Practice/Industry Group Overview
Husch Blackwell has one of the leading national Hospitality practice groups in the Midwest, representing owners, managers, developers and investors in the hospitality industry. Attorneys in our hospitality group routinely represent hotels, restaurants, casinos, golf resorts, time share developments, theme parks and theatres.
Our multidisciplinary Hospitality group includes attorneys from several practice areas, including Advertising & Marketing, Construction, Finance & Lending, Franchising, Governmental Affairs, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities and Real Estate. Our group includes a former senior attorney of a national hotel and resort company, the acting general counsel for an internet based hotel booking company and three members of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys.
Our attorneys have been involved in many hospitality industry acquisitions, dispositions, developments, leases, renovations, franchising and capital markets transactions. We have structured public and private stock offerings, stock and asset purchases, joint ventures and mergers. Our services in such transactions have included support in areas of tax, employee benefits, antitrust, environmental, zoning and land use permitting, finance and development incentives. Representative transactions include:
- Public gaming company’s acquisition and development of a $350 million riverside casino center, the largest riverboat gaming development in the United States
- Merger and joint venture, “going-private” transaction for national hotel chain, valued at $1.4 billion
- Hotel redevelopments involving tax increment financing and historic tax credits
We routinely counsel hospitality clients in all aspects of labor and employment law, including discrimination and harassment charges and lawsuits, union organizing campaigns, unfair labor practice charges, wage/hour audits and lawsuits, and public accommodation lawsuits. Our experience includes representing hospitality clients in class and collective action lawsuits involving sexual harassment, race discrimination, public accommodations, and wage and hour. Our labor and employment experience also includes:
- Representing a national hotel chain and a national restaurant chain on all labor and employment matters
- Representing hospitality clients in more than 250 employment discrimination and harassment charges and lawsuits
- Establishing and conducting EEO and workplace harassment training seminars for over 6,000 hospitality employees
Our attorneys counsel hospitality clients on operations issues, such as operational and sales contracts, operational permits, incentive programs, sweepstakes, rebates and promotions. We also counsel clients on regulatory agency matters, including FDA and OSHA investigations/audits, interpreting agency regulations/initiatives and mandatory food recalls. Our experience includes:
- Negotiating and drafting master management agreements for numerous hotels, restaurants and convention facilities
- Counseling several national restaurant chains on in-store, mailer and internet promotions and sweepstakes
- Representing national restaurant chains in operational issues, including compliance audits, food recalls and crisis management
Our hospitality attorneys provide proactive counseling to hospitality franchisors and franchisees in the structuring, implementation and maintenance of national franchise and distribution systems. We handle all issues facing hospitality franchises, including federal and state regulatory compliance, area development and single-unit franchise offerings, development of non-franchise distribution systems, relationship issues, dispute resolution, trademarks and licensing, capital raising and acquisitions.