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Michael is the head of the hospitality practice and focuses in the areas of real estate and corporate law. With more than two decades of hospitality and leisure industry experience, Michael has particular experience in drafting and negotiating complex franchise and management contracts between hotel owners and operators. He has represented some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated hotel owners and operators in connection with the development, acquisition, disposition and financing of more than 500 hotel and resort properties around the globe.

He is frequently called upon by clients to structure some of the hospitality industry’s most challenging transactions, including documenting strategic relationships between hotel owners, operators and developers. Michael uses his extensive skill in the development of real estate and hotels and the negotiation of hotel management agreements and related documents for some of the key players in the global hospitality sector.

He also is well versed in other areas of real estate, including office buildings, retail, multifamily projects, medical facilities, power generation facilities and mixed-use development projects. Michael has provided tenant-side representation for significant office leases, including for large (multi-floor) users in trophy properties, including the Chrysler Building and 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, and has provided landlord-side representation for significant retail leases in more than a dozen hotels owned by his clients. He has devoted a significant part of his pro bono service to addressing the real estate and other needs of the Archdiocese of Washington as well as facilities operated by Catholic Charities.

Prior to entering private practice, he served for nearly a decade as a senior aide to the late U.S. Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley,  where he handled, among other matters, the Congresswoman’s foreign affairs portfolio.

Representative Matters

  • Serving as lead counsel to a national publicly traded lodging REIT for the acquisition of a portfolio of six Renaissance hotels.  Responsibilities included all matters related to the acquisition, as well as the negotiation, of new hotel management agreements for the portfolio.
  • Acting as lead counsel to the “special opportunities” fund of a national private equity firm for the acquisition of a full-service Hilton Hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Responsibilities included all aspects of diligence and purchase transaction, including overseeing acquisition of a new liquor license in the context of North Carolina’s unique liquor laws.
  • Working as lead counsel for a hotel-focused national private equity firm for the acquisition of a Hyatt Regency Hotel on land ground leased from the Pittsburgh Airport Authority.  Unique responsibilities included negotiating a new long-term ground lease acceptable to federal and local aviation authorities.
  • Serving as lead counsel to a large Middle Eastern hotel developer/operating company for the acquisition of its first European hotel, the Munich Marriott.
  • Serving as counsel for one of the world’s largest hotel operating companies in negotiating the sale of four hotel portfolios, including nearly 100 hotels and resorts to two of the country’s largest hospitality REITs.
  • Acting as counsel for one of the world’s largest hotel operating companies in negotiating four master management contracts with two of the country’s largest hospitality REITs for four hotel portfolios, including nearly 100 hotels and resorts.
  • Serving as counsel for one of the world’s largest hotel operating companies in negotiating the hotel management contracts for the company’s Paris and Hamburg hotels.
  • Working as lead counsel for the developer of a luxury resort and branded residential mixed-use community along the Red Sea in Egypt.
  • Serving as lead development counsel to the owners of one of the most well-known resorts in the Dominican Republic and representing them in connection with the further development of the resort.
  • Acting as lead counsel for the developers of two upper/upscale hotels in Central/Eastern European capital cities (Prague, Czech Republic and Riga, Latvia).
  • Serving as lead counsel for the developers of two of the first eight Edition Hotels (a new Marriott brand created in concert with Ian Schrager).
  • Serving as counsel to two prominent U.S. cities in negotiations to develop 800 guest room and 1,000 guest room convention center hotels, respectively, adjacent to existing convention center facilities.
  • Serving as lead counsel for a publicly traded REIT in negotiating the management contract for one of its premier hotels in Los Angeles.
  • Working as lead counsel for one of the world’s largest hotel companies in negotiating the management contract for one of its premier hotels in Chicago.
  • Serving as lead counsel for one of the world’s largest hotel companies in developing a management contract for its newest luxury brand. Also negotiation of a management contract for a 1,000-room hotel and the first new-build 500-room hotel of the brand to be built in Orlando.
  • Serving as lead counsel for one of the country’s most prominent hotel/spa companies in negotiating a management contract and related agreements for a multi-use development to be developed in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Acting as lead counsel for a prominent hotel management company in negotiating the management contract for one of the country’s best-known resorts located in San Diego.
  • Serving as lead counsel for a joint venture between two prominent U.S. development companies in negotiating the management contract for a to-be-constructed tower in downtown Los Angeles that includes a 1,000-room co-branded luxury hotel.
  • Serving as lead counsel to the developer of a boutique hotel and high-end restaurant in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
  • Working as lead counsel to a prominent real estate funds company in connection with negotiating hotel franchise agreements with Marriott International, Inc.
  • Serving as lead counsel to a prominent Middle East–based real estate funds company in connection with negotiating hotel franchise agreements with Marriott International, Inc.
  • Acting as lender’s counsel to a prominent hotel lender in connection with a hotel development loan to develop a hotel in Albany, New York.
  • Serving as lender’s counsel to a prominent United Kingdom bank in connection with refinancing a real estate portfolio, including a hotel in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • Serving as lender’s counsel to a prominent life insurance company active in making hospitality loans in connection with refinancing a hotel in Tucson, Arizona.
  • Serving as lead counsel to a New York real estate company in connection with the acquisition during development of an upper/upscale hotel in Boston and in the negotiation of a hotel management contract for the same.

Admitted To Practice

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Education

J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1993

B.A., Loyola College Maryland, 1990