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At Farrer & Co we provide full-service expertise in the hotels, hospitality and leisure sector. We advise landowners, business owners, hotel operators and management companies, UK and international investors, lenders, and developers alike. We work closely with other advisers including appointed agents, designers and architects to deliver bespoke solutions across the industry.

Our transactional, advisory and regulatory advice includes the following services:

  • Hotel and hospitality operations:Our large corporate, commercial, real estate, and employment teams advise on all transactional services to acquire, develop and operate a hotels or hospitality business. Our advice spans: 
  • The acquisition or sale of interests in real estate,
  • Environmental planning and construction,
  • Supplier contracts, outsourcing and management agreements (including data protection),
  • Brand licensing and franchise agreements, and
  • Employment and immigration

Our commercial team has extensive experience of ventures relating to food and beverages. We are a go-to firm for advising leading London visitor attractions, landed estates, museums, galleries and school on restaurant management agreements and concession agreements, often working alongside well-known catering consultants.

Recent client highlights include advising:

  • A client on their travel trade contracts which govern the sale of admissions to the various major tourism sites throughout the UK and the commission arrangements with agents and OTAs.
  • A specialist hotel and residential service provider for accommodation and guest services to clients throughout the UK on GDPR and commercial matters.
  • A European-owned hotel group on its UK hotels’ corporate structure and property interests, employment and licensing matters.
  • A high-profile central London restaurant group in relation to various landlord and tenant matters concerning their property interests.
  • An entrepreneur on complex litigation arising from the sale of an airline catering business;.
  • A US investor on its joint venture with the University of Reading and subsequent c£250m investment to develop film studios in Berkshire.
  • The UK company of a Middle Eastern HNW client on the acquisition, original financing, and subsequent refinancing of a leisure and hospitality venue in the UK, including in relation to its day-to-day operation and management.
  • A PE backed SPV on its syndicated facilities agreement, for the acquisition of a number of hotels let to the same franchisee across the UK.
  • An owner/operator on the acquisition of a Central London hotel from another major London hotel operator.
  • A UK hotels group on the acquisition of a majority stake in the group. As part of the transaction, we also advised on the terms of a debt re-financing with existing shareholders, and on the terms of a management agreement.
  • A long-standing client on an amendment and restatement of an existing facility secured by a luxury hotel in the UK in order to refinance an existing facility and to facilitate further investment for capital expenditure.
  • A leading chain of London hotels on the negotiation and completion of a new franchise agreement (and related trade mark licences).
  • An investor in a contractual dispute around the development of a multimillion-pound ski hotel.
  • The founders of a fine dining concept opening in Chelsea, on their new restaurant premises. In addition to securing the space from the landlord, we advised the tenant client on receiving a loan from their Tenant Investment Fund and a significant capital contribution from the landlord.
  • A real estate investment manager with an investment portfolio of boutique hotels in the US and UK.
  • On a corporate reorganisation of an owner/operator of holiday parks across the UK.
  • On the financing and investment to a luxury hotel in South Kensington.
  • An association of unique hotels and restaurants throughout the world, owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs on property, corporate and employment aspects.
  • A large family group with a diverse range of leisure assets in relation to corporate disputes and other contentious matters, including where a UK entity had acted as a guarantor over property interests in the United States.
  • A high-profile casino operator in Court proceedings where the landlords were seeking to oppose renewal of the lease.Hotel clients with their alcohol and other licencing requirements.
  • A hotel company housing asylum seekers in relation to its data sharing arrangements with The Home Office.
  • A travel website on its rights to prevent a provider of Generative AI platform from scraping and using content stored on its website.
  • An online travel agent on the use of data scraped from airline websites.
  • A franchisee on a dispute arising from the termination of a franchising agreement with an international hotel brand.

Our transactional services

  • Hotel and hospitality operations: Our large corporate, commercial, real estate, and employment teams advise on all transactional services to acquire, develop and operate a hotels or hospitality business. Our advice spans: 
  • The acquisition or sale of interests in real estate,
  • Environmental planning and construction,
  • Supplier contracts, outsourcing and management agreements (including data protection),
  • Brand licensing and franchise agreements, and
  • Employment and immigration

Our commercial team has extensive experience of ventures relating to food and beverage. We are a go-to firm for advising leading London visitor attractions, landed estates, museums, galleries and schools on restaurant management agreements and concession agreements, often working alongside well-known catering consultants.

Our tax team advises on the acquisition, development, leasing and disposal of property and operating assets including industry specific treatment of VAT and stamp duty land tax.

  • Investment and financing: We understand the unique financing needs of the industry, and our corporate and banking teams work closely with clients to develop bespoke investment and financing strategies, leveraging our knowledge of private capital markets and lenders and other debt providers to optimise funding structures for hotels, resorts, and leisure developments. Types of funding include direct equity investment, asset backed lending and property development finance.

  • Mergers and acquisitions: Farrer & Co advises both sellers and acquirers on mergers and acquisitions within the hotels and hospitality industry. Our team has a proven track record of facilitating successful transactions, providing strategic advice, and conducting thorough due diligence to protect our clients' interests. This includes acting for inbound investors and UK based owners or operators on the acquisition or sale of hotel or hospitality sites and the underlying operating business.

Our advisory services

  • Brand protection, franchising and licensing: Brand protection is paramount. Farrer  & Co specialises in intellectual property, helping clients safeguard their brands, trademarks, and other created assets. Whilst protecting the value and reputation of the brand for the longer term, we also offer legal advice to ensure that franchise and licensing agreements align with business goals, exploiting intellectual property rights; to commercially foster mutually beneficial partnerships in the competitive hospitality landscape.
  • Commercial contracts: In addition, we advise on the underlying commercial contracts to operate a successful business including property management agreements, contractual joint ventures, supply chain agreements, outsourcing and critical IT and technology contracts.
  • Collaboration with agents, designers, and architects: Collaboration can often be key in successful hospitality ventures. We work closely with agents, designers, and architects, offering legal support on management agreements, terms of appointment and intellectual property matters to ensure seamless teamwork and successful project delivery.
  • Sustainability and compliance: In an era where sustainability and ethical business practices are paramount, our firm assists retail and consumer clients in navigating complex regulatory landscapes. We provide guidance on compliance with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, helping businesses align with evolving consumer expectations.
  • Construction: We work with national and international owners and operators on construction projects of all sizes and types. Our team advises across all legal issues from contracts and appointments to security documents, guarantees and collateral warranties.

Our dispute and regulatory services

  • Dispute resolution and risk management: We work closely with businesses ranging from restaurant and hotel groups to casinos and theme parks. When challenges arise, our dispute resolution experts are equipped to handle disputes and mitigate risks. From complex corporate and shareholder disputes, landlord and tenant matters, contractual issues across the length of the supply chain, reputational and brand risk through to regulatory matters, we provide strategic advice to protect our clients' interests and uphold their reputation.

    Within this sector, where business value and goodwill are often closely tied to physical property assets, real estate disputes frequently arise. Our Property Disputes team provides pragmatic advice at an early stage to provide clients with a firm understanding of the technical issues and risks to allow informed strategic decisions to be made. If and when court proceedings are issued, the team represents clients at all levels of the judicial system, helping them to navigate a high-pressured process cost effectively and protect their property interests.

  • Data protection: We draft the full suite of policies required under the UK GDPR, advise on electronic marketing, and help clients when things go wrong (including data breaches, subject access requests, and ICO complaints). We also help clients build and then harness customer data in a compliant manner, and advise on compliant international transfers for global businesses.
  • Employment and immigration: We advise clients on their day to day employment matters when owning and operating hotels, leisure and hospitality sites as well as providing immigration advice to UK and internationally based businesses in the sectors. This includes preparing and negotiating employment contracts for senior management, preparing workplace policies and advising on business transfers under TUPE (transfer of undertakings regulations) whether in relation to operators or franchisees.

  • Environment and planning: Our environmental specialists advise property owners, tenants, developers and investors on environmental law including waste handling, contaminated land and energy use. Our planning specialists advise on infrastructure planning, development control, plan preparation, planning agreements and due diligence. In particular we work with developer clients on the planning application process, planning obligations (section 106 agreements) and highway agreements and our investor clients on due diligence to identify and mitigate any environmental or planning risks or issues.

How can we help?

Contact the team about services for businesses:

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