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Lawyers at Michelman & Robinson, LLP (M&R) have unparalleled experience serving the hospitality industry. They routinely represent hotel, resort and restaurant owners, operators, franchisors, franchisees, developers and financiers in an array of transactional and litigation matters. Indeed, the firm has assembled vertically integrated, interdisciplinary teams of practitioners (the Hospitality Industry Affinity Group) that apply a collective fluency in the hospitality space to drive superior results. No matter the practice area – labor and employment, intellectual property, cybersecurity and privacy, commercial and business litigation, real estate, or general corporate law – M&R’s Hospitality Group has the interests of its clients covered.

Toward that end, the firm’s lawyers pride themselves on staying current on the events and trends that shape the hospitality business. They are industry authorities able to help clients navigate the hotel, resort and restaurant landscape, and quite active in the hospitality space, even outside the boardroom and courthouse. The firm is involved in the American Hotel & Lodging Association, California Hotel & Lodging Association, Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations, Golden Gate Restaurant Association, Hotel Association of Los Angeles, and New York State Restaurant Association. Also, M&R lawyers frequently speak at national and regional hospitality industry conferences and events, and they regularly contribute articles published in prominent hospitality trade magazines and newsletters. In fact, the firm’s Managing Partner sits on the Editorial Board of Hotel Executive.

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Areas Of Expertise

The following is a select sampling of our representative matters:

  • Counseling & Negotiation: M&R attorneys successfully counsel and negotiate on behalf of hospitality clients in contract disputes and general employment matters, including executive compensation, terminations and best employment practices.
  • Employment/Sexual Assault: Plaintiff was allegedly touched inappropriately by a hotel employee. M&R was retained to defend the global hotel corporation against negligent hiring and premises liability claims arising from the purported incident. Successfully negotiated a resolution after demonstrating that there was no negligence by the client.
  • Executive Employment Agreements: We routinely prepare executive employment agreements involving industry-specific compensation packages for national hotels and restaurant, food and beverage companies.
  • Joint VentureSuccessfully negotiated joint venture for food and beverage client with one of Hollywood’s historic hotels, leading to opening of a unique food, beverage and recreational concept in California.
  • Labor Relations: We have defeated several union organizing campaigns, handled labor arbitrations and served as lead labor counsel on strikes and in collective bargaining negotiations for a number of major national and international hotel and restaurant chains.
  • Landlord-Tenant Dispute: Obtained a favorable resolution of a landlord-tenant dispute between an overstay guest who had obtained tenancy rights and hotel owner/operator.
  • Litigation: After a child fell from a hotel room window, the family sued the hotel claiming it was the window that caused the fall and not that the parents failed in their supervision. Obtained summary judgment on the client’s behalf. In the same case, secured a court order requiring the out-of-state plaintiffs to post a $75,000 bond as security for defense costs, and the trial court awarded $17,000 in costs to client.
  • Litigation: Obtained favorable result for hotelier in a case of alleged bed-bugs in a hotel by prevailing on a demurrer to the fraud cause of action and motion to strike punitive damages.
  • Litigation: Prevailed on numerous ex parte applications on discovery and pre-trial issues and obtained favorable settlement in contentious premises liability litigation concerning injury to a child from falling out a hotel window.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: Represented a well-known hotel and gaming corporation in the acquisition and disposition of gaming, hotel and other hospitality properties.
  • New Market Tax Credits:  Represented developer Full Spectrum of NY, LLC and My Image Studios Inc., in the closing of a $21 million New Markets Tax Credit financing that provided the debt and equity to build a 20,000 square foot African and Hispanic restaurant, production facility and arts and culture center in Harlem, New York. Led a team of multi-disciplinary lawyers (including real estate, banking , tax and finance counsel) in structuring the deal, which included senior and junior debt, sale of tax credits for equity, and additional capital from the investors. Reviewed and coordinated numerous legal documents including loan agreements, corporate reorganizational documents, a building and construction agreement and a tax opinion on the structure of the deal.
  • Premises Liability for Hoteliers: After prevailing on summary judgment in a case where a hotel restaurant patron was allegedly bit by a spider in an outdoor patio, secured award of nearly all of defendant’s litigation costs.
  • Property Loss at Hotel: Obtained early settlement by drafting demurrer and motion to strike where the complaint alleged property loss from a hotel room above the recoverable statutory minimum under the applicable California hotel law.
  • Purchase and Licensing: Represented client in purchase of an alcoholic beverage business and assisted in obtaining licensing and distribution rights.
  • Purchase of Alcoholic Beverage Business: Represented a client in the purchase of an alcoholic beverage business, which later acquired licensing and distribution rights as a strategy to enhance the brand.
  • Restaurant Formation: On behalf of owner operators and chef owners, M&R formed and structured numerous restaurant businesses by counseling on structure and financing, securing necessary licensing (alcohol), furniture, fixtures and equipment to start the enterprise. Additionally, M&R was instrumental in negotiating executive compensation, management and consulting, and various forms of brand and intellectual property licensing agreements.
  • Restaurant Purchase: Represented one of the most prominent restaurateurs in Hungary in the $1.8 million purchase of a Downtown Los Angeles restaurant. Navigated multiple complex issues in closing the transaction, including: restructuring purchase terms to ensure satisfaction of the secured creditors and bulk sales law; obtaining a waiver and amendment of a recapture provision in the lease; and negotiating more favorable terms for the client at closing, including a $500,000 discount on the purchase price.
  • Restaurant Refinancing: M&R advised restaurateur in securing additional financing to complete restaurant build-out when poor budgeting and design and construction flaws halted project. Successfully recovered funds from consultants through litigation.
  • Restaurant Sale: Negotiated on behalf of and advised owner of a multi-unit restaurant business through successfully obtaining financing from a private equity fund.

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