Hospitality Industry Representative Matters

  • Won a unanimous jury verdict for an owner of a hotel against a large group customer who canceled a series of contracts claiming the hotel’s service has diminished. The customer preemptively sued the client. Counter-claims were filed on behalf of the client and, at trial, the customer’s claims were dismissed via directed verdict. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of the client finding that the customer breached the contracts.
  • Won a summary judgment for a popular local restaurant in a lawsuit filed by a competing restaurant in the same shopping center. The plaintiff sued the client in an effort to shut down their operations claiming certain lease covenants were being violated. The competing restaurant alleged it was a third-party beneficiary to the client’s lease with the center’s landlord. After briefing the issues to the trial court a summary judgment was granted dismissing all of plaintiff’s claims within four months from the date the lawsuit was filed.
  • Defended restaurant startup against intellectual property theft and trademark infringement claims brought by former employer management group. The principal members of the new restaurant conglomerate were formally employed by a widely-known regional restaurant chain and were accused of misappropriating popular recipes, as well as their former employer’s trademark, trade dress, and proprietary business techniques.
  • Represented a restaurant and bar in defense of a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The plaintiffs were former waitresses and bartenders claiming tip pool violations. The case was settled on favorable terms to the client after minimal discovery.
  • Represented a Houston-based restauranteur in the strategic acquisition of a café and bakery concept.
  • Represented the developer of a luxury hotel in downtown Houston in the acquisition and development of the property, including capital formation and construction financing.
  • Represented private company seeking to raise $4 million to invest in luxury resort projects.
  • Registered trademarks on behalf of a successful barbeque restaurant, providing advice on how to best and most economically protect the restaurant’s dining, catering, and product brands.
  • Successfully defended a restaurant group in a lawsuit brought by a former employee claiming sexual harassment based on allegations that manager made sexual advances towards the employee and sent sexually explicit photographs to the employee. The lawsuit centered almost entirely on alleged conduct that occurred outside the workplace during non-working hours and presented unique issues relating to the employer’s affirmative defense under the Faragher/Ellerth line of cases.
  • Won partial summary judgment on behalf of restaurateurs on a breach of fiduciary duty/usurpation of a valuable partnership opportunity and oppression claim filed by restaurateurs’ partners. Also won a motion for partial summary judgment declaring a “Right to Participate” clause contained in the Partnership’s Operating Amendment invalid.  Based on the alleged right to participate, the restaurateurs’ partners claimed to have an interest in a subsequent endeavor created and developed by the restaurateurs. Summary judgment was awarded when it was shown that the “Right to Participate” clause was invalid, and subsequently, the Court failed to find any breach of fiduciary duty or oppression on the part of the restaurateurs.  Ultimately, this summary judgment led to a favorable settlement of the entire dispute for our clients.
  • Pursued claims on behalf of a Houston area restaurant and wine bar for breach of a contract related to an event held at their facility.
  • Successfully defended a restaurant group in a lawsuit brought by a former employee claiming sexual harassment based on allegations that manager made sexual advances towards the employee and sent sexually explicit photographs to the employee. The lawsuit centered almost entirely on alleged conduct that occurred outside the workplace during non-working hours and presented unique issues relating to the employer’s affirmative defense under the Faragher/Ellerth line of cases.
  • Development of a strategic and capital plan for a restaurant company based in Texas for expansion from four to 23 stores within four years.
  • Represented a hospitality company with operations in the U.S., Canada, France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the U. K. in connection with private equity investments of $75 million by a Boston-based opportunity fund and $100 million by a London-based opportunity fund, and the acquisition of about $800 million of hotels, resorts and conference centers.
  • Represented buyers and developers of hospitality product, including limited service, and conferencing center and resort product, in financing transactions involving lending sources in the United States and overseas, including financing and refinancing with banks such as Barclays Bank PLC, London; Deutsche Bank, Germany; SNS Bank, The Netherlands; Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland; Chase Bank, New York; Calyon Bank.
  • Lead counsel for a global leader in resort and executive center business in connection with acquisition, development, financing and disposition of conference resorts and conference hotels in the United States, Canada and Europe.
  • Structured multiple transactions for a hospitality company doing business in the U.S., Canada and seven countries in Western Europe.
  • Represented a local restaurateur in connection with private placement of securities for construction of new restaurant to replace existing fine dining facility.
  • Represented a local restaurateur in connection with private placement of securities for expansion of Mexican food bar and grill concept.
  • Represented a Texas-based fast casual restaurant chain in connection with structuring, formation and private placement of securities for expansion of chain in major cities in Texas.
  • Represented Freebirds World Burrito, a 19-unit fast casual restaurant chain, in connection with its sale to the Tavistock Group.
  • Represented a global hospitality company in connection with multiple corporate and project financing involving hotels and resorts in North America and Western Europe.
  • Pursued claims on behalf of a Houston business owner for breach of an agreement for the sale of Houston bar. The purchaser failed to amend the name of the company, provide new bonds or financial security for the permits issued by the TABC, and transfer all TABC permits to the new entity as required by the purchase and sale agreement.

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