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JMBM is one of 20 hottest law firms in the U.S. per the NLJ’s latest list

The NLJ’s Midsize Hot List

The National Law Journal (NLJ) published its Midsize Hot List this week, and we are pleased that Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP was included as one of only 20 firms selected.

How the selection process works

In its national survey, the NLJ judged firms by how they stood out from their competition, what made them distinct in terms of organization and operations, and by the key matters the firm handled for clients in 2011. As part of that process, the NLJ’s researchers contact the firm’s clients for their input.

According to the National Law Journal, the 20 law firms that comprise its 2012 Midsize Hot List “are good at what they do, but they’re also good at how they do it”.

Known globally for hospitality

In its profile of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM), the National Law Journal noted that the firm has many successful practices in industry niches, being best known globally for its Global Hospitality Group®. Particular note was also made of the related activities of our Chinese Investment Group® in both EB-5 and inbound investment from China.

At JMBM, we believe that clients benefit from industry specialization. When a lawyer has deep experience in an area, you are almost certain to get a better outcome. Not only that, you will get it faster, cheaper, and with less risk. I have always reminded our clients — hotel owners, developers and capital providers — that hotels are NOT just real estate. Hotels are complex operating businesses, integrally intertwined with special-purpose real estate. So when you have an important hotel matter, why would you go to a just a real estate lawyer? You need a hotel lawyer!

What our clients think

It’s always nice to be recognized for one’s work but, for me, it was most gratifying to read the comments made during the reference checking by Warren Ernst, senior city attorney for the city of Dallas, for which our hotel lawyers conducted a request for proposal — using JMBM’s HMA Pro™ approach — for hotel brands to manage its large convention center hotel. (We assisted in the selection process and then negotiated a “qualified hotel management agreement” meeting the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code for a project financed with tax-exempt bonds.) Here’s what he told the National Law Journal:

Warren Ernst, a senior executive assistant city attorney for Dallas, said that Jeffer Mangels “made a very complex component of the project go efficiently, while assuring the city’s leaders and managers that the city’s interests were being very well protected. JMBM was critical in providing both legal and practical business advice throughout the process. “

Our goal has always been to be more than “just” excellent hotel lawyers, but to also bring business advice — both practical and strategic — to each of our client’s projects. For sophisticated clients who don’t have expertise in hospitality, like Warren’s team at the city of Dallas, our team provides hotel-specific knowledge about what is “market” or “customary.” We can help them understand what’s a fair deal and how to get it. Applying creative and unusual approaches, like our HMA Pro™ approach to finding a great hotel operator, we can add value and help to solve sticky problems.

How we run our business

Beyond our outstanding law practice, the National Law Journal noted JMBM’s adherence to conservative business practices and collegiality. As Bruce Jeffer, JMBM’s managing partner told the National Law Journal: “We run our business responsibly, and support a cadre of first-rate, forward-thinking lawyers who care about their clients, each other and the firm.”

JMBM recently marked its 30th anniversary and, as a founding partner, I have a good idea of what it takes to build an outstanding law practice. It would not be possible without the superbly executed work of my partners in JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®, nor would it be possible without the many opportunities for growth that have been provided by our clients. I am extremely grateful to all.

Click here to view the NLJ’s Midsize Hot List.

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 help investors be successful in bidding for hotel acquisitions, and helping investors and lenders to unlock value from troubled hotel transactions. Who’s your hotel lawyer?
Our Perspective. We represent hotel owners, developers, investors and lenders. 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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