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  • Department Chair - Litigation
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  • Department Chair - Corporate
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  • Department Chair - Labor & Employment
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Restaurant and Hospitality

They are where we feed our bellies and rest our souls. From corner diners to fine dining establishments and local inns to five-star resorts, the restaurant and hospitality industry is a major contributor to our local and national economies. The industry is a multi-billion dollar arena filled with companies facing myriad legal issues including labor and employment matters, premises liability, entity formation, intellectual property protection, real estate issues and tax law.

Every day is a challenge. Customers’ preferences change, ingredient costs fluctuate and competition is fierce. The management of daily legal challenges takes time and energy away from operating and growing your business. Porter Wright attorneys have represented clients in the restaurant and hospitality industry for decades. Some of our clients are entrepreneurs with one location, while others are large, national companies traded publicly on the stock market. Our attorneys have stood by many of our clients from their first lease to the national expansion of their brands, all the way through to multi-million dollar sales to third parties. We understand the issues that directly affect our clients’ businesses and focus on helping them address their legal challenges while achieving their business objectives.

Porter Wright offers restaurant and hospitality clients an efficient and comprehensive approach to legal services that delivers strong guidance and effective solutions to clients’ most demanding legal issues. This approach keeps clients free to focus on their daily operations, while we manage their legal challenges.

Our experience includes:

  • Performing entity formation, including corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies
  • Preparing area and unit franchise agreements and franchise offering circulars
  • Drafting and negotiating all types of hospitality agreements, including management agreements, vendor agreements, licensing agreements and leases
  • Managing real estate acquisition and leasing, from raw land, to stand-alone sites, to in-mall locations
  • Preparing and executing the sale and leaseback of restaurant sites and facilities
  • Restructuring hotel loans, including the servicing of CMBS loans
  • Buying and selling hotels and restaurants, including handling due diligence and drafting and negotiating all transactional and ancillary agreements
  • Registration of trademarks and trade names, both federally and by state, and defending them from third-party infringement
  • Reviewing and negotiating technology acquisitions, both hardware and software
  • Advising on gift card programs
  • Managing the full range of labor and employment issues, including claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination, wage and hours issues, and workers compensation matters
  • Assisting clients in employee benefits issues, including how health reform may affect employee benefits requirements, retirement plans, and health and welfare plans
  • Representing clients in capital raising transactions, including private placements and public offerings of debt and equity securities and bank debt financings
  • Drafting of all forms of executive compensation, including employment agreements, incentive plans, deferred compensation plans, stock option plans, restricted stock plans and employee stock purchase plans
  • Representing clients in arbitration and litigation – including premises liability and liquor liability, and in contractual disputes
  • Securing and transferring liquor licenses
  • Providing counsel on historic tax credits

The restaurant and hospitality industry is a cornerstone of local communities and the global economy. Porter Wright attorneys help these businesses to flourish so they can continue to serve their customers and provide opportunities to employees.