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Hotels & Leisure

United Kingdom

Whether you’re an owner, investor, lender or operator in the hotels and leisure sector, you have complex business needs that call for expert solutions. As well as managing real estate assets, you may face corporate, tax, financing, construction, environment, litigation and employment issues, often across borders. With over 300 experts in 42 countries, our International practice can advise you on M&A, financing, development & construction, leases, management and franchise agreements and tax structuring. In addition to our core client base of investors and lenders, we also advise operators, brand owners, administrators, construction companies and technology providers.

CMS lawyers lead strategically in the sector, advising the top investors, funds and lenders in the market. We consistently advise on more transactions in this sector in Europe than any other law firm. This means you get access to the latest information, ideas and opportunities. . If you are involved in a distressed situation, our real estate restructuring lawyers can help sell your hotel or leisure asset out of insolvency. In the event of a dispute, our industry experts can guide you through the litigation process, ensuring you the best outcome.

Being so immersed in the sector, means that we can also introduce you to other sector players, including operators, purchasers, vendors, construction firms, financiers and investors - as well as developed hoteliers looking for growth in new and undeveloped markets. Such contacts can prove invaluable to your business.

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    Esports & Games

    Our lawyers are at the forefront of the Esports and Games revolution.

    Esports and Games sit at the intersection of many of our core areas of expertise, including sports, media, advertising, technology, video games and gambling. We understand the intricacies of the industries and are able not only to provide legal solutions but also a customised strategy tailored to your objectives.

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    The gambling industry is constantly in a state of change. While regulatory liberalisation is creating new opportunities in some jurisdictions, tightening legislation is closing down avenues in others. Our deep knowledge of the sector allows us to advise our clients on how to recognise, protect and optimise their opportunities within this shifting landscape.

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    The CMS Leisure practice has tremendous experience acting on the sell and buy side of gym operators and private equity investors in the gym and personal fitness sector. We also have deep experience working alongside franchise based gym businesses, whether acting for the franchisor or helping franchisees to grow.

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    Whether you are an operator, investor, developer, asset manager or lender, our hotels team has an intimate understanding of the operating models, group and tax structures and the real estate considerations within the hotel sector.

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    The leisure industry is an exciting place to be. With longstanding clients operating in the pubs, bars and restaurants, health and fitness, gaming, sport and museum sectors, our leisure team operates at the heart of the industry.

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    CMS’ leading Hospitality and Leisure Team provide domestic and international support to some of the world’s fastest growing restaurant businesses and concepts. Our full service offering provides a seamless service to up-and-coming as well as global and sophisticated hospitality business.

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    Sports law is a complex maze, from acquiring and exploiting media and content rights, sponsorship, branding and endorsements contracts, over licensing and merchandising, management agreements and team contracts, to venue use agreements, ticketing, catering and hospitality. The industry also faces a complex array of regulatory, socio-political and legal challenges, including a renewed focus on fairness, transparency and anti-bribery and corruption.

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    High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence in Ho­tels & Leis­ure in the UK
    Taiwanese hos­pit­al­ity firm Sun­rider In­ter­na­tion­al on the high pro­file GBP 185m pur­chase of the St Er­min’s Hotel in West­min­ster from An­gelo, Gor­don & Co.Deer­brook Group on The GBP 150m ac­quis­i­tion of Ace Shored­itch, Lon­don Hotel from Star­wood Cap­it­al.En­ter­prise Inns on a GBP 445m se­cur­it­isa­tion and re­fin­an­cing in re­spect of the ac­quis­i­tion of the Unique Pub Group.Ex­cep­tion­al In­nov­a­tion LLC on the ac­quis­i­tion of Quad­riga Hold­ings Lim­ited from In­ter­act­ive Hotel Ser­vices Hold­ings plc.Hawthorne Leis­ure on its first ever ac­quis­i­tion, the pur­chase of a port­fo­lio of 275 pubs from Greene King.All Eng­land Lawn Ten­nis Ground on its is­su­ance of 2,500 new Centre Court deben­tures.Ex­cep­tion­al In­nov­a­tion LLC on the ac­quis­i­tion of Quad­riga Hold­ings Lim­ited from In­ter­act­ive Hotel Ser­vices Hold­ings plc.Sankaty Ad­visors and Canyon Cap­it­al Ad­visors on the ac­quis­i­tion of six former De Vere ho­tels from De Vere Group (which is owned by Lloyds Bank).Bat­ter­sea Power Sta­tion on the man­age­ment agree­ment for GBP 70m de­vel­op­ment of art’otel Bat­ter­sea Lon­don hotel.LDC (Lloyds De­vel­op­ment Cap­it­al) on its in­vest­ment in Iglu.com, the UK's lead­ing on­line travel agent spe­cial­ising in cruise and ski hol­i­days.Risk Cap­it­al Part­ners on the man­age­ment buy­out of Neilson Act­ive Hol­i­days and its sub­si­di­ar­ies from Thomas Cook Group Plc.Pat­ron Cap­it­al and West Re­gister (RBS) on the sale of Jupiter Ho­tels (26 UK Mer­cure Ho­tels).Private equity house Elec­tra Part­ners on the pur­chase of the UK op­er­a­tions of Amer­ic­an-themed res­taur­ant chain, TGI Fri­days, for a fig­ure of GBP 225m, in­clud­ing debt.The ac­quis­i­tion, for GBP 91m, of ‘The Ori­gin­al Bowl­ing Com­pany’, the UK’s largest ten-pin bowl­ing busi­ness, with 43 centres op­er­at­ing un­der the Hol­ly­wood Bowl and AMF brandsPlease down­load the print ver­sion be­low.
    Breathe easy
    July 2018
    Find­ing the bal­ance: hu­man touch versus high tech
    560340ht­tps://me­dia.cmsleg­al.com/me­dia/em­bed?key=4c23d8f91dcbac6d106faa16ce87d782&unique_key=4e1357a6d52589721a54cfb30baac4a0&auto­play=false&auto­light­soff=false&loop=false&clean1al­wayseznode://499614Ho­tels and res­taur­ants are in­creas­ingly ex­pec­ted to de­liv­er a new and dif­fer­ent ex­per­i­ence; one that leaves a last­ing memory, dis­tin­guishes them from their com­pet­it­ors and em­braces not just tech­no­logy, but the fu­ture.And what is that fu­ture? Here come the mil­len­ni­als. A gen­er­a­tion of di­git­al nat­ives with sig­ni­fic­ant spend­ing power. In fact, mil­len­ni­als already ac­count for 28% of rev­en­ues for ho­tels and 29% for res­taur­ants, ac­cord­ing to our re­search.This gen­er­a­tion is clearly hav­ing an im­pact on the sec­tor. However, our sur­vey of over 5,000 mil­len­ni­als in 18 coun­tries, con­tras­ted with the views of over 170 lead­ers in the hotel and res­taur­ant sec­tor, dis­pels sev­er­al myths and ste­reo­types. It’s clear, for ex­ample, that there is no typ­ic­al mil­len­ni­al. Life stage and geo­graph­ic loc­a­tion heav­ily im­pact their choices. And they do not al­ways value high tech over the hu­man touch. At least in the world of ho­tels and res­taur­ants, ex­per­i­ence trumps tech­no­logy.So how do ho­tels and res­taur­ants re­spond? How do they in­vest in a fu­ture driv­en by the most tech-savvy gen­er­a­tion to reach adult­hood yet? How do they cre­ate ef­fi­cien­cies to solve pinch points in the busi­nesses without ali­en­at­ing the very mar­ket they’re try­ing to at­tract?For ex­ample, our re­search sug­gests that ho­tels and res­taur­ants over­es­tim­ate the value mil­len­ni­als place on auto­mated pro­cesses us­ing apps and tab­lets. This gen­er­a­tion still wants to place a food or­der or check out with a real per­son. 78% say they prefer the hu­man touch through­out their whole din­ing ex­per­i­ence. Ro­bots be­ware.Tech does have an in­flu­ence though. Ho­tels are es­tim­ated to be in­vest­ing over 9% of an­nu­al rev­en­ue on tech­no­logy, equi­val­ent to USD 1 tril­lion. The most pop­u­lar hotel tech are high-speed WiFi, an app for hotel ser­vices, mu­sic stream­ing and an in-room tab­let for room con­trols. In res­taur­ants, the most pop­u­lar fa­cil­it­ies are the abil­ity to or­der food and drinks be­fore ar­riv­ing, pay­ing via an app and or­der­ing food elec­tron­ic­ally at the ven­ue. But glob­ally only 16% thought 3D vir­tu­al en­ter­tain­ment would im­prove their din­ing ex­per­i­ence. By con­trast, 28% of res­taur­ants ex­pect to im­ple­ment 3D vir­tu­al en­ter­tain­ment in their res­taur­ants with­in the next 24 months.These are just a few of the sur­pris­ing find­ings of our re­search. Com­bined with our own in­sight, we also share the latest think­ing from sev­er­al high pro­file in­dustry fig­ures who have plenty to say on this sub­ject. We hope you en­joy read­ing their views and the re­port and look for­ward to dis­cuss­ing it with you in more de­tail.


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    26 March 2020
    Out­look un­cer­tain for hotel in­vest­ment in CEE des­pite un­pre­ced­en­ted boom...
    The second an­nu­al re­port by Cush­man & Wake­field and in­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS ex­plores the un­der­ly­ing in­vest­ment trends across CEE6 coun­tries and looks at the vari­ous in­nov­a­tions that have shaped the hotel in­dustry in re­cent years. Down­load the re­port h
    13 February 2018
    The rise of the new lux­ury eco­nomy
    Travel has al­ways played host to dra­mat­ic and of­ten dis­rupt­ive changes. At CMS’s an­nu­al tech­no­logy con­fer­ence, In­nov­ate to Sur­vive, onefinestay’s CEO, Javi­er Ce­dillo-Es­pin de­livered a key­note, sum­mar­ised...
    5 March 2020
    Nov­el coronavir­us and the hotel sec­tor
    Glob­al tour­ism and hotel rev­en­ues are cur­rently be­ing severely af­fected as a res­ult of the out­break of the nov­el coronavir­us (Cov­id-19) in late 2019.
    09 March 2017
    Busi­ness rates: Gov­ern­ment re­sponse on Check, Chal­lenge, Ap­peal con­sulta­tion...
    On 8 March, the gov­ern­ment made two an­nounce­ments which will af­fect the busi­ness rates re­gime go­ing for­ward: DCLG pub­lished its re­sponse to the con­sulta­tion on im­ple­ment­a­tion of the Check, Chal­lenge,...
    9 February 2020
    Hos­pit­al­ity Mat­ters - Spring 2020
    06 March 2017
    Hotel mar­ket re­sponds to trav­el­ler de­mands
    Icon­ic hotel names are dis­ap­pear­ing from Ed­in­burgh’s city centre, mak­ing way for more glob­ally re­cog­nised brands. Pos­sibly the most not­able change oc­curred in 2011 when the Cale­do­ni­an Hotel was re­named...
    5 November 2019
    Scot­tish Tour­ist Tax: Solu­tion or Set­back?
    The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has opened con­sulta­tion on its pro­posed tran­si­ent vis­it­or levy, or “tour­ist tax”, un­til 2 Decem­ber 2019. Al­though Scot­land has em­braced its status as a centre for tour­ism, this pro­posed tax may ease con­cerns over the in­creas­ing str
    03 March 2017
    Busi­ness rates: fi­nally some good news for a rate pay­er
    The UK Su­preme Court has is­sued its de­cision in the ap­peal in New­bi­gin (VO) v S J & J Monk, which is likely to have a sig­ni­fic­ant pos­it­ive ef­fect on rates li­ab­il­it­ies for own­ers and de­velopers of prop­erty...
    Spring/Summer 2019
    Hos­pit­al­ity Mat­ters - Spring/Sum­mer 2019
    Cur­rent top­ics in the hotel in­dustry
    11 August 2016
    Su­preme Court guid­ance on busi­ness rates for multi-let build­ings
    The Su­preme Court has now is­sued guid­ance on how multi-let build­ings will be val­ued for the pur­poses of busi­ness rates. His­tor­ic­ally there has been some con­fu­sion as to how to treat the valu­ation of dif­fer­ent...
    February 2019
    High­lights of our ex­per­i­ence in Gyms
    Ho­tels & Leis­ure
    02 August 2016
    Break­ing up just got a lot harder to do
    A break right con­di­tion­al on giv­ing up va­cant pos­ses­sion has al­ways been a cause for con­cern; what is va­cant pos­ses­sion can be dif­fi­cult to as­cer­tain. Last week’s case of River­side Park Lim­ited v NHS...