Hospitality and leisure in London

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is widely considered the market leader in the leisure and hospitality space, with its 'excellent sector knowledge' ensuring that it continues to act on the most high-value deals including hotel transactions and development matters. The team, which is singled out for its 'innovative solutions to complex issues' has strength advising international clients on large-scale projects, with one such example including a £1bn hotel portfolio sale led by global head of real estate Chris de Pury and hotels and hospitality practice head Laura Wild. On the transactional side, M&A, disposals, and investment also feature in the caseload, as well as management contracts and franchise agreements for international clients. Head of UK real estate Nazir Dewji is the key contact for large development projects for international developers in the Middle East and Asian markets, while corporate partner Patrick Johnson advises investors and operates the core hospitality and leisure team.

Practice head(s):

Laura Wild; Chris de Pury

Other key lawyers:

Nazir Dewji; Patrick Johnson

Testimonials

‘I have found the firm to be very responsive with in-depth knowledge. They have been accommodating both in time and a willingness to consider innovative solutions to complex issues.’

‘Chris De Pury is an excellent team leader. This is a very cohesive and extremely experienced team that made a complicated transaction happen!’

The team has broad & deep knowledge, working across different teams within the practice. Excellent.’

Key clients

UOL Group

Qatari Diar

Globalgrange

PPHE Hotel Group

EquityBridge Asset Management

LaSalle Investment Management

Qbic

BlackRock

PPHE

Work highlights

  • BCLP advised Globalgrange, one of London’s largest privately-held hotel groups, on the sale of their hotel portfolio (the Grange St Paul’s EC4, Grange Tower Bridge E1, Grange City EC3, and Grange Holborn WC1) for circa. £1 bn, to Queensgate Investments.
  • Advising UOL Group, a Singapore property company listed on the Singapore Exchange with total assets worth more than $10 bn in Asia and Australia, on the development of ONE Bishopsgate and the wider European Portfolio.
  • Advising Qatari Diar in relation to the design and redevelopment of 30 Grosvenor Square, the former American Embassy, into an ultra-luxury Rosewood Hotel complemented with additional uses of retail, residential, and event space.

CMS

CMS has a strong market presence in the hospitality and leisure industry, with peers and clients praising its multi-disciplinary offering and sector knowledge. Led by Thomas Page, the team handles large M&A transactions, excels in hotel management, and is able to leverage its pan-European offering to handle cross-border and global hospitality mandates. Real estate partner James Miller has over two decades of expertise advising on major portfolio sales and leasebacks, while key corporate partner Louise Wallace specialises in hotel franchise agreements. The client roster includes hotel operators, investors, banks, and restaurant groups.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Page

Key clients

M&G Investments

citizenM

Bank Leumi

AccorInvest

The Entourage Group (Crossroads Real Estate)

Banco de Sabadell

Ei group

Social Entertainment Ventures

Dominvs Group

DTZ Investors

Work highlights

  • Acted for the purchaser M&G Investments on the sale and leaseback on geared ground leases of the “Atlas” portfolio of 40 Holiday Inn Express/Hilton Branded hotels throughout the UK.
  • Acting for AccorInvest as the purchaser of the Novotel and Ibis Hotels Blackfriars Road from Commerz Real HausInvest.
  • Advising in relation to the sale of the entire share capital of St. Andrews Bay Development Ltd  by the owner of the Fairmont Hotel St. Andrews to Highlander Hospitality Group Limited.

Dentons

Dentons is 'excellent' in the hospitality and leisure industry, with strength in depth in handling landmark hotel transactions and international large-scale project work. The highly-rated Simon Masri in London is the standout practitioner in the team and handles a mixed caseload, advising hotel operations, investors, and representing lenders and developers. The practice has a reputable franchising sub-group led by Warsaw-based global head Babette Märzheuser-Wood, and has a strong track record advising hotel owners and investors on franchising and licensing agreements. On the hotel acquisition side, corporate partner Matthew Tinger focuses on corporate real estate transactions, purchases, and acquisitions of hotels. The partnership has been bolstered with the arrival of Chris Heath , who brings deep industry knowledge related to hospitality development and financing. He joined from an in-house position at the Hilton in 2019. Mark Daliere is the UK and Middle Eastern head of hotels while Rick Ross is the global chair of the practice; both are based in Arizona.

Practice head(s):

Mark Daliere; Rick Ross

Testimonials

‘The availability and the quality of advice given is excellent’

‘During Covid-19 they have raised the bar again to ensure tight deadlines are met. Should a task require additional resources to meet tight completion deadlines, the firm always ensures this happens and a deadline has not been missed.’

‘Simon Masri is highlighted for his quality of advice and availability.’

Key clients

Aprirose

Societe Generale

Metro Bank PLC

Topland

KSL Capital Partners

LGH UK Management Limited

Hilton

Santander

HSBC Bank plc

Secure Income REIT

Malmaison and Hotel du Vin

HPL (UK) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised KSL Capital Partners on the acquisition of hotel group Les Hôtels d’en Haut from Perseus Group, a European hotel developer. The transaction involved five boutique hotels in premier leisure markets across France.
  • Advised Aprirose Limited on the disposal of various hotels from Qhotels portfolio including Mottram Hall, Tankersley Manor and Midland Hotel.
  • Advised HSBC Bank plc and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, London Branch on the financing of the enabling works at the Grade II listed former US Embassy on Grosvenor Square, as part of its redevelopment into an ultra-luxury Rosewood hotel by Qatari Diar.

Taylor Wessing LLP

Taylor Wessing LLP's 'outstanding' hotels and leisure practice is renowned for its activity in the M&A space, handling more than £1bn of big-ticket transactions for hotel clients over a 12-month period. Headed by Richard Bursby who has expertise in hotel management and franchise agreements, the team is a 'go-to' for high-value investment sales and purchases, complex advisory work, and financing mandates. 'First-rate lawyer' Mark Rajbenbach leads corporate real estate transactions which are often cross-border. Other key strengths include the team's international offering, with offices spanning France, Germany, and Dubai facilitating cross-border mandates.  Ronald Graham is the contact for the Middle Eastern market and acts for various owners and investors.

Practice head(s):

Richard Bursby

Testimonials

‘One of the go-to teams in hotels and hospitality. Richard Bursby and Mark Rajbenbach are true industry experts that bring excellent legal skills combined with strategic and commercial advice for their clients.’

‘Mark Rajbenbach is a trusted adviser who brings great experience in the real estate and hotel industries. He is a first-rate lawyer, on top of all the details, but also able to step back and provide the commercial and strategic advice that we need as clients. Victoria Butcher is one to watch for the future. Excellent legal skills and developing into a strategic adviser as she works closely with Mark. A great team.’

‘Richard Bursby is knowledgeable, well-connected and understands the industry very well.’

Taylor Wessing provides legal expertise across multiple discplines, making the firm very suitable for our company and the business we are in. Their partners associates and support staff are experts in their field of law, always available and are of great support to our company. Their quality of work is outstanding.’

‘The team is hard-working, enthusiastic, and extremely responsive. They have a comprehensive understanding of the hospitality industry, including acting for all the different stakeholders in the value chain.’

Key clients

Vivion Investments

YOTEL

Invesco Real Estate

Secret Escapes

InterContinental Hotels Group

London & Regional

Virgin Hotels

RBH Hospitality Management

Starwood Capital

Burger King UK

Crosstree

Cedar Capital

The Clermont Club

glh hotels

Las Iguanas

Café Rouge

Bella Italia

Ruby Hotels

Park Plaza

Millennium & Copthorne

City Hub

Crimson Hotels

Knotel

FREO

Work highlights

  • Advising Invesco on Portugal’s largest ever hotel transaction, the purchase from Thai based Minor Hotels of 3 Tivoli Hotels in Lisbon for €313m which will then be operated by NH Hotels (a subsidiary of Minor Hotels).
  • Advising Vivion on the purchase of the St. Martin’s Lane Hotel and Sanderson Hotel in London for a reported price of €333m and the almost simultaneous sale of the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury for a reported £100m.
  • Advising Hotel investor Cedar Capital and US hedge fund King Street on a suite of Hotel and Residential Agreements with Marriott for the JW Marriott Resort, Palmares Algarve, a development of Hotel and luxury Branded Residences in Portugal.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard houses the 'best commercial real estate lawyers' who are described as 'experienced, knowledgeable, and commercial.' The team is led by a trio of experienced partners who are particularly noted for their financing work but also handle an assortment of complex transactions, real estate, and construction matters. Luke Baines is strong in the hotel development area and with co-head, Lucy Sturrock, who splits her time between London and Leeds, is a key contact in the group. Zoe Maurer specialises in real estate and advises lenders and borrowers on financing matters. The practice holds a number of established hotel groups as long-standing clients and is active in hotel finance, development, and construction.

Testimonials

Extensive market coverage, interest in the industry, and have shown a keenness (and invested time) to understand our team and the way we work. Luke Baines has invested time to personally understand and get to know our business and our team.

‘Lucy Sturrock – simply wonderful. One of the best commercial real estate lawyers out there, although she is modest about her extensive capabilities, knowledge and connections. Luke Baines – hands-on, focused yet commercial approach.’

‘The Real Estate, Hotel Finance and Construction team comprising their hospitality practice are very experienced, knowledgeable, and commercial. They have a keen eye for detail but don’t lose sight of the bigger commercial picture. A very personable team who are well connected and hospitable. Their fees are very fair and reasonable. They get the deal done, manage expectations and are passionate about the sector.’

Key clients

Aareal Bank AG

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Aprirose

Barclays Bank

Be At One Limited

Clydesdale

Coutts

Criterion Capital

Eastern and Oriental Plc

Ennismore

Greene King

HSBC plc

KTB Asset Management

National Westminster Bank PLC & AIB Group

Puma Investments

Precis Investments

SACO Real Estate Group

Santander

Seafood Pub Company

Shearings Hotels Ltd

Sonder Europe Limited

Staycity

Travelodge Hotels Ltd

TH UK & Ireland Limited (trading as Tim Hortons)

THAT Group

The City Pub Group plc

UK Hotels

Village Urban Resorts (hotel owners and developers)

Work highlights

  • Principal adviser of Travelodge Hotels Limited with a relationship spanning over 15 years. Advise on new hotel acquisitions and developments as well as undertaking the estate management work for a sizeable portfolio of 575 hotels.
  • Act for Ennismore on its portfolio of hotels across the UK and Europe. Assisted with the placement of construction documents relating to the new rooftop bar extension at the Hoxton Shoreditch hotel, the negotiation of professional appointments and the real estate elements of the redevelopment of the Eynsham Hall hotel.
  • Acting for That Group on a number of hotel and mixed use developments primarily in the south of England including the hotel-led mixed use development at Torwood Street, Torquay.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie's practice under the leadership of Justin Salkeld is a strong player in the hotel industry, with key strengths in financing mandates and international acquisitions. The team is active in construction and development work and advises clients on land acquisitions, project management agreements, and contracts. In the financing space, banking partner Sebastien Marcelin-Rice handles real estate financing transactions for both lenders and private equity sponsors, restructuring matters, and acquisition finance. Construction-related matters are led by Mike Webster.  

Practice head(s):

Justin Salkeld

Key clients

Edwardian Group

Marriott Inc.

Britannia Hospitality

FS JV Co

Cockpit Hotel (London) Ltd

Deutsche Hospitality Group

Work highlights

  • Acting on all aspects of the development of Edwardian’s most high profile luxury hotel project in the UK, the development and construction of the Londoner hotel.
  • Acted for Marriott at the Upper Tribunal on appeal where we were successful in arguing that VAT costs should not be added to customer loyalty schemes.
  • We advised Deutsche Hospitality Group on the sale of all shares in Steigenberger Hotels AG to the Huazhu Group. Huazhu is a leading hotel group with a strong presence in China, combining numerous brands under its umbrella.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP 's hotels practice group is led by the 'brilliant' Karen Friebe and is active in the purchasing, development, and management of hotels. The team has sector speciality across the food and beverages space, as well as a strong technology, IP, and data protection offering for industry-leading clients such as booking.com. In the commercial property field, the group is experienced in advising investors and developers on project work and acquisitions. The team has been bolstered by a number of new additions to the partnership; James Salford joined from Addleshaw Goddard and brings additional real estate financing expertise to the team, while transactional lawyer Peter Nicholson joined from  Russell-Cooke LLP. They bring the senior headcount across the sector-group to around 20.

Practice head(s):

Karen Friebe

Other key lawyers:

James Salford; Peter Nicholson

Testimonials

‘James Salford – a very well known real estate finance partner specialising in the hotel sector. Excellent sector knowledge, relationships with lenders and clients alike, and an approachable style.’

‘Karen Friebe is an authority in the hospitality and leisure industry and she is recognised worldwide. She is capable of shifting gears very fast and of providing sound legal advice, always keeping in mind the commercial strategy of the client. There are not many lawyers who are able to do this. This is the added value of Karen in a transaction.’

‘Matthew Vance is a rising star under the wing of Karen Friebe. He is skilled, fast on his feet, with an excellent eye for detail and he provides excellent legal advice’

‘Karen Friebe is a very experienced professional with extensive experience acting on either side of the table. She is very approachable and an excellent communicator.’

‘Great strength in hotel operation agreements which is why we go to them. They have a thorough understanding of the varying contractual arrangements between owners and investors.’

‘The recent addition of James Salford to the Bird & Bird (B&B) team will reap dividends for B&B going forward. With B&B’s unique strength and depth in Europe, the only way for the team is upwards in terms of market presence, perception, and position.’

Key clients

Aman Resorts

Cadogan Estates

Moto Hospitality

VQ Limited

Fosun Tourism Group

Ashley Hotels

Bank of Ireland

Jet2holidays.com

Skyscanner

Booking.com

Cedar Capital

CL Capital

NH Hotels

Work highlights

  • Advised Fosun Tourism Group, the world’s leading leisure-focused integrated tourism group, on its purchase of the Thomas Cook brand, the Casa Cook and Cook’s Club brands, and resort/hotel brands under the Thomas Cook brand for £11 million. The team advised Fosun Tourism Group on Restructuring & Insolvency and Intellectual Property matters in connection with the acquisition.
  • Advise EU price-comparison/booking website Skyscanner and their publicly listed Chinese owner (Ctrip) on a variety of matters including data protection, corporate, employment, regulatory, IP and competition law.
  • Advised Splendid Hospitality Group on its acquisition of The Stanwell Hotel in Staines.

Clifford Chance LLP

At Clifford Chance LLP, the hotels and leisure industry group has extensive expertise in hospitality-related transactions and financing projects. The cross-border client portfolio includes leading names in the industry such as Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts and Corinthia Hotels, with repeat work coming in year after year. In the corporate occupier space, co-head Sarah Thomas  (who leads the team alongside real estate finance partner Andrew Carnegie ) is the key name to note advising owners, occupiers, and operators on a range of issues pertaining to investment, whilst Mark Payne specialises in commercial real estate transactions. On the development side, Ian Painter advises domestic and foreign investors and sovereign wealth funds on investment and infrastructure projects. The team also includes Alis Pay , who led the €1.1bn pan-European deal for American investment group; NorthStar.  The group saw one departure, with structured finance and securitisation partner Steve Curtis leaving for Latham & Watkins.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Carnegie; Sarah Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Alis Pay; Mark Payne; Ian Painter

Testimonials

‘The team is very responsive and is able to leverage effectively on the multi-disciplinary strength of the firm in complex situations.’

‘Sarah Thomas has been an outstanding professional who is able to get to the crux of the issues and explain them in an easy to understand language.’

Key clients

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Limited

Corinthia Hotels

Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts

CK Assets

KIRKBI

Morgan Stanley

Sadler’s Wells Foundation Limited

Wagamama Group Limited

Onex Corporation

JTRE

Work highlights

  • Advised CK Asset Holdings Limited in connection with its recommended cash offer for Greene King plc (“Greene King”) through CKA’s wholly-owned subsidiary, CK Noble (UK) Limited. The transaction valued Greene King at an estimated £4.6 billion
  • Advising Corinthia Hotels on the redevelopment and leasing of the former seat of the Central Bank of Italy on Parliament Square in the centre of Rome as part of a deal struck with the Reuben Brothers, the private equity, real estate investment and development firm. This is the latest addition to Corinthia Hotels’ five-star hotel portfolio.
  • Advised KIRKBI, the private holding and investment company of the Kirk Kristiansen family, and its consortium on the successful takeover of the publicly listed Merlin Entertainments plc and Merlin’s subsequent re-registration as a private company.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's multi-disciplinary practice is 'commercially savvy and responsive' and has extensive expertise across a number of areas for hospitality clients, including; development finance, real estate, corporate acquisitions, and disposals. Global sector head  Matthew Duncombes is noted for his transactional and commercial know-how and is a trusted adviser to major European hospitality clients. The group also offers specialism across management and franchising agreements. Key player Joanne Owen who rejoined the firm from  Proskauer Rose LLP is highly rated by clients and peers for her unrivalled expertise in this sector. She is recommended for complex international transactions related to corporate property and holds a number of private equity firms and investors as clients.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Duncombe

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Owen

Testimonials

‘DLA provides an integrated range of services necessary to assist a UK client with the development and financial advice of a European project. Their early-stage advice and introductions to other experts was invaluable to us. DLA has a well-earned reputation for their expertise in the international hotel sector.’

‘Matt Duncombe and his team provided prompt and complete advice to us and contributed solutions when we had differences with our counterparty. Matt was extremely pleasant to work with and I felt he was committed to our success. DLA are credible with and respected by all ; important attributes in an international arena.’

‘Joanne Owen – hors concours (unrivalled) in the hospitality and leisure legal practice in the UK. A delight to work with.’

‘Apart from being legally sound, the team is commercially savvy and responsive to the needs of its clients. It is clued into all the major opportunities available in the market and is a reliable sounding board to its clients and not just from the legal perspective. It also works particularly well with clients from the Far East. The team is also very sharp and you wouldn’t want to be on the other side in negotiations.’

Very friendly, supportive and down to earth. They tend to use very uncomplicated language and explain advice thoroughly.’

‘Quick to respond to issues and inquiries and have a very human approach which I’ve not found always to be the case with other firms I’ve used.’

Key clients

Playa Blanca Plots

Intercontinental Hotels Group

Hilton Worldwide Inc.

Merlin Entertainments

Marriott International

Starwood Capital

Wyndham Worldwide Corporation

Empire Cinemas

Aareal Bank

UBM Hotels

Work highlights

  • Advised on the acquisition of Wood Street Police Station in the City of London for re-development as a hotel.
  • Advising Marriott on contractual arrangements with relevant participants
  • Advised HSBC, Santander and Sabadell as a syndicate of lenders providing financing for the development of two new hotels in Madrid and Barcelona and refinancing of other existing hotels in Spain owned by the Student Hotel (TSH).

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells International LLP has 'tremendous strength in depth' and acts for leading hotel investors, developers, and operators domestically and globally. Global head of the real estate practice group, Jackie Newstead has vast expertise in the hospitality and leisure sector and advises on real estate development mandates, acquisitions, disposals and financing matters. The team is active in handling complex multijurisdictional transactions for clients with real estate finance partner Andrew Flemming  highlighted for his 'very commercial and very solutions-oriented' approach. Katie Gill and Fiona Prendergast also handle international finance work. On the development side, Dion Panambalana is the key contact for advising corporate occupiers and specialises in mixed-use urban and non-urban development projects.

Practice head(s):

Jackie Newstead

Testimonials

‘Tremendous strength in depth. The team is very commercial and very responsive, especially on the finance side.’

‘Andrew Flemming (Finance); very calm, very commercial, very solutions-oriented. The best guy to have in your corner in a tight situation.’

‘Fiona Prendergast (Finance); very responsive, down to earth and practical- cuts to the chase.’

 

Key clients

AFC Wimbledon

British Land

Fattal Group

Gorgeous Smiling Hotels

Jury’s Inns

Kennedy Wilson

Landsec

M&G Real Estate

Millenium & Copthorne

Novum

Shiva Hotels

Sonder

Valor Hospitality Partners

William Pears Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Israel-based Fattal Hotel Group and its subsidiary Jury’s Inns on its acquisition of the operating business and long-term leases of four high-end London Grange Hotels (now rebranded as Leonardo’s), from real estate investment firm Queensgate Investments.
  • Acted on a sale and lease back ground lease deal for Shiva Hotels covering three high value sites in London and York.
  • Advised on a turnkey leasehold hotel acquisition for Ruby Hotels. The 76 room Ruby Lucy hotel is their first UK site and opened in December 2019 on London’s Southbank.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright acts for hotel owners, developers, and global leisure operators on all aspects of their day-to-day operations. Head of hotels Nick Clayson handles domestic and international mixed-use development projects for clients, while head of the real estate practice, Wasim Khan, acts for investment and occupier clients; he's also the name to note for Islamic finance related matters, particularly in the Middle East. In the hotel financing space, Dan Kennedy and Sarah Cullen are key practitioners. On the planning side, the firm bolstered its team with the hire of Sarah Fitzpatrick from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP  LLP in January 2020. Fitzpatrick heads up the planning team and has a focus on redevelopment projects in London. The group is able to leverage its extensive international offering, including EMEA-wide work on cross-border transactions including in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

Other key lawyers:

Nick Clayson; Wasm Khan; Dan Kennedy; Sarah Cullen; Sarah Fitzpatrick

Testimonials

‘They understand your needs, and what you are trying to achieve. They understand hospitality, prioritise deal-breakers, they are good at following up feedback –  they can argue points directly with operators; they have industry knowledge and good experience.’

‘Wasim Khan is a very understanding person. He values relationships and always keeps his clients as priority.’

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP has considerable strength in the transactional space, handling high-value merger and acquisition matters for key clients nationally and internationally. Highlighted for its 'seamless service', the practice is skilled in managing large hotel portfolios including asset management matters, acquisitions, disposals, and joint ventures. Practice head Michael James focuses on corporate real estate matters and has more than a decade of expertise in the hotels sector. He acts across the EMEA region in structured transactions and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Michael James

Testimonials

‘Very commercial and knowledgeable about the market. Very committed team.’

‘Michael James is exceptional. Very responsive. Good at collaborating with other advisers to provide a seamless service.’

Key clients

Starwood Capital

LRC

Benson Elliot

Walton Street

Goldman Sachs

TPG

Highgate Hotels

Omnam Group

RB Capital

Work highlights

  • In one of the market-leading European hotel portfolio transactions of the year, the firm represented Highgate Hotels on the $500m sale and purchase of the pan-European Highgate “K+K” hotel portfolio (owned by a Goldman Sachs/Highgate joint venture) to Interglobe.
  • Represented Starwood Capital on its disposal of 12 full-service hotels forming part of the Principal Hotel Company to FdM, for a purchase price in excess of $1.1 bn.
  • Represented a Benson Elliot and Highgate Hotels joint venture on the disposal of the Gates hotel in Barcelona to Ennismore. This was a landmark deal for Ennismore as it was their first pan-European hotel acquisition.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP brings together a strong regional team across Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham, with 'comprehensive expertise in the hospitality sector' led by Nick Skea-Strachan. The practice acts for a wide range of investors and developers on their hotel operations, as well as handling cross-border investment work. London-based head of real estate and key contact for all hospitality matters, Claire Hughes advises on complex development, acquisition, and management agreements related to hotels.  The team also has a specialist management contract and franchising offering within the hotel's group. Elsewhere, Adam Carney sits within the transactional property team and is recommended for investment transactions.

Practice head(s):

Nick Skea-Strachan

Other key lawyers:

Claire Hughes; Adam Carney; Saima Dunt

Testimonials

This is a strong team. Nick Skea Strachan has an expert yet practical approach to achieving his client’s objectives’

‘Claire Hughes is a leading hotel specialist, respected by anyone she sits across the table from. Saima Dunt is a leading Senior Associate who is really working at Partner level. She fully understands our business and the key terms we care about. She knows how to negotiate those terms with minimal guidance from us as clients and she drives every deal very hard.’

The team is incredibly hard-working and practical. They find a way to get the deal across the line and are not afraid of an off-market structure or terms.’

‘Comprehensive expertise in the Hospitality business sector with a full range of knowledgeable support from other areas of the practice.’

Key clients

Meliá Hotels International

Sir Richard Sutton Limited

NH Hotels

Legal and General

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc

Adagio

Cycas Hospitality

Kew Green Hotels

Rhubarb Food Design Limited

Aareal Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising developer Luxembourg Hotel Management SA on the redevelopment of the historic Hotel Alfa on the Place de La Gare in Luxembourg into a Marriott branded hotel, in particular negotiation of a Management Agreement document with Marriott.
  • Advising Melia Hotels International on its lease with the Crown Estate for the White House, London. This is a flagship location for Melia and a landmark building.
  • Advising Cheval on a management agreement for a property in Frankfurt, which will be branded under the Cheval Maison brand, and on trademark matters and structuring matters in the UK and Europe.

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP has a reputable hotels and leisure offering which acts for a number of major investors and sovereign wealth funds. Overseen by key partners Richard Read and Rupert Weston, who split their time between London and Bristol, the team handles mid- to high-value M&A matters, investment and property finance deals. In the investment property space, Matthew Sims  advises big-name hotel clients and luxury brands on acquisitions and portfolio management, while Katie Allen handles hotel financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Richard Read; Rupert Weston

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Sims; Robert Forman; Katie Allen

Testimonials

‘Excellent expertise in the sector; very responsive and easy to work with; commercial focus; solutions-oriented.’

‘Excellent focus on key messaging to clients and ability to quickly grasp and address the key commercial matters.’

‘Strong team. Work well with various members of our team and other law firms where needed.’

‘Strong local knowledge. Good at focusing on important aspects of a deal.’

‘The team is very commercial and is capable of appreciating wider commercial imperatives while advising on legal issues, which is very helpful. The team is also capable of making material progress within a short period of time.’

‘The team has an extensive track record in the leisure sector – I would recommend them very highly. They are very responsive, commercial in outlook and very good with detail.’

‘Specialist industry and sector knowledge is invaluable when it come to transactions in this sector and the team at Burges Salmon has considerable experience in this area, in part, at least, because of its work with us.’

‘The team at Burges Salmon is always a pleasure to deal with; the individuals we have worked with are all very capable in their various fields and exceptionally commercial and solutions-oriented in their approach.’

‘Robert Forman is a seasoned lawyer – good at building relationships.’

‘Claire MacLean is technically strong, good to work with, responsive.’

‘Robert Forman is very intelligent and capable. However, he is also extremely personable and has positive relationships and interpersonal skills with clients, other advisors and counterpart legal firms. This means that he can deal with delicate and potentially contentious matters quickly and efficiently.’

‘Richard Read is an excellent lawyer and very good as a relationship partner. He always makes himself available and responds rapidly to questions, especially if it is an urgent matter. He provides excellent advice and focuses on the commercial requirements of the client.’

Key clients

Arora Hotels

Starwood Capital

HSBC UK Bank plc

London & Regional – Atlas Hotels

Darwin Leisure Development Fund

Hamilton Hotels Partners Investors/Hamilton Hotel Partners

Coutts & Co

London & Regional – Atlas Hotels

Waterside Holiday Group Limited

EagleResort Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Arora Group on the £150m sale and leaseback of the Sofitel Hotel, London Gatwick Airport. 
  • Advising London & Regional Properties on the sale and leaseback and refinancing of Holiday Inn Express Portfolio, as well as the purchase of the Holiday Inn West Edinburgh. 
  • Advising Starwood Capital on the intra-group lease arrangements of two new Yotels, in Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the subsequent refinance of both hotels with Barclays.

Fladgate LLP

Fladgate LLP has considerable experience in the hotel industry and is praised for its 'responsive and pro-active' approach. James Fry oversees the hotels group and handles commercial property matters for both owners and operators related to acquisitions, disposals, and development projects. Stephen Lewis heads the leisure group and advises private investors and industry operators on their leisure and construction matters. The team also handles transactions and some activity in the Middle Eastern markets. Eddie Powell is the IP contact in the team and is the name for management contracts and franchising issues. Other core members include real estate partner Gary Smith who specialises in all aspects of banking and financing work including corporate lending and refinancing.

Practice head(s):

James Fry; Stephen Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Eddie Powell; Gary Smith;

Testimonials

‘In depth knowledge of the practical implications relating to the Hotel business, work extraordinarily well as a team of lawyers exceeding customer expectations.’

Having worked on numerous hotel transactions with Fladgate, I have always found their advice to be current, considered and reliable.’

‘ I rely heavily on James Fry’s experience and knowledge throughout each transaction. James will always assemble the best support team from Fladgate in the event that we require wider advice such as construction, funding or tax planning.’

‘Knowledgeable, helpful and flexible in approach. Go the extra yard to deliver great service.’

Key clients

London & Regional Properties

Science Museum Group

Major League Baseball Properties Limited

Strawberry Star

easyGym

Yo! Sushi UK Limited

Millennium and Copthorne Hotels

Otium Real Estate

Five Guys

National Portrait Group

Work highlights

  • Advised on all aspects of the Clerkenwell Road, London EC1 development site of Fladgate client 100 Clerkenwell Road Limited, a 212-bedroom hotel to be operated (under management contract) by Yotel.
  • Advised London residential developer Strawberry Star on a franchise and management agreement entered into with Radisson in respect of a proposed “Radisson Hotel Luton Airport” at the Napier Gateway, Luton.
  • Retained by Major League Baseball as their UK legal advisers in relation to the organisation and delivery of the two regular Major League Baseball games taking place in London.

Glovers Solicitors LLP

Glovers Solicitors LLP is 'extremely knowledgeable in the hospitality sector' and is a key name in the restaurant industry, acting for a range of clients on acquisitions. John Barber has more than three decades of expertise in the hospitality industry and has a specialism in handling acquisition work for  'grab-and-go' clients, while Philip Andrew Shotter acts for corporate occupiers in the leisure and retail area. Paul Jagger heads the licensing team and is a name to note for obtaining alcohol licenses for London and regional-based clients.

Practice head(s):

John Barber

Other key lawyers:

Philip Shotter; Paul Jagger

Testimonials

‘The firm are absolute experts in restaurant property, they are exceptionally professional and extremely knowledgeable on the hospitality sector.’

‘Paul Jagger and Philip Mundy are exceptional, they deal with every query promptly and effectively. They are diligent and approachable.’

‘The firm has substantial experience dealing with complicated licensing applications. It has high-end clients that operate multiple operations nationwide. They are a boutique one-stop-shop and deal with all aspects of a licensing application including conveyancing; planning and licensing.’

‘Both Paul Jagger and Philip Shotter are outstanding. They are hugely knowledgeable and experienced. They prepare excellent instructions and are keenly aware of the pitfalls that accompany every licence application.’

Glovers give personal and bespoke service and they are very good at adapting to the clients needs.’

Key clients

Azzurri Restaurants Limited (Zizzi, Ask, Coca di Mama)

All Things Greek Limited

BDL Restaurants Limited (Bocca di Lupo, Plaquemine Lock)

Bricks and Fuel Limited

Deep Blue Restaurants Limited

Dishoom Limited

Everyman Media Limited

Fatto A Mano Central Limited

Flat Iron Steak Limited

Frontier Pubs Limited

Gourmet Burger Kitchen Limited (GBK)

Hache Limited

Hop Vietnamese Limited

Hush Brasseries Limited (Hush Mayfair)

Made of Dough Limited

McMullen and Sons Limited

Nando’s Chickenland Limited (Nando’s)

Noble Rot Limited

Ned’s Noodle Box (Holdings) Limited

Perilla Dining Limited

PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Limited

Phew Foods Limited

Prezzo Limited

Tarts Kitchen Limited

Thinktank (Streatham Space Project)

The Good Egg Restaurants Limited

The Vurger Co Ltd

Wagamama Limited

Wahaca Restaurants Limited

Vision Team Limited

ZLC London Limited (The Palomar and The Barbary)

Zandi Enterprises Limited (Zuaya)

Work highlights

  • Advised Everyman Media Limited on its acquisition of three cinemas including sites at Egham Gateway East, Exeter and Marlow
  • Acted for Wagamama Limited on the acquisition of new Wagamama restaurants at the Bower, London; Marble Arch and Sheldon Square as well as acting for the company on its first four ‘dark kitchen’ delivery sites and the acquisition of its first grab and go ‘Mamago’ site in the City.
  • Acted for Deep Blue Restaurants Limited in connection with the property law matters arising from its purchase of Harry Ramsden’s from Boparan Restaurants Limited.

Goodwin

Goodwin has 'excellent knowledge' in the hospitality and leisure arena and handles a considerable volume of hotel transactions. Led by real estate partner Matthew Pohlman (who previously held a position as corporate counsel at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts) , the practice acts for a mixed array of operators, debt, and equity investors in hotels, resorts, and residential matters, playing roles on mandates including financing and M&A. New partner Martin Smith advises foreign investors and is recommended for his insight in all real estate related transactions. The team also works closely with its US practice in cross-border matters.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Pohlman

Other key lawyers:

Martin Smith

Testimonials

‘Great client loyalty and a lot of trust in them handling the bulk of work. They have an excellent knowledge of the industry and are highly commercial.’

‘James Spence and Martin Smith provide a consistently outstanding service.’

They know the sector and the agreements of their operator clients extremely well.’

Key clients

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Marriott International

Caesars Entertainment Corporation

Oaktree Capital Management

RoundShield Partners LLP

Angelo Gordon

Meadow Partners

Omnam Investment Group

Cairn Hotel Group

Masterworks Development Corporation (a/k/a/ Club Quarters)

Avington Financial

Work highlights

  • Advising RoundShield Partners on the negotiation of hotel and residential management agreements in connection with a new Six Senses Resort and Branded Residential Project in the Loire Valley, France.
  • Representing Cairn Hotel Group on the negotiation of hotel management agreements in connection with the first “Treehouse”-branded hotel in the world, located in central London. Treehouse is a new global brand launched in 2019 by Starwood Hotel Group.

Hamlins LLP

Specialist boutique Hamlins LLP has more than three decades of experience working with clients in the hospitality and leisure sector, with practice head Nigel Mason described as 'first-class' by clients. The team brings together expertise across real estate, construction, corporate, and intellectual property matters, and is active in the transactional space. Real estate partner Ben Kilshaw handles contentious and non-contentious real-estate transactions as well as advising corporate occupiers and purchasers on construction projects.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Mason

Other key lawyers:

Ben Kilshaw

Testimonials

‘Very hands on with our business and the senior partner is always ready to assist and help move projects on when required.’

‘Nigel Mason is a first-class adviser on all property-related matters and quickly get to the nub of issues and helps get them resolved.’

Key clients

Hilton Worldwide

PPHE (formerly Park Plaza Hotels)

CitizenM Hotels

Ego Restaurants Holdings Limited

Leon Restaurants

Pizza Pilgrims

Roko Health Centres Limited

PlayFootball Limited

Brompton Brands

The Mint Group (Koko and Infernos)

Ping Pong Restaurants

Adventure Leisure Limited

Rosa’s Thai

Pizza Union

Work highlights

  • Acted for Leon Restaurants Limited on the acquisition of over thirty individual new leases largely in London in the last few years.
  • Acted for Rosa’s Thai on the acquisition of new units in Leeds, Manchester, the Midlands and several in London.
  • Advising PPHE (formerly Park Plaza Hotels) for more than a decade on various matters including real estate, construction and corporate advice.

Howard Kennedy LLP

Howard Kennedy LLP has key strengths acting across the leisure, restaurants, and hospitality industry and is co-led by head of hotels Ed John and head of retail and leisure Adam Walford. The team is active in merger and acquisitions and the client roster includes investors, developers, international operators, and luxury brands in the hotel sector. Crossborder work is featured in the caseload, with projects spread across the EMEA region. Previously a partner in the team, Eric Gummers is now a consultant but remains active in the hotel transaction space and advises on all matters related to corporate real estate.

Practice head(s):

Ed John; Adam Walford

Other key lawyers:

Eric Gummers

Key clients

Galliard Homes

BAO

Mei Mei

JKS Restaurants

Padella

Patty&Bun

Six by Nico

Big Fernand

Tortilla

Work highlights

  • Advised Galliard on the acquisition and development of a property that was a police station to create a 150 room hotel off Whitehall. Acted on all aspects of the transaction including negotiation of the management agreement with Hyatt and concluded the asset and business sale to GSY Hospitality, part of the Abu Dhabi based Lulu Group.
  • Assisting JKS Restaurants with all of their acquisitions for their own and partner brand restaurants including Hoppers and Bao at Kings Cross.
  • Advising Padella and assisting them with the acquisition of their second site in Shoreditch.

Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP

Katten's hotels and leisure practice is described as 'commercial thinking and attentive' by clients and represents a range of lenders, developers and foreign investors across the hospitality industry. The team handles real estate transactions and investment under the leadership of London managing partner and practice head Peter Sugden, whilst Terry Green oversees hotel management work, with a particular emphasis on advising investors and operators on projects in EMEA, and the United States.

Practice head(s):

Peter Sugden

Other key lawyers:

Terry Green

Testimonials

‘Katten’s in-depth experience and integration within the hotels, hospitality, and leisure sectors provides exceptional insight for transactions and a reassuring focus on the key risks and opportunities in a deal.’

‘Attentive, flexible, and knowledgeable. Commercial thinking. Many other teams sell a product. Katten sells solutions.’

‘Peter Sugden’s  guidance has been invaluable and always cost-effective.’

Key clients

Shiva Kingsway Limited

Wyndham Worldwide (and subsidiaries)

BridgeStreet Global Hospitality (and subsidiaries)

Union Hanover Securities

Luxury Hotel Partners

KOP Properties

Aprirose

AccorHotels/FRHI Hotels and Resorts

Fattal Hotels/Jurys Inn Group

Cheval Group

Edyn Group

Leonardo Hotels

Admiralty Arch Holdings

Respublica

Geneva Management Group

Citibase Limited

London Town Hotels Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Shiva on the sale and leaseback of land for the development of a 180 room Middle Eight hotel in central London.
  • Advised Bridgestreet Global Hospitality on various matters including the negotiation of management agreements in respect of properties in Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and London.
  • Advised Oaktree / Edyn on an agreement for lease, development agreement and development financing facility in respect of an apart-hotel and hotel project at a site in Cambridge.

Lewis Silkin LLP

At Lewis Silkin LLP, the hotels practice is known for its work with luxury brands and global hotel chains, with its The Collective initiative bringing together clients in the sector.  Led by real estate partner Julia Poulter  in London, the team handles transactional work in the commercial real estate space and advises on development projects and financing matters. Clare Reddy  , who leads the construction group, is noted for her advisory work to developers, contractors, and occupiers in the corporate property sector, as is Rachel Francis-Lang  who acts for corporate occupiers. Managing associate James Walters advises clients in the sector on employment matters.

Mayer Brown International LLP

Mayer Brown International LLP has a strong track record acting for domestic and European hotel investors on the full gamut of matters, including acquisitions, development projects, construction and financing mandates. With a clutch of well-known clients in the sector, the team is led by Andrew Hepner, who has strength in real estate transactions. Chris Harvey acts for Asian investors on large inbound investments into the UK.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Hepner

Other key lawyers:

Chris Harvey

Testimonials

‘The team knows what aspects of agreements require input from the client, and they have a commercial mindset; hence they eliminate a lot of time required from our side. Whenever there’s an action required, their instructions are clear and comprehensive.’

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is 'commercially minded with a quick turnaround' and has vast international capacity with desks in Iran, Istanbul, and Russia to facilitate complex cross-border transactions. The hospitality practice is active in the transactional area and handles employment-related disputes, corporate matters, and refinancing work for hotels. Sarah Hung is a key contact for East Asian work and receives a number of instructions from that market, where she is noted for her development financing and investment.  Co-head of the team John O’Callaghan handles hotel acquisition matters and has a real estate background. Other core members include senior associate Simon Lawrence  ,who is highly praised by clients and has expertise handling Middle Eastern assets and investors.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Hung; John O’Callaghan

Other key lawyers:

Simon Lawrence

Testimonials

‘Sarah Hung is ruthless in approach and extremely commercial. She also understands what the client desires from a transaction and takes time to tailor her work to this.’

‘RFB are extremely well connected in the Hotel and Leisure Sector which adds value over and above that of other firms. They have been in this sector for over 20 years and their experience really shows on time-sensitive deals and in particular those involving offshore elements. Simon Lawrence is a leading name in the industry.’

‘John O’Callaghan knows how to lead large multi-disciplinary teams on large transactions. He is approachable with great judgement, his experience really shows on time-sensitive deals

‘Few lawyers have as much experience of the hotel and leisure sector than Simon Lawrence. If you have a large hotel transaction Simon Lawrence is one of the first names you call.’

‘The team have always acted with integrity and a quick turnaround. Thoroughness and service is of a high standard.’

Key clients

Glasshouse Asset Management

Al Sraiya Group Limited (Qatar)

The Dominvs Group

Habib Bank AG Zurich

Cranfield Investments Limited

Comptoir Libanais (Levant Group)

Keystone Holdings Limited (Isle of Man)

Drakesfield Group

Delphinus Developments Limited

Urban Spectrum Property Management Limited

Ganco Limited

Planwell Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed by major up-and-coming Lebanese Restaurant chain Comptoir Group Plc in relation to acquiring four leases for new premises with high rental value in key consumer areas across England.
  • Acted for a hotel developer in relation to advising on boundary issues for a hotel development valued at £50m.
  • Acted for a hotel owner in relation to the development of a hotel valued at £15m.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP's hotels practice excels in advising institutional investors on corporate real estate transactions and financing matters. The full-service team works with hotel operators on construction and acquisitions, with particular attention paid to to market-entry advice and operations. The Milton-Keynes based Catherine Williams is the key name for real estate transactions for privately-owned developers, while commercial real estate matters are dealt with by Liam Phillips in London. Away from the capital, other core members of the group include Philip Ryan in the firm's Thames Valley office, who handles franchising agreements and heads up the licensing team. Large regional hotel operators and entertainment sector operators are some of the firm's key clients.

Testimonials

‘The team have great experience, are very proactive and incredibly approachable. The partners are very hands on and have a great team of capable associates.’

‘The team have a very good insight into the hospitality market, and have provided good practical advice.’

‘Liam Phillips provides very commercial and pragmatic advice, and is a valued business partner.’

Key clients

Travelodge Hotels Limited

easyhotel plc

Travelopia Holdings Limited

Travelodge Hotels Limited

Travelodge Hotels Limited

OYO Hotels and Rooms

Revolution Bars Group Plc

Cineworld Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised OYO Hotels in relation to its lease of the Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel from London Town Group.
  • Advised easyhotel UK Limited on its letting of part of 80 Old Street, London, EC1V 9NN to a serviced office company. 
  • Advised Travelopia Holdings Limited on a data insight project which revolutionised the company’s management and monetisation of customer data, in order to deliver significant increased revenue. 

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

At Trowers & Hamlins LLP, the hospitality team has wide experience acting in large-scale project work for both investors and owners. Led by real estate partner Julien Allen, the practice offers a holistic offering across construction, commercial property, and tax matters for hospitality and leisure clients, particularly for hotels and restaurants. The team has a strong reputation in the Middle Eastern market with instructions from high-profile hotel brands. Practice co-head and corporate expert Ayda Habboush has expertise in Islamic finance and assists shari'ah compliant clients on assets and acquisitions, and handles transactions for both UK and foreign investors. Other core members include David Cordery who advises private developers.

Practice head(s):

Julien Allen; Ayda Habboush

Other key lawyers:

David Cordery

Key clients

Beechlane Investments Limited

Cringle Corporation

Chelsea Events & Entertainment Limited

Juma Jubilee Limited

Arabica Borough Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Midia Group Limited (through sister company Beechlane Investments Limited) as developer on the conversion of a historic grade 2 listed building in Le Mans Crescent to an 87 key boutique hotel.
  • Advise Hermes Real Estate on construction and property matters, in particular in relation to the approx. £1.6bn of assets currently under management within the Hermes Property Unit Trust.
  • Advising the Museum of London on the relocation of the Museum from its current site on London Wall to a new location in the historic Smithfield Market.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP

Watson Farley & Williams LLP has a solid track record acting for investors, property owners, and developers nationally and internationally on all aspects of hotel matters. Headed by Felicity Jones, the hospitality and leisure practice sits within the real estate group and has a large offering across construction, finance, and property planning. Barry Hembling advises property clients on contentious and non-contentious construction matters and has two decades of experience in this sector, while Petar Orlic , who joined from Reed Smith LLP , brings M&A experience. Other core members of the team include experienced corporate associate Rohan Inamdar who supports practice head Jones on transactional work.

Practice head(s):

Felicity Jones

Testimonials

‘The team spirit at WFW is one of the best in industry as it combines integrity, deep knowledge of the legal and commercial matters and very good spirit among the team players.’

‘We see Felicity Jones as a colleague, rather than a consultant. She understands our needs and where we need extra support. She is always a step ahead in her advice.’

‘Felicity Jones has great passion, deep knowledge of the industry, great commercial knowledge, and high personal engagement.’

Key clients

Norlake Hospitality Ltd/Ennismore International Management Ltd

BP Pension Fund

Frasers Hospitality UK

Chandris Hotels Group

Aprirose

Millennium Hotels and Resorts

Khanna Enterprises Limited t/a KE Hotels

Xenia Leisure Group Limited

The Petersham Hotel Group

Grupo Inversor Hesperia SA (Hesperia Hotels & Resorts)

Grivalia Hospitality

Work highlights

  • Advising Aprirose (owner of Q Hotels) on the creation of their management platform for their portfolio of hotels.
  • Advising Le Palace Genève SA (the owners of the iconic Grand Hotel Geneva) on in its negotiations with Accor and its subsequent rebranding to the Fairmont brand.
  • Advised shareholders of Richmond & Hampshire Ltd on the corporate restructuring and sale of The Elvetham Hotel to Jastar Capital Ltd.