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

ADA defense and compliance

EB-5 financing

Workouts, bankruptcies & receiverships

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:

8 December 2018

Hotel Lawyer on Owners’ concerns with hotel brand franchise agreements — Areas of Protection or Non-competition clauses

My partner Bob Braun is a senior member of our Global Hospitality Group® and has experience with many hundreds of hotel management and franchise agreements. Bob is also co-author of the Hotel Management Agreement & Franchise Agreement Handbook (3rd edition), and has first-hand experience with branding and management for every major traditional hotel brand, including a number of multi-branded properties. Today he explores the growing problem for hotel franchisees in gaining meaningful protection from other hotels operating under their franchisor’s brands.

Hotel Franchise Agreements:
What happened to my Area of Protection?
by
Bob Braun, Hotel Lawyer

 

This article is one result of a dialogue with experienced professionals at Expedia, and we thank them for their insight.

Brand concentration, new brand proliferation and ascendance of the franchise model of branding

Brand concentration has intensified greatly over recent years and many new brands have been created. At last count (and the count changes often), Marriott owns 30 brands, Accor has 33, Wyndham has 18, Hilton has 14, IHG has 13, Choice has 11 and Hyatt has 10. For a hospitality chain, a portfolio of brands used to represent a customer and regional segmentation strategy designed to target buyers across the economic spectrum and resonate with local preferences.

Before the mergers and acquisitions, new brand launches, and the development of soft brands, a hotel chain typically had a few iconic brands in each chain scale that customers could easily recognize and differentiate from the competition. Guests could rely on their knowledge of the brands for a predictable experience commensurate to the brand promise. Moreover, it was common for brands to operate, own, or both operate and own properties, giving brands “skin in the game” and greater ability to create a uniform guest experience. Over the years, however, franchising became the preferred model for growth, shifting more of the costs of development and costs of ownership to hotel owners. Today, you would be hard-pressed to name a hotel that owns a significant number of properties.

While the move to managed and franchised hotels freed up capital to invest in new growth, the brands faced a new dilemma — how to build or convert more hotels in a market where they already had operating branded properties. After all, brands could not rely solely on fee-based revenue from existing properties growing at single-digit RevPAR to meet expectations of Wall Street investors, but they also couldn’t open the same brand next to one that already existed.

As brands pursued franchised growth, they have also tried to retain the right to saturate a market with their affiliated flags. Hotel brands now uniformly reserve the right to operate competing properties in the same location as existing properties — helping them to fulfill their goal of expanding their markets. Hotel owners, of course, have a different view — having the only property of their brand (or of any competing property, whatever the brand) is a benefit, and allows the owner comfort that they will be able to benefit from their investment.

Owners’ challenges in obtaining protection from competition by their brand’s other hotel owners using the same reservation system.

Owners see a number of benefits to limiting competition within the brand: CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

Chinese-Photo-1-2

Recently, a Chinese government delegation visited Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP.  The delegation included some of the highest-ranking officials from a top Chinese government agency – “China State Administration of Foreign Exchange” – an agency that directly oversees the investment of $3 trillion of China’s foreign reserve. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

6 December 2018

Hotel Lawyers developing hotels

Los Angeles—The Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP is pleased to announce its client Ari Pearl’s development of the Diplomat Golf & Tennis Club in Florida into the SLS Resort Residence & Marina Hallandale Beach. The $220 million mixed-use project will include 240 hotel rooms, a 50-unit condo hotel, 250 branded apartments, a Katsuya restaurant and S Bar, and an 18-hole championship golf course.

JMBM Partner David Sudeck led the Global Hospitality Group team, which included Robert E. Braun and Associate Caleb Gilbert. JMBM attorneys represented Pearl’s company, PPG Development, in connection with residential and hotel-related management and licensing agreements.

“This is an exciting project for PPG Development,” said Sudeck. “We look forward to supporting its future success.”

Hotel Lawyer insights on hotel development transactions
The hotel lawyers of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® provide unsurpassed experience and resources to hotel owners, developers and capital providers — developing, buying, selling, financing and branding hotels. Based on the Group’s experience with more than $87 billion of hotel transactions and more than 3,900 hotels, these resources are valuable for veteran dealmakers and first-time hotel buyers and sellers. Look at some of the materials available on HotelLawyer.com and see how this experience can help you:

Published on:

30 November 2018

Data breaches are back in the news, and this time, it’s a well-known hotel industry player: Marriott International. The company announced today that unauthorized access to their systems going back several years has exposed the names and other personal details of over 500 million guests. For hoteliers, this situation can be avoided by using the Global Hospitality Group® Risk Assessment Audit™, a comprehensive tool that combines your internal resources with our expertise in analyzing your risk profile, both for compliance purposes and to create effective data security strategies.

Bob Braun, senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Cybersecurity & Privacy Group, sums up what Marriott is facing and what lessons other hotels can learn from this incident, below.

Not a Good Day for Marriott
by
Bob Braun

It’s unlikely that anyone in the hospitality industry – perhaps anyone who watches the news – hasn’t heard about the data breach at Marriott. Marriott’s pre-eminent position in the hotel industry, and the very size of the breach, with an estimated 500 million individuals impacted (putting it second behind the Yahoo breach) make this noteworthy.

What Happened?
While some of the information is available, most of the details have yet to be filled in. However, there are some key takeaways that every hotel owner, operator and brand should consider: CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

26 November 2018

Hotel Lawyers buying and selling hotels

Los Angeles—The Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP is pleased to announce the recent sale of the Marriott Warner Center Woodland Hills. Located in the Warner Center business development in Woodland Hills, CA, the 478-room hotel sold for over $100 million. JMBM represented the seller in the transaction.

The Global Hospitality Group’s team included senior member David Sudeck, as well as associate Caleb Gilbert.

“Our priority is supporting our client’s continued growth and success,” said Sudeck. “The Woodland Hills sale is part of a strategic disposition of key assets.”

Hotel Lawyer insights on acquisitions and sales

The hotel lawyers of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® provide unsurpassed experience and resources to hotel owners, developers and capital providers in buying, selling, financing and branding hotels. Based on the Group’s experience with more than $87 billion of hotel transactions and more than 3,900 hotels, these resources are valuable for veteran dealmakers and first-time hotel buyers and sellers. Look at some of the materials available on HotelLawyer.com and see how this experience can help you:

 

Published on:

A hotel lawyer brings together numerous legal disciplines, depending on the hospitality project. That’s why the Global Hospitality Group® is part of a full-service law firm. My partners at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) provide first-rate services to our hospitality clients and I am pleased that their efforts were recognized today in U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Law Firms.

– Jim

U.S. News & World – Best Law Firms® Recognizes JMBM as 2019 “Best Law Firm”

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce it has been recognized as a 2019 “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Best Lawyers®, which recognizes the top law firms in the country for professional excellence. This is the ninth year for JMBM’s inclusion as a Best Law Firm.

“This recognition is especially important to us as it is based on the views of our clients and peers,” said Bruce P. Jeffer, JMBM’s Managing Partner. “We are committed to focusing on our clients’ objectives and providing outstanding service.”
JMBM’s Trusts & Estates Group achieved National Tier 1 – the highest ranking possible – in Trusts & Estates Law, underscoring the Group’s unique combination of exemplary service and breadth of knowledge in trusts and estates law.

The Firm also earned Metropolitan Tier 1 rankings in the following areas: CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

11 October 2018

Starting in January 2020, California hotels and motels must provide human trafficking awareness training to their employees, to ensure that those most likely to come into contact with victims of trafficking are able to help in a way that is effective and safe for both guests and employees.

Marta Fernandez, a partner in JMBM’s Labor & Employment department, outlines the new law below and discusses what hotels should do to prepare for compliance.

Legislative Update: California hotels soon will be required to provide human trafficking awareness training to employees
by
Marta Fernandez

On September 27, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 970 requiring California hotel and motel employers to provide “human trafficking awareness” training and education to employees.

Effective January 1, 2020, hotel and motel employers must provide at least 20 minutes of training to certain employees every 2 years; newly hired employees must receive training within 6 months of their hire dates.

Employees required to receive the training are those who are likely to interact or come into contact with victims of human trafficking including, but not limited to: employees who work in the reception area, perform housekeeping duties, help customers in moving their possessions, or drive customers.

Why the hospitality industry is singled out

While we might read reports of sex trafficking at hotels during events like the Super Bowl, the sad reality is that human trafficking takes place at hotels and motels year round. It takes place in all segments of hotels – economy to luxury – and in all geographic areas. CONTINUE READING →

Published on:

 

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) has announced the formation of its Legal Cannabis Group, which provides clients with all the resources and benefits of a full-service law firm on business matters involving legal marijuana and cannabis-related substances. The lawyers comprising JMBM’s Legal Cannabis Group focus on the needs of business and property owners, developers, investors, lenders, commercial landlords and tenants, growers and producers, processors, dispensaries and sellers, and creators of new cannabis products.

“Although medical and recreational cannabis has been legalized in more than half of the nation’s 50 states, including California, businesses still have trouble finding experienced lawyers with mainstream law firms to represent them,” said Benjamin M. Reznik, Chair of JMBM’s Government, Land Use, Environment & Energy Group. “In addition to critical government approvals, compliance and permits, we assist marijuana and cannabis-related businesses with virtually all of the legal issues faced by any thriving business.”

For example, JMBM’s lawyers assist clients with corporate and real estate transactions, as well as on “bread and butter” business structures, contracts, securities offerings, leases, financings and intellectual property matters. JMBM’s lawyers also handle all kinds of labor and employment, tax and litigation (from routine disputes to bet-the-company matters).

Contacts:

Benjamin M. Reznik
BMR@jmbm.com
(310) 201-3572

Jim Butler
jbutler@jmbm.com
(310) 201-3526

About JMBM’s Legal Cannabis Group
JMBM’s Legal Cannabis Group advises marijuana and cannabis-related businesses in the full range of business issues including regulatory compliance and permitting, business transactions, and litigation in California. Our practice focuses on the needs of property owners, developers, investors, lenders, commercial landlords, growers and producers, processors, dispensaries and sellers, and creators of new cannabis products.

About JMBM
JMBM is a full service law firm with offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco. For more information go to www.jmbm.com.

Published on:

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® is pleased to announce that Guy Maisnik, Vice-Chair of the Group, will participate on the panel addressing Private Equity Sources and Deals at the 2018 Lodging Conference in Phoenix.

The panelists will discuss hotel investment strategies, structures, projects, sectors and locations targeted for creating value, and the changing landscape of private equity.

Guy has strong expertise in hotel finance, including private equity, and advises buyers, sellers, lenders, opportunity funds, special servicers, REITs and developers in hotel transactions, joint ventures, hotel management and franchise agreements, buying, selling and ground leasing of hotels, complex mixed used development and fractional and timeshare structuring. He also assists lenders and mezzanine lenders, and has significant experience in structuring capital raises through Chinese and EB5 investments. Guy represents clients and projects throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, South America, Caribbean, Eastern and Western Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Asia.

Panel: Private Equity Sources and Deals
Location: The Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Panelists:

Michael G. Desiato, President, MGD Consulting Services – moderator
Shaan Bhatia, Vice President, Starwood Capital Group
Christopher Diffley, Managing Director, Investments, Rockbridge
Mark J. Gordon, Partner, Intrinsic Hotel Capital
Guy Maisnik, Partner & Vice Chairman, Global Hospitality Group®, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® is pleased to be a sponsor of the Lodging Conference. We invite you to attend Guy’s panel on Private Equity Sources and Deals, or contact him at MGM@jmbm.com if you would like to discuss a project. Click here for more information or to register.

Published on:

31 August 2018

Click here for the latest articles on Data Technology, Privacy & Security

Despite a general effective date of January 1, 2020, there are 5 steps that anyone doing business in California should take now to avoid problems under the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (the Act) when it becomes effective. As a follow up to his original article explaining the important provisions of the Act, my partner Bob Braun provides us an important update on recent regulatory activity concerning the Act and provides practical guidance on what needs to be done now.

To read Bob’s original article about the Act, click California Adopts the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.

Update: California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018
5 steps to take NOW to avoid trouble
by
Bob Braun

Recent regulatory developments

Late last week, the California legislature published proposed technical amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. These amendments reflect almost two months of lobbying by both consumer and industry groups. In addition, the FTC has received a number of complaints that the Act, along with other proposed state actions, would create confusion in an already-fragmented approach to privacy and security in the United States.

5 steps to take now

While the changes in the Act and attacks on the Act continue to create uncertainty, businesses need to consider immediate steps to avoid the significant penalties for non-compliance. Businesses must be in full compliance on the effective date of January 1, 2020. It will not be adequate to start compliance efforts on that date.

In particular, there are 5 steps that businesses need to take to ensure compliance by the effective date: CONTINUE READING →