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Hotel Management Agreement & Franchise Agreement Handbook 3rd edition is released for free download

2 April 2014

There is a new HMA Handbook! Actually, it is the HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook (3rd edition), which makes some major updates to the “old” HMA Handbook (2nd edition).

A fundamental shift has taken place in the realm of hotel management agreements (HMAs) and we decided we could just not wait any longer to update our popular handbook on this important subject. So, it is with great excitement that my partner and co-author, Bob Braun, and I announce the publication of the 3rd edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook.

Like all the handbooks in our We Wrote the Book™ series, it specifically addresses the needs of hotel owners, developers, investors and lenders. The news release below explains what all the commotion is about and will tell you how to get your free copy of The Handbook. As always, we invite you to share your comments and thoughts about the book with us.

Along with all the latest financing sources, and deal technology, we will be talking about HMAs and franchise agreements at the Meet the Money® national hotel finance and investment conference the first week of every May. We hope you can join us there!

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® announces 3rd edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook in response to sea change in the hotel industry

The Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce publication of the 3rd edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook, a guide for hotel owners, developers, investors and lenders negotiating or terminating hotel management agreements (HMAs) and franchise agreements.

Co-authored by JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® Chairman, Jim Butler, and Senior Member of the Group, Robert E. Braun, the 3rd edition of The Handbook has been revised extensively to reflect a recent sea change in the industry — the proliferation of franchise agreements, which have become increasingly negotiable. Hotel management agreements continue to be critical for luxury properties, resorts and larger properties. But for bread-and-butter hotels and the hot select service segment, owners and brands are placing more importance than ever on franchise agreements.

The Handbook has been expanded to include a new chapter devoted to franchise agreements, brands and independent management agreements. The 3rd edition also includes a discussion of recent court rulings that allow owners to terminate long-term, “no-cut” branded management agreements.

“Hotel management agreements remain a foundation for the profitability and value of a hotel, particularly in luxury, destination resort, and larger convention hotel segments,” said Butler. “But franchise agreements, independent operators and unbranded properties have become so important, particularly in select service and upscale segments, that we needed to deal with the phenomenon in The Handbook.”

“More brands are focusing on franchises and limiting branded management to strategic assets,” said Braun. “As a result, the relationship between brands, independent managers, lenders and owners has become more complex and requires the insights and advice of hotel industry insiders like our Global Hospitality Group®.”

Butler and Braun will both speak at the 24th annual Meet the Money® hotel finance and investment conference on May 5-7 in Los Angeles, which will address many of the topics covered in the book. For more information on the conference speakers and presentations, visit

How to get a free copy of the 3rd edition of the HMA Handbook

To download your free copy of the 3rd edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook, go to the Resource Center on This has been one of the most popular downloads on for the past several years.

Important topics covered in the 3rd edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook

The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook covers four major topics that are critical to every hotel owner, developer, investor or lender:

1. How to get a great hotel operator

  • Maximizing hotel value with management, branding and franchise
  • Three of the most important things you will ever do for your hotel
  • The five biggest mistakes hotel owners make in selecting operators and negotiating brand HMAs
  • How to get a great hotel operator and a fair hotel management agreement
  • How to negotiate an HMA

2. What you need in your hotel management agreement

  • What to do before you start negotiating your brand HMA
  • Hotel management agreement performance standards and why they matter
  • Five keys for good HMA budget provisions
  • Indemnification provisions
  • Subordination agreements and how they affect the value, financeability and collateral value of a hotel
  • Exculpation clauses

3. Franchise agreements, brands & independent operators

  • Decisions about brands and management
  • The myth that franchise agreements cannot be negotiated
  • Five things to keep in mind when you look for a hotel operator
  • The importance of comfort letters in financing franchised hotels
  • Brand franchise issues in hotel purchase and sale transactions
  • Dual-branded hotels
  • The trap of “changing brand standards”

4. How to terminate a hotel management agreement

  • Why is hotel management agreement litigation on the rise?
  • Why all long-term hotel management agreements are now terminable
  • Marriott v. Eden Roc — what it all means for terminating hotel management agreements
  • Importance of fiduciary duties in disputes between hotel owners and hotel operators
  • Terminating hotel management agreements when things don’t work

This is Jim Butler, author of and hotel lawyer, signing off. We’ve done more than $87 billion of hotel transactions and have developed innovative solutions to unlock value from hotels. Who’s your hotel lawyer?

Our Perspective. We represent hotel owners, developers and investors. We have helped our clients find business and legal solutions for more than $125 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 4,700 properties all over the world. For more information, please contact Jim Butler at or +1 (310) 201-3526.

Jim Butler is a founding partner of JMBM, and Chairman of its Global Hospitality Group® and Chinese Investment Group®. Jim is one of the top hospitality attorneys in the world. GOOGLE “hotel lawyer” and you will see why.

Jim and his team are more than “just” great hotel lawyers. They are also hospitality consultants and business advisors. They are deal makers. They can help find the right operator or capital provider. They know who to call and how to reach them.

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