Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

With experience on all sides of hospitality deals, Sutherland helps clients address hotel industry legal issues and craft unique business solutions.

Sutherland’s hospitality team anticipates and resolves the issues unique to the industry, partnering with clients for the successful completion of a number of different hotel and resort projects. We know firsthand the interests of the players at the table and throughout all phases of a hotel project, including capital structure, finance, construction, development, operations, branding and disposition. Our clients include lenders, hotel operators, hotel brands, investors, developers, national and local governments and taxing authorities. We guide clients through all their options, helping them achieve their business objectives.

In particular, our attorneys possess unique strength in U.S. and international tax laws. More than 80 of our attorneys focus on tax laws and structuring tax-sensitive transactions. We can quickly provide pragmatic advice about which strategies are realistic and will further the clients’ short- and long-term tax objectives.

We also offer extensive experience in the integration of hotel components into larger mixed-use resort developments, with particular focus on golf course and marina use agreements, complex easement agreements, branded residences, and timeshare, vacation club and other shared ownership structures.

Why Sutherland
Breadth of expertise.
We know every deal from every side.

Soup to nuts. Our attorneys advise on the full spectrum of issues inherent in hotel transactions. We work on deals involving hotel finance, development, partnerships, joint ventures, tax structuring, construction, mixed-use development and operations, asset management, operating and franchise agreements, tri-party agreements, inter-creditor agreements, cooperation agreements, acquisitions, dispositions, owner/operator disputes and environmental matters.

Geographic reach. We assist numerous clients with hotel projects in the Caribbean region and are steadily expanding our work in Central and South America.

Global relationships. Our attorneys have developed strong relationships with a number of experienced lawyers in countries that are now a focal point of hotel development and investment.

An eye on energy and environment. Our hospitality team has the deep knowledge needed to respond to the hospitality industry’s increased focus on seeking green solutions to hotel design, development and operations. More than 60 attorneys are dedicated to energy and environmental issues, and we pride ourselves on our ability to evaluate risks and then identify creative solutions to the underlying problem.

Thought leaders. Two of our attorneys wrote “Hotel Law,” a leading treatise. Our real estate lawyers are active members of key legal and professional associations, including the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, and national, state and local bar association sections and committees.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Hotel development
    • Partnerships and joint ventures
    • Tax structuring
    • Hotel and resort construction
    • Mixed-use development
  • Hotel finance
    • Loan documentation
    • Tri-party, inter-creditor and cooperation agreements
  • Operating and franchise agreements
  • Hotel acquisitions and dispositions
  • Tax issues unique to the hospitality industry
  • Litigation
    • Construction disputes
    • Owner/operator disputes
    • Tax controversies
    • Franchise litigation
  • Troubled hotel projects
    • Foreclosures, deeds in lieu of foreclosure and other court receivership actions
    • Represent lenders in the sale of loans and real estate owned (REO) properties acquired by foreclosure or in deed in lieu of foreclosure
    • Negotiate out-of-court consensual restructurings
    • Purchase and sale transactions in state insolvency proceedings and federal bankruptcy cases
    • Real estate and Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) liquidations
  • Workouts, restructures and bankruptcies
    • Insurance company conservatorships
  • Energy and environmental

Take Action
Clients looking to acquire, develop, brand and finance complex hotel and resort projects around the world turn to Sutherland for comprehensive legal service.

Selected Experience
Sutherland represents major international hotel brand.
Our attorneys advised a preeminent international hotel brand in multiple acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, developments, operating agreements and franchise agreements.

Sutherland counsels special servicer of major hotel loan portfolio.
Sutherland served as the special servicer in a loan restructure and forbearance involving over $1.9 billion of mortgage and mezzanine financing, secured by a portfolio of 12 U.S. and Caribbean-based luxury resort properties.

Sutherland advises mixed-use resort developer.
Our hospitality team worked with the developer of a multi-hotel, mixed-use resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to negotiate hotel operating agreements, infrastructure contracts, marina management contracts, golf course management contracts and related agreements.