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Matthew Duncombe

Global Co-Chair, Hospitality and Leisure

Matt Duncombe is a transactional lawyer advising on commercial matters on a local, national and international basis, including supply chain arrangements, services and consultancy agreements, JVs, collaborations and alliances, franchising, concessions, management agreements and UK and offshore outsourcing arrangements.

Matt's clients include national and international corporations with a focus on hospitality and leisure and retail/F&B.

Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


  • Advising numerous owners, investors, operators, lenders and other participants in the hospitality and leisure sector with regard to new developments, conversions, purchasing and/or lending against assets as well management, franchise, transactional documents, operational and regulatory requirements across the globe. Examples include advising Amaris Hospitality on its arrangements with Accor and Hilton, advising a fund on its 50% joint venture for the development of a new hotel brand in the UK, Marriott International client relationship partner assisting Marriott with its legal requirements across Europe, advising a PE fund on numerous Mediterranean resort complexes, a joint venture with Soho House for a hotel in Barcelona, advising Kew Green on management contracts and an Oberoi new hotel development for an owner in South East Asia.
  • In addition to hospitality, Matt is extremely active in the F&B, leisure and retail sectors, including assisting IHG with their F&B offering, Merlin Entertainments on the development of its franchise of the Madame Tussauds brand and concept, recently signing the first franchised attraction in Prague with others to follow. From an F&B point of view, Matt works with a number of clients, including coffee and bakery company - Paul, Nisa Retail on store licensing, Bacardi Martini on its relationship with a new-to-market cocktail producer, Sodexo as a franchisee and operator of various branded F&B concepts across the UK, Camden Pizza on the development of its franchise concept and Teddy’s Bigger Burger in the UAE and is client relationship partner for a household QSR brand working closely with their respective European teams on international growth and development. On the retail side, Matt has worked with Ralph Lauren on the development of its European franchise system, Dolce & Gabana, Prada, Churchs, Warner Bros on the potential to develop store concepts based on its range of proprietary characters and Noa Noa on franchise disputes. Matthew has also advised cosmetics retailer, Illamasqua and sports retailer JD Sports on international expansion and Sachajuan (hair care products), ACON Laboratories and AGA on their respective distribution networks across Europe.
  • In terms of commercial/transactional matters, Matt acts for technology/transport platform provider, Gett, for Beck & Pollitzer on manufacturing, for the British Toy & Hobby Association and its members on all aspects relating to the toy industry, for Croda on supply chain issues, and licensing and for the likes of Ardagh, Karium, Kolak Snacks and numerous other clients on all transactional matters effecting their business.
  • College of Law, CPE (Commendation), 1999
  • Leeds University, BA Hons (Economics and History) 2.1, 1998
  • Penn State University, Economics, 1997


Matthew has been described by clients as "a star!" (Marriott International); "hugely impressive" (HSBC); and "an excellent lawyer" (Cafedirect).


  • What does Brexit mean for the hospitality industry?, 21 December 2018
  • United Kingdom (UK) - Hotel Management Agreements, 20 April 2018
  • "Hotel Franchising Trends in Europe", Hotel Analyst
  • "Technology in Hotels", Hotel Analyst
  • "Big Data and Retail",
  • "Retail High Street Challenges", Financial Times

Prior Experience

  • Senior Corporate Counsel with EchoStar advising on IT/IP rights for technology products and customer relationships

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Wooden Spoon