The dedicated international hotels, hospitality and leisure team at Bird & Bird LLP comprises of experts in tech, data and brand protection, and utilises this expertise to assist clients across a range of commercial and media issues. Further strength lies within the team's contractual expertise, overseeing both franchise contracts and management contracts. Also known for their sound knowledge in hotel financing, the team often advises on cross-border transactions. Beyond hotel expertise, the practice is often sought for food and beverage advice. The team is led by Karen Friebe. She advises all hotels, whether budget or luxury, and specialises in acquisitions, development, disposal and negotiations of hotel management agreements. Further note is given to James Fowler for his sound knowledge in franchising law.
Hospitality and leisure in London
Other key lawyers:
‘Karen Friebe and her team have a deep understanding of the hospitality industry, and in particular industry specific contracts such as hotel management agreements.’
‘Karen Friebe and James Fowler have shown deep understanding of the industry and have a thorough knowledge of market practices and standards.’
‘They are knowledgeable about all matters relating to hotel investment.’
‘Karen Friebe – many years experience of the hotel and leisure sector. Highly regarded among hotel investors, financiers and operators.’
‘It has a dedicated and leading franchising law practice.’
‘They are honest, truthful, helpful and beyond reproach. I cannot recommend them highly enough. And they are very human.’
‘Hardworking, always on their game, always willing to help. Exemplary.’
Pret a Manger
Compass Group plc
The Firmament Hospitality Limited
- Advised Belmont on trade mark brand management in relation to the BELMOND brand, as well as what their rights for each individual hotel in the portfolio are.
- Advised Cadogan Estates on the negotiation of a hotel management agreement with Beaverbrook for the former Durley House on Sloane Street, London.
- Advised OTA Insight – a leading cloud-based data intelligence platform for the hospitality industry – on its $80m Series B financing round led by Spectrum Equity.
The hotels and leisure group at CMS is sought by a wide range of clients, including hotel operators, investors, banks, restaurant groups, hospitality management companies and chefs. Its clients can also seek additional expertise from the firm's casinos, gaming, sports and e-sports practice to remedy all leisure related matters. Hotel management agreement expert Thomas Page heads the practice. In addition to his handling of international clients' hotel portfolio transactions, he is well regarded for his publication, 'The Little Blue Book Guide to Hotel Management Agreements'. Another noteworthy individual includes Josie Hearnden. She has longstanding experience advising international and domestic funders on the full cycle of structured acquisitions and investment and development financings.
Other key lawyers:
Josie Hearnden; Louise Wallace; Michelle Kirkland
‘CMS always provide top class service consistently. I have been continually impressed by their pragmatic and commercial approach. CMS lawyers are great to work with and work collaboratively with other firms well.’
‘Thomas Page and his team are always very accessible and bring pragmatic solutions to complex problems.’
‘Excellent overall team, sector knowledge, brand relationships, true sector leaders.’
‘Louise Wallace provides trusted advice to senior principals; she is first rate, available when needed, commercially savvy and direct/to the point.’
‘Michelle Kirkland is on top of all the details and developing into an excellent client partner.’
Schroders Real Estate Investment
Blackfriars Hotel Ltd
Tortilla Mexican Grill
Hollywood Bowl Group
PCP Capital Partners
The City of Edinburgh Council
- Advised Henderson Park on the acquisition and financing of a portfolio of 12 Hilton branded hotels, plus the business and assets of Amaris Hospitality.
- Advised Schroders on the acquisition and leaseback of the Tryp Apolo Hotel Barcelona, with the acquisition from Varde Partners and the lease back to Melia Hotels.
- Advised citizenM on the re-development of an existing building into a theatre with a hotel above it and a separate rooftop bar above that; matter involves joint ventures, hotel and asset management agreements and real estate development.
‘Their ability to collaborate‘ enables the team at Dentons to effectively advise beyond the domestic scope, with client relationships spanning France, Ireland, Italy, the Middle East and Africa. The team comprises sector experts who are well versed in the handling of day-to-day hotel operational issues, franchising matters, acquisitions and dispositions. Mark Daliere acts as the head of hotels for the UK and the Middle East, whilst Rick Ross chairs the global hotels group. Both are located in Phoenix. Simon Masri, a London based partner, is well regarded for his expertise in hotel investment, finance and mixed-use development projects. He is trusted to advise by many clients including institutions and private and public companies, both UK based and overseas. Matthew Tinger is noted for his extensive corporate knowledge. Additional mention is given to recently promoted real estate partner Laura Gowing for her hotel financing and transactions expertise.
Mark Daliere; Rick Ross (US based)
Other key lawyers:
Simon Masri; Matthew Tinger; Laura Gowling
‘The team has the ability to put extra resource onto a deal when strict deadlines are in place; it is really helpful and has enabled transactions to be complete on time.’
‘I would give special mention to Simon Masri; he has given expert advice on several issues relating to complex customer transactions in the hospitality sector.’
‘The service and quality are always top notch. The hotels team have a clear understanding of the requirements in this sector, and the experience means that they know how to deal with every situation. When it comes to negotiations, they know how to conduct this in order to achieve the best outcome.’
‘Matthew Tinger will work day and night when it comes to a transaction. There is nobody else I would trust. He is there to make sure you have the best quality legal, negotiation, and service at every step of the way.’
‘Dentons are a large firm, but clearly have great relationships. Their ability to collaborate is what makes their firm stand out against the rest.’
‘Matthew Tinger and Simon Masri are perhaps two of the most responsive, knowledgeable and commercial partners I have met in the M&A and real estate team.
‘They are also very approachable and good people with a humbleness that I have seen only in a very few.’
HPL (UK) Ltd
KSL Capital Partners
HSBC Bank plc
Malmaison and Hotel du Vin
- Advised TB Management Investment Ltd on the sale of The Belfry Hotel & Resort to Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Cedar Capital Partners.
- Advised Summerhill Properties Limited on the sale of the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff to the property investment firm, Castleforge Partners.
- Advised Selsdon Estates Property Limited on the corporate acquisition, related debt financing and subsequent hive-up restructuring of Selsdon Park Hotel.
Taylor Wessing LLP are a go-to practice for both buy-side and sell-side advice on major single asset and portfolio M&A hotel deals within the UK and in Europe. The team also has sound knowledge of hotel development matters, hotel management agreements and franchise agreements. Their wide scope of expertise and outreach enables them to advise on global matters involving jurisdictions as varied as Switzerland, China, Israel and Germany. The team is headed by Richard Bursby. He is a key contact for private companies, entrepreneurs and high-net worth individuals seeking advice on international corporate and commercial transactions. Edward Story often advises clients on investment aspects, M&A, corporate real estate issues and other day-to-day corporate-related matters.
Other key lawyers:
Edward Story; Mark Rajbenbach
‘The Taylor Wessing hotels team is fantastic. They are well respected across the industry and we have nothing but praise for them.’
‘Richard Bursby is one of the top experts in our industry and instantly commands respect from other firms we are up against in our contract negotiations. I find this adds huge value to our position from the off.’
‘Ed Story is technically strong and genuinely one of the nicest people you can meet. His ability to form connections and keep the tone of discussions calm and focused is impressive.’
‘Excellent sector knowledge from real estate, leasing, brand management and franchise agreements.’
‘Mark Rajbenbach has incredible availability and responsiveness; his true sector expertise combined with wider real estate skills suits us very well. A great client partner.’
‘Richard Bursby provides great sector knowledge.’
PPHE Hotel Group
RBH Hospitality Management
- Advised Clal Insurance Group, an Israel-based financial services company, on its purchase of a 49% stake in two London hotels owned by the Amsterdam based hotel owner and operator, PPHE Hotel Group.
- Advised Castleforge on three buyside deals – the purchase of the Best Western Bruntsfield Hotel in Edinburgh, the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff and the Crowne Plaza Royal Terrace in Edinburgh.
- Advised a Family Office on a $500m development of three islands in the Caribbean to convert to an ultra-luxury Aman Hotel and Residences, together with related joint venture and management agreements for the hotel and residences.
Addleshaw Goddard has a sizeable hotels and leisure sector team with the ability to advise clients throughout the entire cycle of hotel ownership and operation, drawing on a breadth of experience and sector knowledge. Expertise includes management advise, franchise and concession arrangements, commercial contracts, data, IT, IP and healthy and safety compliance. The team is collectively led by Luke Baines, Zoe Maurer and Lucy Sturrock. Baines is well versed in redevelopment and financing matters, in addition to cladding and fire safety matters. Maurer’s practice focus lies within hotel financings where she acts for financial institutions, investors and lenders. Sturrock splits her time between Leeds and London; she is noted for her UK and international expertise on hotel management agreements.
Luke Baines; Zoe Maurer; Lucy Sturrock
‘Knowledgeable and plugged into the industry.’
Aareal Bank AG (lenders – Hotel Specialist Team)
AIB Group (UK) plc (lenders – Hotel Specialist Team)
Battersea Power Station Development Company
Clydesdale (lenders – Hotel Specialist Team)
Coutts (lenders – Hotel Specialist Team)
Eastern and Oriental Plc (owner and developer)
FTI Consulting LLP (as Administrators of Prezzo Limited)
Greene King (pub and restaurant operators)
KTB Asset Management
Norlake Hospitality (owner of Hoxton Hotels and Gleneagles)
North Brewing (brewers and bar operators)
OakNorth Bank plc
Santander (lenders – Hotel Specialist Team)
Staycity (aparthotel operators)
Travelodge Hotels Ltd (hotel operators)
TH UK & Ireland Limited (trading as Tim Hortons) (coffee shop operators)
THAT Group (hotel owners and developers)
Village Urban Resorts (hotel owners and developers)
- Acted for Norlake Hospitality across its portfolio of hotels in the UK and Europe.
- Acted as principal advisers to Travelodge Hotels across all its business matters.
- Advised abrdn on hotel investment, in addition to advice on hotel and leisure forward funding deals, acquisitions and management and sales of leisure assets.
Baker McKenzie's hotels, resorts and tourism practice comprises a sizeable and multi-disciplined team, which advises an array of clients operating in the industry such as investors, real estate developers and financers. The team's expertise is often sought for acquisitions and divestitures, construction and development and hotel management and franchise agreements. Real estate expert Justin Salkeld, is the practice's key contact for property matters relating to planning, structuring, leasing and joint ventures. He also heads the team. Sebastien Marcelin-Rice is also highlighted for his vast experience in cross-border European financings.
Other key lawyers:
Cockpit Hotel (London) Ltd
Deutsche Hospitality Group
- Secured development rights for the Edwardian Group at its Leicester Square site and are advising on their most high profile luxury hotel project in the UK which is playing a pivotal role in the regeneration of Leicester Square and contributes to the evolving London skyline.
The team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is well equipped to advise clients across the full spectrum of hotel and leisure related matters. Particular emphasis is given to its hotel management, franchise agreement and hotel operational expertise. The multi-jurisdictional team is spread across the UK, Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia, and is led in London by Laura Wild. She has a focus on hotel acquisitions, developments, financing and leasing. Commercial property heavyweight Chris de Pury is noted for his expertise in structured investments and disposals and joint ventures.
Laura Wild; Chris de Pury
Other key lawyers:
‘BCLP is considered to be one of our go-to firms for complex transactions in the hospitality and leisure sphere.’
‘The breadth of experience and range of specialists within the firm makes it stand out as a preferred advisor for more challenging deals.’
‘Laura Wild is very commercial and dedicated with excellent knowledge and expertise in the hospitality sector.’
‘Chris de Pury stands out in the industry for his ability to structure complex transactions.’
‘Laura Wild is knowledgeable and capable.’
‘An outstanding team of experienced lawyers with very deep insight into the real estate and hospitality industry. BCLP’s market insight and experience were invaluable, the team was nimble and assisted us greatly, especially in light of rapidly evolving market conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.’
‘Nazir Dewji is superbly experienced with a tremendous wealth of experience. Instrumental in assisting us to navigate and overcome the difficult and complex issues arising from our mixed-used development project in London. Precisely the type of lawyer you would want on your side.’
‘Laura Wild is a fantastic lawyer with a great depth of experience and industry insight. Provided tailored advice based on her reserves of experience that assisted us to see our mixed-used development (which includes a 5-star hotel component) in London to completion.’
Oak View Group
Founder of BOXPARK
Corbin & King Restaurant Group – owners of The Wolseley, The Delaunay, and Colbert restaurants, amongst others.
Cerberus Capital Management
PPHE Hotel Group
Tristan Capital Partners
- Advised Cerberus Capital Management on the sale of its UK hotel portfolio for over £180m.
- Advised Tristan Capital Partnerson the acquisition, joint venture and management arrangements in relation to the Point A hotel portfolio for c £420m.
- Advised Cerberus / Qbic Hotelson on the sale, hotel management agreement and branding arrangements of a new, innovative 215-key hotel in Manchester.
Clifford Chance LLP regularly handles high-end, complex and multi-disciplinary work for a range of clients including investors, lenders, borrowers, operators and developers. Global real estate co-head Alis Pay and counsel Sarah Thomas lead the practice. Thomas is well regarded for her specialist knowledge across all aspects of both direct and indirect real estate equity investment. Pay's particular expertise lies within advising international investors on European portfolio transactions. Recent promotions include Laura Smallcombe who is now a partner, as of May 2022. Jane Cheong Tung Sing left the practice and now acts as general counsel at John Lewis.
Alis Pay; Sarah Thomas
‘The practice comprises some exceptionally talented people ready to provide a very practical approach to the matter.’
‘Exceptionally good at what they do. Very committed. They approach the matter from a proprietary perspective, almost as though my problems were their problems and our success is their success.’
Electra America Hospitality Group LLC
Mitsubishi Estate London
Sadler’s Wells Foundation
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
The HongKong and Shanghai Hotels Limited
- Aacted for the bidders on the proposed consensual sale of the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch.
- Advised Aldau, on their first large development in the UK, including the demolition of the Holiday Inn West at Portal Way Acton and the development of a mixed use project designed by international architect KPF.
- Acted for Wells Fargo as senior lender in connection with the acquisition refinancing of The Belfry Hotel by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Cedar.
DLA Piper has a growing team full of hotel and leisure sector experts; catering to clients across the full spectrum of related matters such as construction and development, financing, real estate, restructuring and investment. Leeds based Matthew Duncombe and London based Jo Owen co-lead the team. Duncombe’s practice is focused on transactional and commercial advice, while Owen’s expertise includes the handling of complex cross-border transactions. The practice has recently been boosted by the additions of real estate investment specialist Bonnie Calnan from Dentons and legal director Barry Noonan from Allen & Overy LLP.
Matthew Duncombe; Jo Owen
Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC)
Drake & Morgan Group
DFI/ BCP Capital
The Resident Edinburgh Limited
Hyatt International (Europe Africa Middle East) LLC
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG)
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (“MOHG”)
St Modwen Properties
- Advised Motel One on its expansion into the Manchester hotel market, with their third opening at St Peter’s Square.
- Advised the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), part of ADQ and owner of the London ExCel centre, on the acquisition of a new hotel to its portfolio: the DoubleTree By Hilton London ExCel.
- Advised Marriott on its entry into the “sharing economy”.
Hogan Lovells International LLP acts for a wide variety of clients such as investors, developers, financers and operators, both within the UK and overseas. Its sector expertise includes management agreements, hotel portfolio sales, developments, financings and disputes concerning performance issues, rent reviews, terminations and hotel leases. The team is also well versed in advising on arrears and other hospitality challenges that arose from the implications of Covid-19. The team is co-headed by Jackie Newstead and Katie Gill. Newstead has over 30 years' worth of experience and is well versed in advising clients on varying asset classes such as office, retail, logistics, hotel and student housing. Gill is highly regarded for her financial expertise and often advises on international banking, corporate finance and real estate finance.
Jackie Newstead; Katie Gill
M&G Real Estate
Valor Hospitality Partners
William Pears Group
Kings Cross Central
M&G Real Estate
Valor Hospitality Partners
William Pears Group
Kings Cross Central
- Advised Shiva Hotels on the sale of the Doubletree by Hilton London ExCel to Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, the state-backed owners of the ExCel Centre.
- Advised Patron Capital Partners (Patron) on its sale of Punch Pubs for a reported c. £900m to private equity firm Fortress Investment Group.
- Advised Westmont Hospitality Group on the conditional share purchase of the Holiday Inn Hotel, Oxford Circus.
Norton Rose Fulbright utilises its global network of offices throughout Europe, the US, Canada, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East to provide its clients with advice across the full spectrum of hospitality and leisure matters. Areas of expertise include branding, construction, franchising, IP, operations, planning and sustainability. The team is also well equipped to deal with matters concerning various asset classes. The practice is led by Wasim Khan. Having worked in the Dubai and Bahrain offices, Khan has a sound understanding of investor clients from the Middle East. He has a strong track record of acting for development, investment, financing and occupier clients.
Other key lawyers:
Dan Kennedy; Sarah Fitzpatrick
Soho House Limited
Emirates NBD Bank (P.J.S.C) London Branch
British Racing Drivers Club Limited
PPHE Hotel Group (Park Plaza)
57 Whitehall S.à.r.l.
A Premiership Football Club
Al Faisal Holding
United Overseas Bank and Bangkok Bank
Deutsche Finance International LLP
HSBC Bank plc
Olympus Property Holding Limited
Standard Chartered Bank
777 Partners LLC
Setha Canterbury Limited
- Advised PPHE Hotel Group in relation to a joint venture with Clal Insurance, one of Israel’s leading insurance and long-term savings companies, in respect of two of the PPHE Group’s prime London assets.
- Advised Olympus Property Holding Limited on the continuing £1.3bn London Olympia redevelopment scheme which will transform the iconic 133-year-old venue into a premier destination for the arts, entertainment, exhibitions and events.
- Advised British Racing Drivers Club, the owners of the world famous Silverstone motor racing circuit, on the development by Escapade Living of 60 new luxury holiday lodges and the delivery of a new Hilton hotel.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP's hotels & leisure team comprises of sector specialists who can advise clients on all relevant legal disciplines such as property, tax, restructuring, planning, licensing, regulatory and litigation. The team often advises both investors and developers on their arrangements with hotel operators and brands. Nick Skea-Strachan heads the practice. He advises on cross-border matters and has overseen client transactions across juridisdictions as wide-ranging as Spain, Greece, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Malta. Claire Hughes is noted for her work in complex investment and development projects.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent advice, quick and concise. Transparent billing structure. Excellent hotel real estate sector knowledge.’
‘Claire Hughes is an excellent communicator, has excellent in-depth knowledge of the hotel real estate sector and always thinks beyond the legal sphere to find business-friendly solutions, get deals to closing and even to connect her clients to open new business opportunities.’
‘Pinsent Masons have broad knowledge and experience, a pragmatic approach and they have embraced technology.’
‘Nick Skea-Strachan has for many years been a key adviser for us and member of our wider hotel team. The breadth of both his legal and operational knowledge and ability to tailor advice to ensure that it is appropriate.’
Legal and General
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc
Henderson Park Capital
Melia Hotels International
Rhubarb Food Design limited
Kew Green Hotels
KKH PI Investment Management
- Advised KKH Property Investors on the sale by way of a share sale of the 200-room Madrid EDITION hotel development to Archer Hotel Capital.
- Advised HSBC UK Bank plc on a £41.43m acquisition and development loan to City ID for its first Central London site close to London Victoria Station.
- Advised Henderson Park and Hines on management agreements and franchises for their hotel portfolio in Greece including for the Grand Hyatt Athens and the Niko Seaside Resort Crete MGallery.
The cross-departmental hotels & leisure group at Burges Salmon LLP is experienced in advising clients across the full spectrum of matters, including investment and development, portfolio management, commercial arrangements and real estate litigation. The heads of team are Richard Read, Rupert Westonand Robert Forman. Read is the practice’s go-to partner for advice on major projects and investments within the sector. Weston is noted for his extensive client list which includes high-profile names such as Zetland Capital and YTL Hotels. Forman also heads the Scottish hospitality and leisure practice; he splits his time between Edinburgh and London.
Rick Read; Rupert Weston; Robert Forman
‘Burges Salmon delivered advice and project management with the utmost professionalism and effectiveness.’
‘A close knit team who can cover all the key areas required in a hotel acquisition. A high degree of partner involvement means that issues get dealt with quickly and deal keeps moving. Whilst the team is Bristol based, they have sufficient strength in depth to hold their own against their London rivals.’
‘Robert Forman – great network, great commercial knowledge and understanding of commerical drivers, a bird’s eye overview as well as 100% into the details.’
‘Rupert Weston leads the team and is extremely diligent and is all over the detail, which as a client gives one great confidence. He is strong in negotiations but conducts them amicably and is pragmatic in realising the bigger picture so as to avoid stalemate and/or unnecessary escalation of costs.’
Darwin Leisure Development Fund
London and Regional Group Hotels Limited
Atlas Hotels Limited
LRC Group NoA&O Hostels
Hamilton Hotel Investors
Hamilton Hotel Partners
Coutts & Co
- Advised Zetland Capital on its acquisition of two significant hotels from MacDonald Hotels, including associated joint venture structuring and implementation and debt funding.
- Advised LRC Group, alongside Paul Hastings, on the disposal of a portfolio of 12 high-end hotels across the UK and Ireland.
- Advised FTI Consulting in relation to its role as Administrator of the Côte Restaurant group, safeguarding 94 of the 98 restaurants and the employment of over 3,000 employees.
Fieldfisher's cross-office approach to the hotels and leisure sector enables the firmm to effectively advise a vast array of clients across Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East. Clients include hotels, serviced apartment operators, cruise lines, holiday travel companies and casinos. Real estate focused Paul Houston heads the practice. He is well regarded for his expertise in acquisitions and disposals of investment portfolios, sales and pre-lettings of development sites and real estate matters in corporate transactions.
Other key lawyers:
Ramatu Banga; Vicky Reinhardt; David Bond; David Wilkinson
‘ I have always really been impressed by the quality across the board when dealing with Fieldfisher. A really seamless one stop shop. I also like their can-do, positive attitude .’
‘Paul Houston is outstanding and exemplifies the can-do attitude. A fantastic lawyer – he works incredibly hard for his clients and always ensures timing agendas are met. Top class operator.’
‘The practice has a great understanding of hospitality and specifically hospitality M&A. The leading partners are able to coordinate extremely effectively across disciplines required, which is not always the case at competing firms.’
‘Ramatu Banga on real estate, Vicky Reinhardt and David Bond on hotel management and technical services agreements, and David Wilkinson on corporate are all excellent. A typical hotel/development deal will require all them to work in unison for closing, and they do an excellent job dovetailing to each others work.’
‘David Wilkinson is an extremely talented hardworking commercial lawyer who understands very quickly the key legal due diligence issues and addresses these carefully in any transaction. He is approachable and communicative and we continue to recommend our client base to Fieldfisher for such work.’
Al-Seef Tourism Investment LLC
Coffee-Bike International Limited
CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice
Creams Café Limited
FRA LAN RB 26-28 GMBH & CO. KOMMANDITGESELLSCHAFT
GHG London Holdings
Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Millenium & Copthorne Hotels
Secret Escapes Limited
Smith Global Limited (Trading as Mr and Mrs Smith)
State of Play Hospitality t/a Flight Club
The shareholders of Cruising Excursions Limited
Vastint Hospitality B.V
Ambassador Cruise Line
- Advised Dominvs Group on the sale and leaseback of the Dixon Hotel in Tower Bridge to an institutional investor.
- Advised Vastint Hospitality B.V. in relation to its £1bn UK hotel portfolio.
- Acted for Cynergy Back in relation to numerous loans concerning the hotel and leisure sector.
Aside from advising its key hotel clients, the team at Fladgate LLP is also well versed at advising clients throughout the leisure sector, including restaurants, museums, music venues and casinos. The practice is led by both James Fry and Stephen Lewis. Fry specialises in commercial real estate within the sector. Lewis is also well regarded for his commercial real estate expertise, with particular emphasis given to acquisitions and disposals. Partner Kirsty Corkum joined the team from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.
James Fry; Stephen Lewis
‘Attention to detail; responsive.’
‘Fladgate are a major practice but interaction with them feels personal and like a small specialist practice. They take time to understand my business and keep the same people on our work which allows a string relationship to grow.’
‘Stephen Lewis is an outstanding property lawyer and ‘gets’ leisure, which is important to a leisure specialist investor like us.’
National Portrait Gallery
YOO Capital Fund II
4C Hotel group
Victoria Gate Casino
Otium Real Estate
- Advised Yo! Sushi, the owner and operator of around 70 conveyor belt sushi restaurants, in connection with all of its property work.
- Advised on the £35m refurbishment of the National Portrait Gallery, London and are retained to advise the Gallery in connection with the procurement of drafting and negotiating on all project documents.
- Advised Yoo Capital Management, on the acquisition of the former Saville Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, London, a notable historic site which has previously hosted performances by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.
Goodwin's team is well equipped to advise hospitality and leisure clients on the full gamut of issues that arise within the sector such as tax, privacy, employment, food and beverage and regulatory matters. The team advises clients on both the brand and operator side, as well as on both the debt and equity side of hotel and resort residential matters. The team is led by Matthew Pohlman. His focus lies within advising various industry stakeholders on the development, operation, management and financing of hotels, resorts and branded residential hospitality assets. Personal changes include the arrival of transactional real estate specialist Eric Lim from Baker McKenzie.
‘Consistent high quality service, year after year.’
‘Matthew Pohlman – extremely prepared, well versed and diligent. Able to communicate complex ideas and concepts very effectively.’
‘Great experience and tireless “can do” attitude.’
‘Matt Pohlman is highly professional, very well experienced, and always makes himself available.’
‘Their flexibility was a welcome change compared to other practices we have worked with.’
‘Matthew Pohlman: we were extremely happy to have him in our corner. Given his depth of experience it was not surprising how smooth the whole process was and his direct communication style with the counterparty’s legal team, helped save time for everyone.’
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Oaktree Capital Management
RoundShield Partners LLP
Angelo, Gordon & Co
Crossroads Real Estate
Cairn Hotel Group
Masterworks Development Corporation (a/k/a Club Quarters)
- Advised Leeu Collection in connection with a suite of agreements with Auberge Resorts Collection related to the development, construction, management and branding of the Collegio alla Querce hotel together with agreements related to the financing of the development of the hotel.
- Advised Away Resorts Limited, a holiday park owner and operator owned by CVC Capital Partners, in relation to their purchase of Golden Sands Holiday Park in north Wales for a purchase price of £17.9m.
- Advised Away Resorts Limited on their purchase of St Ives Bay Holiday Park in Cornwall for a purchase price of £29.2m.
Howard Kennedy LLP‘s team acts for luxury brands, boutique operators and mid-sized chains as well as international operators. The practice is led by Adam Walford , Anthony Hunt and Alex Watt. Walford focuses on asset management and acquisitions and disposals owned by leisure entities, particularly restaurants. Hunt is the key corporate real estate expert. Intellectual property specialist Watt joined the practice from Browne Jacobson LLP in May 2021.
Adam Walford; Anthony Hunt; Alex Watt
‘They make everything seem manageable.’
‘Anthony Hunt is very approachable.’
‘Very experienced and professional.’
‘Adam Walford is an exceptional lawyer. His legal advice is second to none and his commercial advice is the best I have ever encountered.’
‘Adam Walford is an exceptional property lawyer. His attention to detail and commercial acumen set him apart.’
‘Adam Walford is commercially minded as well as being legally knowledgeable.’
Le Pain Quotidien
Drake and Morgan
Michels & Taylor
Treehouse Hotel (London)
London Rock Partners
- Advised PureGym Ltd on their ambitious roll out programme which includes acquisitions and asset management.
- Advised Factory 42 on a new AR concept: The Green Planet AR experience which included both construction and IP work that was required.
- Advised Whistlepunks on their first West End site, as well as, on their continued expansion to Leeds.
The hospitality team in US firm Katten's London office primarily focuses on transactions, crisis management and operations. The team, which is well equipped to advise investors, hotel managers, lenders, developers and franchisees, is led by Peter Sugden, who advises clients on matters within the UK and throughout Europe. His particular expertise lies within real estate investment, finance, development, and joint ventures within the sector. Timothy Dodd is another key member of the team - he works with international hotel operator companies, hotel owners, property companies and governmental bodies.
Other key lawyers:
AccorHotels/FRHI Hotels and Resorts
Associated British Foods Pension Scheme
Atelier-Ace London Limited (Ace hotels)
Bob W Technologies UK Limited
Fattal Hotels/Jurys Inn Group
Gansevoort Hotel Group
Geneva Management Group
Knotel Management UK Limited
London Town Hotels Group
Luxury Hotel Partners
Shiva Kingsway Limited
Stay at Mine Limited
Student Luxe Limited
Union Hanover Securities
- Advised Edyn in respect of the Hyatt Centric Cambridge for which Edyn is franchisee, on the associated changes required to underlying franchise agreement documentation, the head lease and operational underlease, and to property reporting.
- Represented RE Capital as the borrower on a £60m refinance and development loan from ASK/OakNorth to facilitate the construction of a mixed use development comprising a 150-bed hotel, office and residential housing in Clerkenwell.
- Advised London Town Groups of Companies Limited on the negotiation of hotel management agreements with Cycas International BV in respect of the Hotel Indigo Paddington, Mercure London Paddington and Mercure Hyde Park.
The team at Lewis Silkin offers a broad service to its clients; the practice’s expertise includes data and privacy, franchising, licensing, real estate and portfolio management, employment, immigration and brand management. Julia Poulter regularly acts for clients in the high-value central London office and retail market. She also co-founded The Collective, which brings together leading luxury, lifestyle and premium brand commentators ideas together. Managing associate Anna Sella is well regarded for her employment expertise in this space. They lead the practice together.
‘They all offer pragmatic high-quality advice in a way that is easy to understand. They balance technical expertise with a good understanding of the commercials.’
Matthew Kenney Cuisine
Great Wolf Resorts
Met Club Group
- Acted for a celebrity chef Matthew Kenney on the launch of his first restaurant in the UK.
- Advised Met Club Group in relation to a corporate and commercial joint venture with Keysone on the development of the Saltie Girl restaurant brand.
- Advised a pizza franchise chain with sponsor licence applications for five different stores and more than 40 visa applications.
Paul Hastings LLP's team can draw on international expertise to expertly handle cross-border matters, with recent work touching on jurisdictions including France, Italy, Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, as well as the wider firm's domestic US market. Areas of expertise include asset management, disposals, hotel development projects, acquisitions and sales. Michael James heads the practice. He is the go-to contact for corporate real estate expertise and has experience in joint ventures, real estate finance, fund investments and hotel acquisitions and operations.
Other key lawyers:
‘I highly recommend Stephen Nicolas.’
‘Unique, deep, specialist market knowledge in Europe that results from being involved in most large deals.’
‘Michael James is an incredible negotiator, who cuts through the noise and has a tonne of commercial sense.’
- Advised Starwood Capital on the acquisition of a development site in Manchester in joint venture with Property Alliance Group.
- Advised Starwood Capital on the acquisition of the five-star Skt Petri hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark and the hotel management agreement.
- Advised Highgate/Cerberus Capital Management Joint Venture on the acquisition of the Dorsett Hotel in Aldgate, Central London.
Shoosmiths LLP's hotel expertise enables the firm to effectively oversee construction, planning, development and operational matters. The team's leisure sector expertise supports the needs of bar, restaurant and late-night entertainment clients. Both Catherine Williams and Richard Symonds lead the practice. Williams' 'excellent, detailed knowledge' benefits clients seeking sound corporate occupier expertise. Symonds is best known for his property litigation and risk management experience. Mention is also given to Kirsty Chalkley for her support on real estate restructuring matters.
Catherine Williams; Richard Symonds
Other key lawyers:
‘Shoosmiths understood what needed to be done to unlock a complex redevelopment opportunity, displaying unlimited patience at times to get documents agreed and exchanged.’
‘A broad depth of experience across the necessary sectors to provide a ‘one stop’ shop service.’
‘Kirsty Chalkley: Commercially astute and always thinking outside of the box.’
‘Pragmatic and commercial, always seeking to make the deal happen and not overly negotiate on minor points.’
‘Catherine Williams – excellent detailed knowledge, personable, super responsive, commercial and pragmatic. Never flustered.’
Buckland Capital Limited
Krispy Kreme UK Limited
Logistic Solutions Limited
Ortus Secured Finance
Revolution Bars Group PLC
The Gym Group
The Jockey Club
The Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance (trading as Classic Hotels)
The Restaurant Group
Tingdene Holiday Parks Limited
Travelodge Hotels Limited
Travel Sector Property Limited
Tristan Capital Partners
- Acted for Marston’s on the acquisition of 156 pubs from Wales biggest hospitality company, Brains, after the pandemic threatened their closure saving over 1,300 jobs from being lost.
- Advised Travelodge on various matters concerning fire Safety, lease re-gears and development, IT projects and health and safety.
- Advised Ortus Secured Finance on its funding of the acquisition and development of the Hilton Hotel and golf course in Templepatrick by Loughview Leisure Group.
Watson Farley & Williams LLP‘s broad expertise encompasses acquisitions, investments, franchise agreements and the development of hotel and leisure projects. Felicity Jones, an expert in corporate and commercial matters, heads the team. Richard Hughes often advises on financing matters pertaining to hotels, luxury city centre resorts and budget chains. Rohan Inamdar has experience handling sales and acquisitions of individual and hotel portfolios within the UK and in Europe.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Hughes; Rohan Inamdar; Barry Hembling
‘I would describe the team as very ‘user-friendly’, not interested in scoring legal points, but rather on securing your objectives in the most effective manner possible.’
‘They are sensible on fees, and ‘stopping the clock’ when situations drag out, which is s sure way to create a long-term relationship.’
‘You can contact them 24/7 without feeling that you’re burning billable hours. They feel like one of the home team, not just an advisor. Felicity Jones exemplifies this in all our dealings with her.’
‘Dedication; responsiveness; professionalism; real customer care.’
‘WFW is very responsive and creative in non-traditional projects, but provides commercial and timely advice on more traditional projects.’
‘Richard Hughes – knowledgeable and commercial in RE financing matters. Very responsive and efficient.’
‘Rohan Inamdar – Flexible and creative in tight schedules. Detail oriented and thorough.’
‘Felicity Jones – commercial and practical counsel, with big picture understanding.’
Norlake Hospitality Limited (Hoxton)
BP Pension Fund
Chandris Hotels Group
Millennium Hotels and Resorts
Khanna Enterprises Limited t/a KE Hotels
Xenia Leisure Group Limited
Entain plc (formerly Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Limited)
Zaha Hadid Architects (“ZHA”)
Grupo Inversor Hesperia SA (Hesperia Hotels & Resorts)
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises hospitality and leisure clients on advertising, marketing, sponsorship, branding and brand protection. Michael Powner , Jason Saiban and Lee Medlock head the practice. Powner's focus concerns employment matters, particularly within restaurants. Saiban is the go-to contact for commercial advice and Medlock oversees real estate related matters.
Michael Powner; Jason Saiban; Lee Medlock
‘The team have an exceptional knowledge of the hospitality industry. Their experience and insight is invaluable.’
‘Mike Powner is an exceptional lawyer. Always available for excellent and wise advice. He has an outstanding knowledge of the hospitality sector and the laws and issues pertinent to it.’
‘The team at CRS are just that, a team. Comprised of very capable individuals that have a broad knowledge across all areas affecting real estate in the Hospitality & Leisure sector. The team is able to handle every element of a transaction.’
‘The individuals at CRS are personable, hard working and always quick to understand our requirements. Their approach to difficult transactions is thorough and good humoured.’
The Dorchester Hotel
David Lloyd Gyms
- Advised Caffe Nero on its heads of terms and manufacturing and distribution agreement with Greencore for all of its UK stores after the administration of Adelie.
- Advised HelloFresh with a refresh of several of its marketing and brand templates such as its gift card partner terms, influencer agreements and partner sampling agreement.
- Advised Wagamama on the protection of its new BOX brand – a new delivery concept for the ‘working from home’ era.
The 'superb boutique practice' at Glovers Solicitors LLP offers clients specialist expertise in property law, litigation and licensing. Philip Shotter has over 22 years' experience in the sector and is focused on advising hospitality and leisure clients. Disputes partner Paul Dench joined the practice from Field Seymour Parkes LLP in September 2021.
Other key lawyers:
‘They have a deep understanding of the sector as well as a deep commercial understanding of what’s important to protect their clients.’
‘They provide great quality, communication and advice.’
‘Philip Shotter is available and reacts very quickly to all queries/questions and requests from the other side which ultimately leads to quick and successful deals.’
‘Paul Jagger and Philip Shotter are both outstanding. They have vast licensing experience and are always approachable. Both return calls speedily and are super efficient and practical.’
‘A superb boutique practice that offers a one stop shop for those in the licensed trade. They not only have extensive expertise in licensing law, but also deal with planning and conveyancing.’
‘They have vast licensing experience and are always approachable. They return calls speedily and are super efficient and practical.’
‘Paul Jagger and Philip Shotter provide exceptional advice that demonstrates a keen appreciation for the hospitality sector. They do so with calm authority that – when combined with an outstanding technical understanding of the law – affords their clients a high degree of comfort and assurance. They are able to work at speed and are supported by a very capable team who convey similar characteristics.’
All Things Greek Limited
ASK Italian Restaurants Limited
Aqua Restaurant Group
BDL Restaurants Limited (Bocca di Lupo, Plaquemine Lock)
Black Goo Ltd
Club Mexicana Limited
Chalk Restaurants Limited
Deep Blue Restaurants Limited
Doma Hospitality Group
Emerald Hospitality Group
Everyman Media Limited
Fatto A Mano Limited
Flat Iron Steak Limited
Frontier Pubs Limited
Hache Burger Connoisseurs Limited
Hop Vietnamese Limited
Hybrid Fitness Franchise Limited
McMullen and Sons Limited
Miscusi UK Limited
Nando’s Chickenland Limited (Nando’s)
Noble Rot Limited
Neds Noodle Box (Holdings) Limited
Oaxaca Restaurants Limited
Perilla Dining Limited
Pizza Express Restaurants Limited
Prezzo Trading Limited
State of Play Hospitality Group
Superbowl UK Group
The Adventure Bar Group
The London Cocktail Club Limited
The Vurger Co Ltd
ZLC London Limited (The Palomar and The Barbary)
Zandi Enterprises Limited (Zuaya)
Zizzi Restaurants Limited
- Acted for Prezzo Trading Limited on the acquisition of approximately 130 restaurants following the pre-pack administration of Prezzo Limited to include dealing with the lease assignments and associated rent concession arrangements for every site following on from the Covid-19 Pandemic.
- Acted for Wagamama Limited on its acquisition of three delivery kitchens in Huddersfield, Preston and Sutton and four new restaurants in Braintree, Tunbridge Wells, Swansea and Ashton.
- Acted for Bounce Battersea Limited / State of Play Hospitality Limited trading under its ‘Bounce’ social table tennis experimental concept on the exchange of an agreement for lease at Phase 2 Battersea Power Station.
Hamlins LLP is particularly skilled at rolling out high street brands through the acquisition of sites and negotiations of leases pertaining to restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs. Known for his representation of leisure operators in rollouts, Ben Kilshaw also leads the practice.
Other key lawyers:
Martin Ochs; John Leasure
‘The people I deal with are always available to deal with our matters and cover each other so there is always continuity of matters.’
‘ Ben Kilshaw: commercially minded and quick to respond / turn around matters quickly.’
‘Hamlins is a very client facing practice that has a unique family feel about it. I use them for property matters and have done so for the last twenty-one years. They are efficient whilst also being friendly and engaging.’
‘John Leasure is young, enthusiastic, bright, energetic and a good communicator, John is an asset to the team.’
‘Martin Ochs and his able assistant Lauren Twidale provide a truly exceptional service. Their attention to detail is second to none and they have developed an excellent understanding of our industry that very few other practitioners will have. They are highly responsive and highly supportive and I regard them as pivotal to my ability to successfully oversee the legal function. They display remarkable level of expertise with the civil procedure rules and court process and are exceptional strategists. In addition to all of these amazing attributes, they offer excellent value for money.’
Club La Costa (CLC)
Ego Restaurants Limited
Park Plaza Hotels
Roko Health Centres Limited
The Mint Group (Koko and Infernos)
The Light Cinema
- Advised The Light Cinema on a pre-let agreement for a cinema and bowling complex at a new development at Redhill and in relation to three new bowling alleys at various UK locations.
- Advised LEON Restaurants in connection with the corporate acquisition of the business by Euro Garages as well as advising on their roll out of new units.
- Advised Rosa’s Thai on its ongoing expansion, acting on seven new units over a year, with various other ongoing instructions.
Mayer Brown International LLP has a strong hospitality and leisure offering primarily due to its impressive capabilities in the real estate and real estate finance spheres. The key names are Andrew Hepner, who co-heads the London real estate finance team alongside Simon Price, who joined from Linklaters in 2020. The practice routinely handles major transactions and finance matters involving hotels in prime locations around the world.
Andrew Hepner; Simon Price
Other key lawyers:
Chris Harvey; Charles Malpass
United Overseas Bank
The key figures in Mishcon de Reya LLP's hotels group are Lewis Cohen, a franchising specialist who heads up the commercial, technology, data and sport division within the firm's innovation department, and corporate partner Andrew Rimmington, whose specialism is M&A and private equity transactions in the hotel sector. The firm has a strong track record of work on major hotel deals, advising on leases, management arrangements, mergers, joint ventures and complex finance matters.
Lewis Cohen; Andrew Rimmington
- Advised Topland Neptune Limited on its substantial and complex arrangement with Hilton, for which Hilton’s existing lease was surrendered and its business and assets assigned to Topland and Hilton was appointed as the hotel manager of Topland’s hotel (the Hilton Brighton Metropole, the landmark Brighton seafront hotel).
- Advised Casamata LLC, the owner of multiple restaurants in New York and Mexico, on its negotiations for a longterm restaurant management, licence and consultancy agreement in respect of the new €200m Edition Hotel, Madrid.
- Advised London Wall Lending and Précis Capital Partners in relation to a £82m debt funding to Gulf Islamic Investments to develop 2 Lucan Place, Chelsea, into a seven-storey residence of up to 31 residential units under the Marriott luxury Autograph brand.
The team at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is well equipped to advise a variety of clients, including high-net-worth individuals, corporate investors and financial institutions within the UK and worldwide. John O’Callaghan, Sarah Hung and Simon Lawrence head the practice. Ali Chouhdry was promoted to partner in July 2021.
John O’Callaghan; Sarah Hung; Simon Lawrence
‘Ronald Fletcher Baker’s reputation in this sector continues to grow. The team’s ability to handle high value complex transactions efficiently sets them apart.’
‘Simon Lawrence has decades of experience in the hospitality and leisure sector. He understands how to get deals done efficiently.’
‘John O’Callaghan has a wealth of knowledge in the sector and has great technical ability.’
‘RFB’s reputation in the hospitality and leisure team is continuing to grow. The team is developing a real reputation for acting in large deals and ensuring that the deals are completed efficiently.’
‘Simon Lawrence uses his wealth of experience to ensure that large and complex transactions are completed seamlessly. He is a leader in the field.’
‘John O’Callaghan has a calm and reassuring presence. John’s knowledge, gained over decades, is a real benefit for his 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)
Delphinus Developments Limited
Urban Spectrum Property Management Limited
- Acted for a client in relation to the grant to of a high value lease in Prime Central London at a rent of £1.79m + VAT per annum.
- Instructed by Comptoir Group Plc in relation to acquiring leases for new premises in key consumer areas.
- Acted for a hotel developer in relation to advising on boundary issues for a hotel development valued at £50m.
Stevens & Bolton LLP
The team at Guildford's Stevens & Bolton LLP have a wealth of knowledge in various sectors such as casual dining, pubs, bars, hotels, food and beverage and digital leisure. The team is headed by Helen Wheddon. She has a breadth of experience in commercial property disputes, contractual claims and development matters.
‘User friendly; they do not over complicate matters; they talk through issues making it easy for the client to understand; their billing is reasonable.’
‘Simple, to-the-point advice. They fully understand construction law so have no need to complicate matters, unlike some of their peers.’
‘Extremely helpful and able to keep the conversations easy to understand for a layman. Quick to respond to queries. They made the process extremely easy to handle.’
Burger Boi Ltd [The Restaurant Guys]
Fuller, Smith & Turner plc (Fullers)
Immersive Group Gaming Ltd (t/a Electric Gamebox)
Paul U.K. Ltd
Pepe’s Piri Piri Ltd
Pizza Hut (UK) Ltd
Real English Drinks Group
Red Mist Leisure
- Advised long-standing client Aspria, the European health club operator, on €53m investment from Fortress Investment Group.
- Acted on behalf of Real English Drinks Group and its subsidiaries in connection with the growth of its business on the real estate side.
- Advised Asahi on contract drafting and negotiating through a commercial retainer as well as through a reciprocal secondment relationship for its commercial work.
The team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP is headed by both Ayda Habboush and Julien Allen. Habboush is well regarded for her advice to hotel owners, both international and domestic. Allen has specialist expertise in high-end leisure real estate matters. The practice has notable experience of drafting and negotiating hotel operator and franchise agreements.
Ayda Habboush; Julien Allen
‘They are responsive, personable and able to explain legal matters and considerations clearly and in layman’s terms.’
‘Approachable. Personable. Non pompous. Respectful. Diligent.’
‘The team is super dedicated and take the time to understand the client’s business, needs and outcomes from the project.’
‘The team has been great at providing a chart of fees, expected costs and work involved.’
RE Capital (previously known as Geneva Management Group) – Clerkenwell Lifestyle (UK) Limited
Founders of Golborne Laylow Ltd
Midia Investors Limited
Cringle Corporation Limited
Jasbinder Singh Rai
J D Wetherspoon
Caprice Holdings Limited
Caprice Holdings Limited and Caprice Chelsea Grill Limited
46 Berkeley Square Limited (Annabel’s club)
Museum of London
Eco World London
Braintree Leisure Limited
BKUK Group Limited
Bills Restaurants Limited
- Advised the sellers of a 5* boutique hotel in Central London.
- Advised RE Capital on a new lifestyle hotel development in Camden comprising 70 bedrooms hotel, a 5,810 sq ft co-working office space and a speakeasy bar on the ground floor.
- Advised Cringle Corporation on the development of a new hotel, Leven, in central Manchester which opened in January 2022.