminal liability of a number of issues including violent incidents in licensed premises, underage sales, noise nuisance and defective or unsafe premises and deliveries to and from licensed premises.