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Hotel Lawyers -- featured subjects and articles
Meet the Money® 2014

ADA defense and compliance

EB-5 financing

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Hotel Management Agreements

Hotel Franchise & License Agreements

Hotel industry trends

This is Jim Butler, author of www.HotelLawBlog.com and hotel lawyer. Please contact me at Jim Butler at jbutler@jmbm.com or 310.201.3526.

Published on:

23 November 2022

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on Outlook and Trends.

Effective January 1, 2024, companies will have to report their beneficial owners to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as part of the updated Corporate Transparency Act of 2021 (CTA) rules. Unless they are exempt under the CTA, businesses that fail to submit this information may be faced with steep civil or criminal penalties. Vince Farhat and Alan Azar of JMBM’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Group have written an article explaining CTA’s new reporting requirements and how to comply with them below.

FinCEN Issues Final Rule for CTA’s Beneficial Owners Reporting Requirements

by
Vince Farhat and Alan Azar
JMBM’s White Collar Defense & Investigations Group

Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act of 2021 (CTA) as part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AMLA) included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The CTA created a beneficial ownership registry within the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). On September 29, 2022, FinCEN issued a final rule implementing the beneficial ownership information (BOI) reporting requirement of the CTA, which will go into effect on January 1, 2024. Reporting companies created or registered before January 1, 2024 will have one year to file their initial reports, whereas reporting companies created or registered on or after January 1, 2024, will have 30 days after receiving notice of their creation or registration to file their initial reports.

Unless they are exempt under the CTA, companies will be required to submit information to FinCEN on their beneficial owners or face the prospect of civil and criminal penalties if they fail to comply. FinCEN estimates that most of the 32 million companies anticipated to be subject to the Final Rule will be small businesses, single-owner LLCs, or other types of business entities with four or fewer beneficial owners. The overall compliance costs could reach $22.8 billion for the first year and $5.65 billion annually after that.[1]

AMLA Background

The NDAA took center-stage when former President Trump vetoed the bill in 2021, taking issue with the bill’s failure to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Following a veto override, however, the NDAA became law, marking the 59th consecutive year in which some form of the NDAA has been passed. This Section 230 scuffle diverted attention away from the AMLA, a separately named Act within the NDAA. The AMLA represented the most significant reform to anti-money laundering laws in two decades, since the 2001 USA PATRIOT Act. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

25 October 2022

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on Data Technology, Privacy & Security.

In addition to protecting the personal information of guests in compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and California’s Consumer Privacy Act, hotel operators and owners need to extend the same protections and rights to their employees and the information collected from them. Bob Braun, a senior member of the Global Hospitality Group and Co-Chair of JMBM’s Cybersecurity & Privacy Group outlines hotel employer obligations in the article below, along with suggested next steps.

 

Hotels, Hotel Owners and Employee Personal Information
by Bob Braun, Hotel Lawyer

 

Hotel operators and owners have long been focused on the privacy of the personal information they collect from guests – because of the global nature of the hospitality business, hotel brands have focused on complying with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and beginning in 2018, the Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the first comprehensive law designed to protect the privacy of consumers’ personal information. Businesses that are subject to the GDPR and the CCPA are required, among other things, to respond to consumers who wish to view the personal information collected by the business, delete personal information, and opt-out of the sale of personal information; these obligations expanded in 2020 when California voters approved the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (CPRA).

Employee and Business Personal Information

While the CCPA is aimed at protecting consumers’ personal information, the terms of the law extend to the personal information of employees and business contacts. While the California legislature initially exempted employment information and “business to business” (B2B) personal information from many of the provisions of the CCPA until January 1, 2021, which was extended in the CPRA to January 1, 2023.

The Exemption and its Demise

While most observers believed that the California legislature would extend the exemptions of employee and B2B personal information, when the California Legislature adjourned on August 31, 2022, it did so without adopting an extension. As a result, it is a certainty that full consumer rights will apply to personal information obtained from employees or because of a B2B relationship.

Because hotel owners and operators are familiar with the requirements of the CCPA and the GDPR, the expiration of the exemption will be challenging. Owners and operators will need to adapt their policies to employee and B2B personal information. However, there are many hotel owners that have little or no contact with guests and have left compliance to hotel operators. These firms will be particularly impacted by the significant disclosure, policy and procedure issues that need to be addressed by the end of 2022.

This is especially the case for hotel owners that act as the employer of hotel personnel, but will extend to all hotel owners with employees, whether engaged at a hotel or not, since employers are obligated to collect vast amounts of personal information, including sensitive personal details (such as financial, health and intimate personal characteristics) to conduct businesses. These owners will need to address the information they collect, where it is held, who has access to it and how it is used. Moreover, hotel owners and operators will need to determine how consumer rights apply to employee and B2B personal information, and prepare to provide employees and B2B contacts with CCPA rights, including the right to know what personal information is collected, the right to delete personal information, the right to opt out of the sale or sharing of personal information, the right to limit use and disclosure of sensitive personal information, and the protection against retaliation following the exercise of opt-out or other rights. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

09 September 2022

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.

GHG Partner David Sudeck Recognized as a Real Estate/Construction Law Trailblazer

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce that Real Estate Partner David Sudeck has been recognized in the National Law Journal’s 2022 list of Real Estate/Construction Law Trailblazers.

This list honors legal professionals who have made significant marks on the practice, policy and technological advancements in their sector.

“David’s legal expertise and excellent client service have been essential to the success of the Global Hospitality Group and to the Firm as a whole,” said Jim Butler. “We are pleased that he has received this recognition as a Trailblazer.”

Sudeck is a seasoned dealmaker with an international reputation as an expert in hospitality projects. He provides critical business and legal advice to owners and lenders in the purchase, sale, development, construction, financing, leasing, and sale-leaseback of hotel, resort and mixed-use properties, including structuring complex hotel management and branding agreements.

In 2021, David and his team at JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® closed more than $210 million in Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) loans and in 2022 assisted in structuring the largest ever C-PACE transaction in the United States. His trailblazing work in this area has led to him representing the top lenders in the space. As David told the National Law Journal, “[C-PACE financing] has been a critical part of the capital stack…Borrowers have embraced the fact that it is non-recourse financing at a low cost.”

To read David’s profile, click here.

CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

10 June 2022

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.

Deadline nears. More than 56,000 business and 1 million servers are affected. Of the million servers, only 33,000 are certified now.

Is your California alcoholic beverage outlet ready for
new August 1, 2022 ABC certification
of all alcoholic beverage servers and managers?

by
Jim Butler, Chairman of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®

 

Responsible Beverage Service Training Act of 2017 (the “RBSTA”)

A new law that many of the affected people have never heard about becomes effective July 1, 2022. It all involves liquor licenses from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) and persons employed by such licensees to serve alcohol to patrons.

The new law is known as the “Responsible Beverage Service Training Act of 2017” or “RBSTA.” Many are now using the acronym of “RBS” to refer to matters involving the RBSTA such as certification, training and related matters. It is embodied in the California Business & Professions Code (Div. 9, Ch. 16, Art. 4, Section 25680 et seq.).

Who is affected? How many are affected? How many comply today?

The ABC estimates that the law affects 56,000 businesses that hold on premise liquor licenses from the ABC and approximately 1 million servers of alcohol and their managers at such locations. Of the million servers and managers, only 33,000 have been certified to date!

Such licensees include all California restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs, wineries, breweries, stadiums, event centers and virtually any other outlet that sells alcoholic beverages and permits customers to drink on site. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

06 June 2022

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.

GHG Partners Guy Maisnik and David Sudeck Recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce that two senior Global Hospitality Group® members were honored last month for their legal accomplishments.

Guy Maisnik, Vice Chair of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®, has been included in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of “Top 100 Lawyers.” This list honors the top lawyers in Los Angeles for their legal achievements, professional impact and community involvement.

Guy advises clients on hospitality transactions, representing buyers, sellers, lenders, opportunity funds, special servicers, REITs, and developers in hotel transactions, joint ventures, hotel management agreements and franchise agreements, buying, selling and ground leasing of hotels, complex mixed-used development, and fractional and timeshare structuring.

David Sudeck, senior member of JMBM’s Real Estate department, has been recognized as a 2022 “Commercial Real Estate Visionary: Professional Service Advisor” by the Los Angeles Times. This list spotlights the top commercial real estate professionals in the region who have helped businesses reach the next level of growth.

David is a seasoned deal maker with an international reputation as an expert in hospitality projects. He provides critical business and legal advice to owners and lenders in the purchase, sale, development, construction, financing, leasing, and sale-leaseback of hotel, resort and mixed-use properties, including structuring complex hotel management and branding agreements.

These awards are a result of their excellent legal work and dedication to client service. To read Guy Maisnik’s profile in the Los Angeles Business Journal click here and to read David Sudeck’s profile in the Los Angeles Times click here. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

2 May 2022

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on ADA Compliance and Defense.

The Department of Justice recently released a set of guidelines reconfirming that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to website accessibility. In order to avoid legal action, it is crucial for hotel owners to understand what they can do to ensure compliance with ADA regulations.

Stuart Tubis of JMBM’s ADA Compliance & Defense Group outlines the new guidance below.

DOJ Issues Guidance On Website Accessibility

by
Stuart Tubis, JMBM’s ADA Compliance & Defense Group

Recently on March 18, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a “Web Accessibility Guidance” statement for state and local governments and public accommodations (including businesses) under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

A copy of the Guidance document can be found here.

In the Guidance, the DOJ clarifies once again that the ADA applies to websites: “the Department’s longstanding interpretation of the general nondiscrimination and effective communication provisions applies to web accessibility.”

The Guidance also provides some examples of website accessibility barriers, including poor color contrast, lack of text alternatives for images, lack of labels for forms, and mouse-only navigation design. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

29 April 2022

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on EB-5 Financing and here for alternative C-PACE Financing.

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® and EB-5 Finance Group™ are pleased to publish an updated edition of The Developer’s EB-5 Handbook for Construction Financing. This new and improved handbook provides essential resources for developers considering EB-5 financing for their next project.

The recent EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 and the reauthorization of the Regional Center Program, a crucial part of EB-5’s success, has generated renewed interest in the program’s low-cost funding opportunities. The Global Hospitality Group® has developed an approach to guide clients through the current EB-5 process with a minimal amount of financial risk and execute financing with a high degree of confidence.

The Developer’s EB-5 Handbook for Construction Financing helps developers assess potential opportunities for EB-5 financing while avoiding potential traps for the unwary.

The Handbook includes articles addressing the following topics:

  • What EB-5 is all about? What are its essentials?
  • What’s different about EB-5 this time around?
  • Is EB-5 still viable for developers now that it’s been reauthorized?
  • What is the optimum EB-5 construction financing structure for development projects?
  • How much? How cheap? How certain? How long?
  • What are the most common mistakes developers make with EB-5 financing?
  • Who do I need on my EB-5 financing team?

To download a free copy of The Developer’s EB-5 Handbook, click here.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues presented in the Handbook, please contact us. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

25 April 2022

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on EB-5 Financing.

Part two of our recent article in Westlaw Today explores the opportunities available to developers and investors now that the EB-5 program is back on track. For part 1, click here.

This article was originally published on Westlaw Today on April 14, 2022.

 

What the 2022 Revitalization of EB-5 Financing Means
for Real Estate Developers and Other Entrepreneurs: Part 2

What are foreign investors looking for?

Experts expect to see a flood of interest in the EB-5 program, both from foreign investors anxious to immigrate to the US, and from real estate developers with shovel-ready projects seeking capital.

There is no limitation in the law as to the type of project that can be funded with EB-5 financing. The critical requirement is that the minimum number of 10 new US jobs for each investor will be created within a specified period of time.

In the past, up to 70 or 80 percent of all EB-5 investors selected real estate-related investments, particularly those that create a large number of new US jobs such as hotels, restaurants, night clubs, resorts, hospitals, and senior living. Alternate energy projects and a host of other new businesses, however, could tap this financing source as the program comes back online.

Under the new law, it appears that retail and office projects may also be feasible, because new jobs created by tenants of a project appear to satisfy the job creation requirement. Previously, the law excluded jobs created through “tenant occupancy.” CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

18 April 2022

See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on EB-5 Financing.

Since the renewal of the EB-5 program this year, there has been a lot of talk about what this means for developers interested in taking on new projects. Our recent article in Westlaw Today sums up the latest information about the program. Part one is below; part two will be published next week.

This article was originally published on Westlaw Today on April 14, 2022.

 

What the 2022 Revitalization of EB-5 Financing Means
for Real Estate Developers and Other Entrepreneurs: Part 1

After being sidelined for the last few years by circumstances culminating with the pandemic and the lapse of the Regional Center Program in June of 2021, the EB-5 foreign investment program looks like it has returned as a viable option for developers seeking low-cost funding for new construction projects.

On March 15, President Biden signed the Omnibus Spending Bill, which included the “EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022,” sponsored by Senators Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA). This bipartisan bill restores viability to EB-5 by reauthorizing the lapsed Regional Center Program, a component essential to the success of EB-5.

What is EB-5?

EB-5 refers to a program that is authorized by Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. EB-5 is the fifth “Employment-Based” immigration program set forth in Section 203 and provides expedited visa processing for foreign investors making a minimum required investment in a project that directly creates at least 10 new jobs in the United States.

In short, it is both an immigration program for foreign investor immigrants, and a program that requires substantial capital investment in new business enterprises creating jobs in the United States.

The character of available financing and the projects most desirable for EB-5 investment are directly influenced by program requirements that must be met to qualify investors for a green card. For example, lower program investment minimums ($800,000 vs. $1,050,000) make projects more desirable in targeted areas of high unemployment and rural areas. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

31 March 2022
See how JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® can help you.
Click here for the latest articles on EB-5 Financing, and here for C-PACE Financing.

The hotel development and financing world is buzzing with the news that the EB-5 program has been renewed, creating new opportunities for upcoming projects. My partner David Sudeck and I have written the short update below to help get you up to speed.

 

EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022
EB-5 is revitalized and renewed

by Jim Butler & David Sudeck

In case you haven’t heard, EB-5 is back! On March 15, President Biden signed the Omnibus Spending Bill, which included the “EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022,” sponsored by Senators Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA). This bipartisan bill restores viability to EB-5 by reauthorizing the lapsed Regional Center Program, a component essential to the success of EB-5.

What’s different about EB-5 this time around?

While the basics of the program remain the same–foreign investors provide a specified amount of capital to development projects that create American jobs, and are put on a fast track to green cards for themselves and their families–some aspects of the Regional Center Program have changed. The Regional Center Program, which was authorized until June 2021, allows investors to pool their resources to finance new projects and enterprises. Regional centers also have different requirements for the types of jobs created by a development project.

The new bill raises the minimum investment in qualified projects to $1,050,000, except in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) where the investment minimum will be $800,000. TEAs are areas that the program prioritizes for job creation, usually rural or areas with high unemployment–where the investment minimum remains $800,000. The new minimum investment requirement will hold for the next five years, and then will be subject to reevaluation. The bill also puts a premium on investment in rural areas by expediting visa applications for investors involved in those projects; ten percent of EB-5 visas are set aside for these investors. Infrastructure projects are also subject to lower minimum investment requirements, but do not qualify for expedited visa processing. CONTINUE READING →

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