Hospitality and leisure represents a multibillion-dollar global industry, covering a broad range of services with inter-related requirements. DLA Piper's exceptional global reach and industry specific experience means we have local lawyers with regional and global experience who understand the complexities involved.

Ours was one of the first legal firms to develop a dedicated global hospitality and leisure group. With years of experience and a proven track record in the sector, we help investors, developers, owners and operators with their hospitality and leisure opportunities.

DLA Piper understands the variety of hospitality and leisure legal issues that arise and advise on development, acquisition and divestment and contractual arrangements; gaming operations; franchise, management and outsourcing operations; management agreements and operations; corporate, joint ventures and fund formation; finance and restructuring; franchise, outsourcing and commercial agreements; data privacy security technology arrangements; advertising and brand; betting and major sporting events.

Our clients include owners, managers, franchisors, developers and lenders; global, regional and national hotels; resort businesses; serviced apartments; and leisure and sports operators (golf courses, theme and amusement parks, health and fitness facilities, spas, gyms, leisure complexes, cinemas, marinas, nightclubs, casinos and gambling establishments).

We also represent online gaming operators and gambling establishments, hospitality and catering operations such as conference locations, and organizers and developers of venues for major sporting events, including the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games.

In addition to our industry-specific experience, our hospitality and leisure clients benefit from access to our core service areas, whether their investments and operations are local or global.

Focus areas

Advertising and brand

We advise clients on their intellectual property, management of global IP portfolios, and worldwide trademark protection both online and offline. We have resolved contentious trademark matters in the US, China, India, Korea, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. We advise on advertising law issues, including responding to official complaints, and on brand protection and infringement issues.

Corporate, joint ventures and funds

Our lawyers represent clients in the formation of joint ventures and help the new entity handle ongoing corporate, employment and tax issues. Clients often turn to us when they purchase lending facilities, including help with tax, finance and lending, due diligence and negotiation of control and related equity-based issues.

Development, acquisition and disposal

We advise on buying, selling, financing, and investing in hospitality and leisure businesses, handling all aspects of acquisitions, financing, negotiations, zoning as well all development, financing, and ownership needs. We represent clients in major single-asset and portfolio acquisitions and disposals; advise on related funding, employment and tax aspects; and represent developers and operators in management contract negotiations.

We are at the forefront of condominium-hotel development, including innovative structures, financing arrangements and documentation for some of the most prestigious and ambitious projects in the world.

Finance and restructuring

We help with refinancing international asset portfolios, including due diligence, structuring of transactions, drafting and negotiating the finance documentation and advising on establishing security. We act as administrative agents in the financing of hospitality and leisure projects. Clients benefit from our experience in negotiating complex financing arrangements and credit facilities.

Franchise, outsourcing and commercial agreements

We represent clients as franchise counsel in international expansions, including licensing, joint venture and management transactions. We advise clients on global outsourcing and IT agreements, merchandising agreements, co-branding and promotion agreements.

Major sporting events

We have first-hand experience with host city bids and infrastructural arrangements for major sporting events, including the Summer and Winter Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. We advise facilities developers on issues such as hotel and branded residence management agreements.

Management agreements and operations

We advise operators on their management services and represent owners in the negotiation and structuring of management agreements. This includes the termination of agreements as well as antitrust and competition matters.

Real estate services

Our real estate services include acquisition and disposal, cross-border investment, development, environmental and planning, finance, land use and government relations, leasing, litigation, REIT representation, restructuring and loan workouts, securitization and other capital markets and tax.

Our construction practice provides guidance in the design, building, and management of complex and phased construction projects.


We regularly sponsor, speak at and participate in sector-related conferences worldwide, including the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, The Americas Lodging Investment Summit in California, the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific in Hong Kong, and the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai.

In the US, our hospitality and leisure sector group is highly ranked in the leisure and hospitality category of Chambers USA, the guide to America's leading lawyers for business.

In recent times, we have acted on more transactions within the sector than any other law firm, advising global, regional and national companies and high net worth individuals. Our experience includes:

• Advertising and brand: Our lawyers help the Savoy Hotel Group manage its global trade mark portfolio and infringement issues 

• Corporate, joint ventures and funds: We represented InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in forming a joint venture with Brack Real Estate Group to develop a mixed-use project on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York that will be anchored by IHG's Hotel Indigo 

• Development, acquisition and disposal: We advised Public Investment Corporation (representing the Government Employees Pension Fund) in a joint venture on the acquisition of the iconic V&A Waterfront development in Cape Town. The deal has been valued at $1.2 billion, the largest single asset real estate transaction to date in South Africa. 

• Finance and restructuring: We represented Alternative Hotel Group in the restructuring of its portfolio as a consequence of the restructuring of the Group's £1.7 billion debt and equity arrangements with Lloyds Banking Group, which included one of the largest debt-for-equity swaps in British corporate history. 

• Franchise, outsourcing and commercial agreements: Maxim's Caterers, Hong Kong's largest food services company, turned to us to represent it in merchandising agreements, co-branding and promotion agreements in Hong Kong, Macau and South China and also in obtaining new rights in Western China. 

• Major sporting events: Our lawyers helped the Olympic Delivery Authority with its infrastructural arrangements for the London 2012 Olympics. 

• Management agreements and operations: Capital Partners turned to us to help develop, negotiate and structure hotel and resort contracts under the Ritz Carlton (3), Canyon Ranch, Mandarin Oriental (2), Six Senses and Marriott Residences brands in Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey