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 and government lease financings.

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 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.

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"In my discussions with Duane Morris leaders, they frequently speak about how diversity within their firm has enabled them to better serve their diverse clients. They understand that investing in diversity is a wise business decision that positions them for the marketplace of the future."

Don Liu
Senior VP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Xerox Corporation

At Duane Morris, achieving diversity is paradoxical. By supporting and celebrating the differences of our attorneys - and the individual strengths that they bring - our firm culture expands, fostering creative solutions for our clients. But diversity at Duane Morris does not mean that we have a certain number of diverse attorneys; true diversity means that it is no longer noteworthy to see diverse lawyers leading our practice groups or managing client relationships. Ascending to positions of leadership and greater responsibility and providing the highest levels of client service is simply what is expected of all our lawyers. Diversity is another strong asset that adds to our collective abilities to meet the needs of our clients.

Our vision of diversity at Duane Morris is to realize an environment in which our lawyers' outstanding qualities are not just measured by ethnicity, race, gender and sexual orientation, but more importantly, that our lawyers are remarkable as excellent attorneys above all else. Only then can we celebrate our differences while focusing on the common pursuit of legal excellence which everyone shares at Duane Morris.

To reach this goal, Duane Morris understands that the familiar diversity strategies and policies that most law firms have are needed. Without demanding results from such policies, most law firms are bound to fail in even achieving numerical hiring and retention goals. Duane Morris has been proactive and ambitious in its efforts to improve diversity at the firm, and has set deadlines for reaching the milestones which mark our progress. To create a more diverse law firm, Duane Morris is:

  • Committed to strategically increasing our diversity levels, which is currently at 10 percent.
  • Bringing together our Diversity Committee and our Hiring and Retention Committee to raise diversity as an important factor in our hiring decisions.
  • Dedicated to improving retention by building upon our monitoring and mentoring program for all diverse associates.

Combining new initiatives with our longstanding diversity efforts, Duane Morris has seen increasingly positive results. In the Minority Law Journal's annual diversity survey of the nation's largest 260 firms, Duane Morris continued to improve its regional and national ranking, rising to number 136 of all firms surveyed. Our strides in Philadelphia are encouraging; in a city known for both the racial diversity of its population and the lack thereof in its law firms, Duane Morris is one of only two law firms to exceed the national average of minority partners at all law firms. Additionally, Duane Morris leads all national law firms based in Philadelphia in the number of Latino partners. Nearly 30 percent of all of our attorneys are women, and more than 20 percent of our partners are women.

In our approach to diversity, progress in racial, gender and cultural diversity cannot be measured in numbers alone. Duane Morris has focused our diversity initiatives on both increasing the number of diverse associates and addressing the challenges diverse attorneys face in building lasting careers and rising to senior and leadership positions. While several of our key practice groups are led by diverse partners and female partners, Duane Morris endeavors to create a culture which will foster a deep pool of such attorneys who can then develop into the firm's future leaders. Duane Morris understands that simply hiring diverse associates will not change the diversity of the firm; Duane Morris is working to mentor and retain diverse associates so that our progress in racial, gender and cultural diversity is also reflected at the highest levels of leadership within the firm.

Our progress on gender diversity has been profound. We have no glass ceilings: women hold positions of leadership at all levels of management at the firm. Women lead a number of our key practice groups, including our Energy, Immigration and International practices, and serve on the firm's Executive Committee. The success of our female attorneys at Duane Morris has not gone unnoticed. Barbara Adams was chair of the firm's Finance Practice until her appointment by Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell to serve as General Counsel of the Commonwealth. In 2004, our longtime General Counsel, Gene E.K. Pratter, was approved by the United States Senate and is now a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Our efforts to improve diversity extend beyond our firm's walls. The chair of our Diversity Committee, Nolan N. Atkinson, Jr., recognized the lack of diversity in Philadelphia's legal community and formed the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group. Nolan now serves as the chair of the organization, a consortium of 25 law firms and corporations that commits to employing at least one diverse first-year law student each as a summer associate. From this program, law students of diverse backgrounds gain access to what was once an exclusive legal community, and now have the opportunity to learn and develop their legal careers with experience at Philadelphia's top law firms.

In addition to our involvement in the Philadelphia area, Duane Morris has increased our presence at national conferences and events focused on diversity. We sponsor the Hispanic National Bar Association and its job fair. Duane Morris is also a longtime supporter and sponsor of the Equality Forum, a national gay and lesbian rights organization. Duane Morris continues to sponsor the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and is active in other associations of diverse attorneys including: the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley; the Charles Houston Bar Association; Cuban Bar Association; Korean American Lawyers Association; National American Indian Housing Counsel and the National Bar Association.

The challenge of improving gender, ethnic and cultural diversity at Duane Morris is an ongoing effort that has the support of the entire firm. Duane Morris has been at the vanguard in supporting gender diversity throughout the firm beginning a generation ago. Our diversity programs are leading to similar success in improving racial and national origin diversity at Duane Morris. But even as we share these examples of Duane Morris attorneys and our involvement in numerous legal events, associations and programs for diversity, our hope is that such examples will no longer be necessary to mention in the future. We hope that through our efforts, and the efforts of other law firms, these stories become so common that they are no longer the remarkable accomplishments they are today, but simply routine aspects of the legal world tomorrow.