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Concepts of hospitality, the duty of respect, care and protection, owed from a host to a guest, and from a guest to a host, go back to the dawn of recorded history.  Stroock’s Global Hospitality and Leisure Practice is not quite that old, but it has been a core part of our tradition for much of our firm’s nearly 150-year history.

Our clients include owners, developers and operators of hotel, resort and club properties, as well as publicly traded lodging REITs, family offices with significant global hotel holdings, and private equity firms that focus on hotel investment.  We are particularly proud to have represented major U.S. cities and educational institutions in connection with the development and operation of several convention center and conference center hotels. 

Our multidisciplinary team – which includes nearly a dozen members – has represented clients with respect to the acquisition, disposition, development, structuring, financing and investment in more than 1,200 hotels and resorts, from New York to Los Angeles and most points in between, and in overseas locations as diverse as Doha, Prague, Munich, Rio de Janeiro and Egypt’s Red Sea coast.   Because members of our team are located from coast to coast, we can have “boots on the ground” any time, any place, to help perform due diligence for either a development location, as we have done for sites as close as New York and as far away as the Crimean coast, or one hotel or, as we did most recently, a portfolio of twelve U.S. hotels.

Our clients enjoy access to the full range of other services provided by our nationally recognized law firm. These include real estate, corporate and corporate structuring, tax, environmental, intellectual property, privacy and data protection, cybersecurity, fund formation, equity and debt financing, financial restructuring, labor and employment (including individual and multi-employer industry negotiations) and deep experience in cross-border investments and transactions.

The Work We Do

As a full-service hospitality and leisure practice group nestled within a nearly 150-year-old AmLaw 200 law firm, we understand that clients expect “soup to nuts” seamless service from a law firm in all legal disciplines.  But we also strive to understand our clients’ business and be trusted advisors in addition to counseling on fine legal points. 

Hotel Acquisitions and Dispositions

  • Negotiate purchase and sale agreements for hotels and resorts around the world
  • Coordinate due diligence including title and survey, environmental, lease and operating contract review 
  • Coordinate closing documents and closings
  • Advise on portfolio transactions
  • Provide legal counsel for REIT closing structures and compliance requirements

Hotel Franchise Agreements and Management Agreements

  • Previously in their careers, our hospitality and leisure attorneys helped to create the core hotel documents for some of the best known global hotel brands and operators.  Today, we leverage our experience and relationships to assist some of the world’s leading hotel owners in managing their relationships with these brands and operators
  • Negotiate hotel franchise agreements and management agreements opposite global brand managers including Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and Wyndham, as well as most of the boutique and lifestyle hotel brands, including for “soft” hotel brands, hospitality marketing organizations and other distribution channels
  • Negotiate on behalf of and opposite many of the leading independent hotel management companies

Hotel and Branded Residential Development Projects

  • Counsel owner / developer clients on the development of hotels and resorts across the United States, and as far away as Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including with respect to development agreements, construction contracts and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements
  • Advise clients regarding the branded residential components which make projects more viable from a financial standpoint, and which often include the ability to offer a rental program.  Branded residential components are often tied to an adjacent branded hotel project, but are increasingly also offered using the intellectual property of other luxury brands whose core business is not the lodging industry
  • Assist developers to evaluate proposals from various brands and operators and leverage our contacts and knowledge to help secure the most favorable terms, including with respect to securing “key money”

Fund Formation, Equity Investments, Financing and Restructuring

  • Advise on and implement fund formation and facilitate equity investments through a variety of structures, including joint venture agreements and with public and private REITs  
  • Assist clients in securing construction, acquisition, refinance and mezzanine loans for hotel and resort properties aggregating in the billions of dollars
  • Build deal teams including members of our asset-based lending practice and corporate practice to ensure that we always have cutting edge-knowledge of what is market in each situation
  • Negotiate loan modification agreements and forbearance agreements for hotel loans totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars

F&B and Other Specialty Agreements

  • Advise on a multitude of agreements to increase profitability and efficiency by carving out areas of hotel and resort operation for operation by third parties.  Our in-depth knowledge of the industry allows us to structure these arrangements in ways that are mutually beneficial for both parties, and include  F&B management agreements, restaurant management agreements and leases, parking management agreements and agreements providing for the outsourcing of operations of various amenities and back-of-house functions
  • Counsel on room block agreements and agreements for the operation and use of event space including in convention centers to enhance synergy between the hotel and event space
  • Represent developers, owners and operators of signature restaurants, restaurant chains and F&B operations outside of the hotel context, including with respect to “celebrity chef” concepts, as well as management and use agreements for golf courses, marinas, stadiums and other entertainment and recreation venues   
  • With a history of a real estate practice in the State of New York going back more than a century, advise regarding New York condominium and coop law, and specifically, how these laws interplay with condo hotel and fractional ownership properties
  • Advise numerous national and regional hotel owners in major real estate tax cases before the New York City Tax Commission and Corporation Counsel’s Office, and in New York State Supreme Court proceedings  

Select Representative Engagements and Transactions

  • Representing the developer of what will be upon completion the flagship Ritz-Carlton resort in North America, including the development of significant Ritz-Carlton-branded luxury residences  
  • Representing a prominent publicly traded national lodging REIT in North America in various matters in connection with the acquisition of five U.S. resort and hotel properties
  • Representing a prominent family office in North America in various matters in connection with its most recent addition of a hotel to its U.S. portfolio 
  • Representing a prestigious university in connection with the development of a luxury resort and conference center on its grounds
  • Representing a prominent family office in connection with the renovation of one large full-service hotel and the development of a new full-service hotel and new luxury hotel as part of the creation of an entertainment district in a major U.S. city
  • Representing a well-known global private equity fund in restructuring the debt on a full service hotel in the U.S. Southeast
  • Representing a national hotel-focused private equity group in connection with its sponsorship of a venture to acquire a hotel portfolio in the U.S. south and its participation with another private equity group to acquire a hotel in the U.S. Northwest
  • Representing a multibillion dollar West Coast-based capital management firm in connection with the acquisition of two hotels in a bankruptcy auction and advising the client in repositioning the hotels
  • Representing a prominent West-Coast-based family office in seeking to acquire a half-built luxury hotel from a bankruptcy estate
  • Representing ownership of a large portfolio of New York City hotels in operational matters and efforts to outsource and streamline functions to enhance profitability  
  • Representing the non-sponsor investors in the development of a significant luxury hotel in Manhattan

Attorneys

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