Travel, Leisure & Hospitality Practice
Pillsbury has a longstanding commitment to the travel, leisure and hospitality industry. Our lawyers handle operations issues, development projects and strategic issues for airlines, hotels and resorts, cruise lines, spas, casinos, tour operators, online travel companies and large travel agencies. The firm’s Travel, Leisure & Hospitality industry team has over 75 lawyers located both on the East and West coasts, as well as in our international offices. This team provides our clients with comprehensive legal solutions and unmatched industry knowledge.
We advise clients on all aspects of operations issues, development projects and strategic issues for travel, leisure and hospitality matters.
Our experience in operations issues includes:
- Aviation, Aerospace & Transportation
- Hotel and resort
- Cruise Lines and Tour Operators
- Restaurant, Food & Beverage
- Corporate jet matters
- Advertising & Sweepstakes Law
- Intellectual Property
- Marketing, Distribution & Franchising
- Privacy, Data Security & Information Use
With respect to development projects, our skill set includes:
- Project development and leasing
- Condo-Hotel and Mixed-Use Structuring
- Land Use, Zoning & Historic Preservation
We also advise clients on a variety of strategic issues, including:
- Purchase and sale/M&A
- Public Policy
- Global sourcing
Our Travel, Leisure & Hospitality industry team draws on the firm’s depth and 140 years of experience across a wide range of matters. This team is interdisciplinary, encompassing every practice area needed by our broad client base. We find that our team approach enables us to craft multipronged strategies that lead to effective and value-added legal solutions. Our areas of experience include:
Aviation, Aerospace & Transportation
We represent domestic and international airlines, aerospace companies, airports and governments, cargo carriers, tourist charter operators and travel companies. Much of this work involves our appearance before U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration/Department of Homeland Security. Our regulatory practice covers administrative adjudication, rulemakings, legislation, enforcement, air service negotiations, antitrust, environmental, export licensing, immigration, customs and tax matters as well as airline safety, regulatory and aircraft certification matters, accident investigations and employment matters.
Hotel and Resort Management
We represent leading owners and operators in connection with the operation of hotels and resorts, including condo-hotel, fractional interest, timeshare and mixed-use hotel/residential projects. We are particularly experienced with respect to the negotiation of management agreements, many involving leading brands known throughout the world to luxury travelers. We also negotiate condominium marketing agreements, pre-opening services agreements and technical services agreements for hotel and resort projects.
Cruise Lines and Tour Operators
We represent cruise lines, charters and tour operators regarding a wide variety of commercial, corporate and regulatory matters. In particular, we advise clients on operational and government regulatory matters, commercial negotiations and disputes, licensing and finance matters, safety and maintenance issues and service agreements.
Restaurant, Food & Beverage
We represent a wide range of restaurant and hotel chains, wineries, packaged food companies and individual restaurateurs and franchisees with respect to restaurant, food and beverage issues. Our experience includes alcoholic beverage licensing, especially for the acquisition of restaurants or hotels.
Corporate Jet Matters
We understand corporate flight departments, charter operators, aircraft management companies, fractional ownership programs and private business jet ownership. We offer a wide variety of services in this regard, including ownership and operating structures and income tax compliance.
Advertising & Sweepstakes Law
We review print, broadcast and online advertising for compliance with federal and state advertising regulations. This review includes specific experience in areas such as the use of music, including background music, music played on elevators, on-hold music and live performances.
Our lawyers advise clients on developing successful and comprehensive intellectual property strategies. We have extensive experience advising clients on copyrights, trademarks, unfair competition and false advertising, and several of our attorneys are alumni of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Marketing, Distribution & Franchising
We handle projects for all forms of marketing and distribution, including dealer and distributor networks, franchise systems, sales agents, direct sales and the Internet. In particular, we negotiate marketing, distribution and franchise agreements and perform diligence for the purchase and sale of businesses engaged in marketing, distribution or franchising. For franchise systems, our work also includes preparing franchise registration and disclosure documents and providing ongoing advice on how franchise laws regulate relationships between franchisors and franchisees, including the termination and nonrenewal of those relationships.
Privacy, Data Security & Information Use
We assist our clients on how they collect, store, use and share data about their customers, guests and passengers. Beyond federal laws, more and more states are enacting laws that impact businesses located outside that state. We also assist in compliance with the European Union’s strict data-protection laws.
Project Development and Leasing
We regularly represent developers in the structuring and negotiation of development and disposition agreements for all types of leisure and hospitality projects. This experience includes condo-hotel, fractional interest, timeshare and mixed-use hotel/residential projects. Beyond a sophisticated practice representing landlords and tenants in lease negotiations, we also represent hotel operators with respect to their brand standards and other approval rights over third-party leases for spas, restaurants and other facilities.
Condo-Hotel and Mixed-Use Structuring
We represent owners, operators and investors in structuring and understanding condo-hotel and mixed-use hotel/residential projects. Beyond the drafting of condominium declarations and restrictive covenants, we understand the demands of financing sources and hotel operators with respect to these projects.
Our Construction Counseling & Dispute Resolution practice involves negotiating architecture, engineering, procurement, construction and financing contracts, including those involved in public works and public contracting matters. We also assist in the development of financing strategies for construction projects and provide counsel on reducing tax exposure and implementing risk management strategies.
Land Use, Zoning & Historic Preservation
We handle all aspects of zoning, land use and environmental processes within federal, state and local jurisdictions, such as general plans, zoning, development permits, environmental impact reports and development exactions and conditions. We also have strong knowledge of specialized land use laws affecting historic preservation approvals, transferable development rights, coastal zones, wetlands, timber lands, municipal and solid waste facilities and endangered species.
Purchase and Sale/M&A
We handle the acquisition and disposition of individual properties and multiproperty portfolios, especially for hotels and resorts. We also handle company-wide M&A transactions, such as acquisitions of online travel companies and hotel franchisors. Our deal teams emphasize members with industry experience—our deal teams are not the exclusive domain of real estate or corporate lawyers. This approach allows greater insights into diligence and risk-allocation negotiations based upon industry knowledge.
We handle all varieties of financing transactions for properties and companies. We represent lenders and borrowers on secured and unsecured loans, including acquisition, construction, syndicated and securitized loans. We also represent companies and underwriters in private and public securities offerings, as well as joint venture transactions. We are routinely ranked among the leading REIT law firms nationally.
Our Tax practice undertakes domestic and international tax planning and provides advice in a variety of transactions. When disputes arise with taxing authorities, we handle all stages at both the administrative and judicial levels.
Our public policy attorneys understand how laws affecting our clients’ businesses are initiated, defeated or passed and implemented. These attorneys have worked in and around government at the highest levels and include former members and staff of the U.S. Congress, the White House and the Executive branch’s departments and agencies.
Our Global Sourcing practice represents customers in sophisticated information technology outsourcing and business process outsourcing transactions. Our clients include airlines, hotel chains and cruise lines and their associated computer reservation systems. The practice includes experienced lawyers and business and technical consultants, as well as financial analysts.