Practice/Industry Group Overview
In the hospitality industry, customer service and satisfaction mean everything. At Duane Morris, we share that dedication and understand that businesses require comprehensive legal services to enable them to deliver top-rated services and experiences. Over the years, the firm has helped clients from all areas of the diverse leisure and hospitality industry, with a specific focus on hotels, resorts, vacation-ownership properties, casinos, and mixed-use developments. Our clients, including some of the world's most recognizable hotel brands, trust us to help them manage their legal and business challenges. From daily operational issues involving contracts, agreements and employee matters, to the enterprise-wide construction projects, corporate transactions and financing efforts that impact the company's future, Duane Morris has the national reach, industry experience and practice scope on which clients depend to succeed in the competitive hospitality business.
Complex Financial and Corporate Transactions
Duane Morris helps secure and complete the financial transactions hospitality businesses need, including public and private equity financing; securitized and syndicated loans; participating and convertible loans; mezzanine and other hybrid loans; and credit lease, synthetic lease and government lease financings. In addition to structuring creative deals, we advise publicly held hotels, resorts and other hospitality companies on compliance with ongoing reporting obligations under securities laws and other regulations.
Business Operations and Strategy
Duane Morris attorneys act as business advisors and general counsel to assist hospitality clients with day-to-day operations and decisions. We routinely advise hotels, resorts, casinos, restaurant chains and other hospitality businesses on management and employee contracts, vendor and supplier negotiations and agreements, branding and intellectual property matters, rewards and loyalty programs and revenue growth strategies.
Construction and Real Estate
Our attorneys have substantial experience in the design, development and construction of involving hotels, resorts, casinos, restaurants, mixed-use developments and other hospitality-related properties throughout the world. Duane Morris attorneys negotiate and draft development agreements; architectural, engineering and other design agreements; construction management agreements; general contracts; contracts for specialty equipment and interior fixtures and myriad other contracts necessary for completing projects.
Additionally, we assist clients with related real estate needs, from the purchase or sale of property and taxation issues, to securing the necessary zoning permits and compliance with environmental regulations for development projects.
Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Duane Morris has extensive experience in helping clients minimize the risk and impact of costly litigation that arises in the course of business. From contract disputes with vendors and suppliers, employment-related actions and construction litigation, to protecting valuable intellectual property, the firm seeks to resolve matters quickly and favorably. When possible and practical, we use alternative dispute resolution and other non-judicial options that avoid the high costs and negative publicity of lengthy litigation.
Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration
Managing your workforce—your most important asset—requires care and strategic advice. Duane Morris offers a full suite of legal services and proactive counseling to help keep the workplace running smoothly. Our preventive approach emphasizes compliance with federal, state and local employment laws, with the goal of reducing costly workplace disruptions and litigation. We draft and negotiate employment-related agreements, such as executive contracts, noncompete agreements; confidentiality agreements; and separation agreements. Our lawyers also have decades of experience assisting employers in responding to union-organizing efforts and regularly defend employers against unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board. If a union is already present, we help clients with the grievance procedures, handling collective bargaining negotiations and representing management's interests in labor arbitration proceedings.
In an increasingly international labor market, compliance with immigration laws is key. From the routine to complicated, we advise clients on work authorization and immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services. We frequently deal with decision makers at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Departments of State and Labor.
Business Reorganization and Financial Restructuring
Business publication The Deal consistently ranks Duane Morris as one of the most active bankruptcy practices in the United States. Our experience includes assisting clients in the hospitality industry who face financial distress or the fallout of distressed suppliers and business partners. Additionally, we help clients minimize the risks associated with acquisitions and dispositions of distressed properties.
With each client, we work closely to develop a course of action that guides clients through difficult and changing conditions. Whether the plan involves bankruptcy, the enforcement of creditors' rights, an out-of-court financial restructuring transaction, or an insurance company or cross-border insolvency, Duane Morris lawyers are committed to protecting value and advancing our clients' interests.
Duane Morris devotes a special practice to the needs of gaming, casino and related clients in the hospitality industry. We help our gaming clients navigate the regulatory and permitting process, advise on capital development projects and construction transactions, handle labor and employment concerns, provide intellectual property protection, offer tax and real estate advice and handle any litigation or arbitration involving our clients when disputes arise in any setting. Our long history and extensive industry contacts—in the United States and abroad—help clients seeking to capitalize on opportunities, leverage contacts and address the challenges faced by owners and developers of casino, racing and entertainment venues.