Success in the hospitality industry is a moving target. No other business has a bigger challenge regarding diversity of offerings, character and personality of employees, and attention to the safety of guests whose mindset can seriously complicate such efforts. In addition, the industry must be nimble, accommodating traditional leisure and business fare with the demands of a hyper-connected and choice-filled world.

From transactional matters and site development to operational concerns and personal injuries, we help a large and growing base of clients successfully navigate the complicated legal issues typical of this industry.

That’s why Wilson Elser developed a Hospitality practice that encompasses a firmwide cadre of attorneys knowledgeable in all the relevant legal disciplines and dedicated to serving national and international hospitality organizations. From transactional matters and site development to operational concerns and personal injuries, we help a large and growing base of clients successfully navigate the complicated legal issues typical of this industry.

Spanning the breadth of hospitality entities, many of our clients are among the largest and most sophisticated in their respective areas. We have earned an enviable track record advising and defending these businesses, including:

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Resorts
  • Outdoor recreational companies
  • Golf courses
  • Country clubs
  • Condominium companies
  • Real estate developers/sales
  • Cruise lines
  • Retailers

We draw on the firm’s collective experience in legal areas that routinely impact our hospitality clients, leveraging Wilson Elser’s network of 41 strategically situated offices throughout the United States. Our attorneys are experienced in specialties such as personal jurisdiction, forum non conveniens, choice of law issues, real estate, construction, commercial law, environmental law, premises liability, intellectual property, insurance, governmental affairs, franchises and employment law.

Combining extensive trial experience with deep knowledge of the hospitality industry, our attorneys are well positioned to successfully defend against all hospitality-related claims in state and federal courts. Also, acknowledging the array of operational concerns that impact hospitality organizations, we offer our clients immediate advice and ongoing assistance in the following areas:

  • Regulatory Violations & Compliance. We target licensing and security along with government investigations as areas that can lead to unwanted publicity and profit-killing restrictions. Practice attorneys collaborate with hospitality management to ensure that they remain in compliance with state and local administrative codes and laws, consumer affairs regulations, health department codes and environmental control board laws, among others.
  • Operations, Liability and Best Practices. Clients benefit from our knowledge of the industry and our proactive analysis of operations structures. In particular, we use our insurance industry prowess to scrutinize effective licensing to avoid issues such as health, capacity and fire violations. We routinely advise hospitality management on a variety of liability and best practice issues, including lost or stolen property, non-paying customers or guests, credit card violations and privacy issues.

  • International Capabilities. Wilson Elser has well-connected international practice teams that can serve U.S. hospitality companies in South America, Asia, Europe and elsewhere. In addition, we have gained considerable experience working with foreign companies doing business in the United States.

  • Third-Party Contract Disputes. We assist hospitality clients with drafting and reviewing third-party agreements as well as negotiating confidentiality and settlement agreements.

  • Crisis Management. The potential for lost business is a very real concern to the overall success of a hospitality company. Wilson Elser can move quickly to counter allegations, gather evidence, and advise on the implications of communications both to employees and to the press.

As clients increasingly choose to work with integrated legal “teams,” Wilson Elser accommodates them through our practice group model. It ensures that the firm’s knowledge and experience relative to various types of hospitality issues are concentrated in one coherent entity. Our teams are multidisciplinary, multijurisdictional and designed to be greater in total value to our clients than the sum of their parts. Their effectiveness is further enhanced by extensive in-house training and a robust infrastructure that allows quick access to the collective and extensive experience resident throughout the firm.

In addition to comprehensive litigation, Wilson Elser service areas most commonly brought to bear on behalf of our hospitality clients include:

  • Accessibility Defense
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Corporate
  • Real Estate
  • Risk Management
  • Land Use & Zoning
  • Crisis Management
  • Food Safety & Promotions Liability
  • Food-Borne Illness
  • Dram Shop Liability
  • Premises Security
  • Premises Liability
  • Third-party Providers
  • Complex Tort & General Casualty
  • Cyber/Media
  • Intellectual Property
  • Gaming, Sweepstakes & Contests
  • Trucking, Automobile, Transportation & Cargo
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Government Contracts & Investigations
  • Liquor Licensing
  • Government Affairs
  • Lobby Law Compliance
  • Directors & Officers
  • Employment & Labor

Through one convenient point of contact, any or all of these services are immediately available to our hospitality clients, who often find that collaboration between offices and among disciplines spawns innovative solutions to their most challenging legal issues.