Check-in - November 2022

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Welcome to your quarterly newsletter from Bird & Bird's Hotels, Hospitality & Leisure team

We are delighted to share the November 2022 edition of Check-In, Bird & Bird's quarterly newsletter for hotel, hospitality & leisure businesses. The newsletter focuses on hot topics and legal developments impacting on various aspects of the sector around the globe.

In this edition we continue to share our three regular features: Employment Corner, where Partner Alison Dixon shares a summary of the latest employment law updates for hotel, hospitality & leisure businesses; Construction Columns, where Partner Andrea Chao looks into the various trends, opportunities and challenges facing the construction and development of hotels; and HMA Bites, where Matthew Vance and James Fowler explore various aspects of Hotel Management Agreements, this time focusing on guarantees.

We're also delighted to include an interview with Robert Godwin, Managing Director of Lamington Group, who is leading the shift to a greener future in the hospitality industry.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in these articles, or visit our webpage for more information about Bird & Bird's Hotels, Hospitality & Leisure team.

HMA Bites

Guarantees: “The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry…”

In each edition of Check-In we will take a concise look at an issue relating to hotel management agreements and provide insight, tips and advice based on our experience in practice. In this edition, we will look at the topic of guarantees – something you never need until you need it, and if you don’t have it, you may really wish you did.

It’s easy to think that a HMA is a bi-partite relationship – one between Owner and Operator. But as part of entering into any HMA, one should consider whether it’s worth bringing in a third wheel…

Read the full article here

Employment Corner

Welcome to Employment Corner!

In each edition of Check-In we will explore the latest developments in Employment law and their importance to the Hotel, Hospitality & Leisure sector. In this edition, we will look at:

  • Right to Work checks
  • New Prime Minister, new employment laws?
  • Holiday pay for part-year workers
  • Tracking implementation of the EU whistleblowing Directive for international businesses

Read the full article here

Construction Columns

Digital twins allowing hotels to enhance maintenance, improve user experience and kickstart metaverse offering

Through Construction Columns we want to showcase solutions within the construction industry that hotel & leisure projects can benefit from. We also want to put the spotlight on future innovations. A particular development I have been considering quite a bit over the last few months is that of digital twins. I can think of in any case three benefits hotels can gather from this: improving maintenance and circularity, improving the booking process and customer satisfaction, and kickstarting the offering in the metaverse. In this column I will share my journey to coming to these considerations.

Read the full interview here

Industry Spotlight

Podcast: Interview with Robert Godwin, Managing Director of Lamington Group, who is leading the shift to a greener future in the hospitality industry

As Managing Director of Lamington Group, Robert leads the 55+ year old privately held real estate investment, development and operational group. Under Robert's passionate and dedicated commitment to sustainability, Lamington Group and room2 ho(me)tels have become firmly positioned as global hospitality leaders in the shift to a greener future. In 2021 Lamington Group was the first UK hotel group to launch a detailed roadmap to net zero by 2030 using Science Based Targets.

In this podcast, Karen Friebe speaks with Robert about his commitment to mitigating the effects of climate change, the challenges he faced in bringing the room2 ho(me)tel project to fruition, and his view on the future of the hotels and tourism industry.

Listen to the full podcast here

Data Protection

GDPR sanction to a major hotel group

The CNIL (the French Data Protection Authority), has issued a fine of 600,000 euros to a major hotel group. The group was sanctioned (i) for having carried out commercial prospecting without the consent of the individuals concerned, (ii) for not having respected the rights of customers and prospects and (iii) for having carried out such commercial prospecting in many countries in the EU.

Read the full article here

Dispute Resolution

Hotels in the firing line: Using international law to protect your cross-border investment

Cross-border investments in immoveable assets, such as hotels and other leisure resorts, are inherently vulnerable to harm and loss of control or ownership when political, or even military, turmoil arises in the place of investment. Such harm may result from a failure to protect a property, a seizure of that property, or unfair or discriminatory treatment such as by national or local governments, or other state agencies.

Where acts of state cause harm to cross-border investments in hotels and leisure developments, investors may first turn to domestic judicial proceedings for a remedy. Where that is not successful, or is not feasible, there may yet be a path to remedy using international law.

Read the full article here

HR & Employment

Podcast: Key HR and Employment issues to consider when a hotel changes hands

The hotel sector is experiencing what some commentators are referring to as a post-pandemic boom. This is attracting attention from investors, many of whom are predicting a significant increase in M&A activity in Europe in 2023, despite rising inflation and the expectation that financing will be even more expensive.

People are central to any hotel business, so what happens to those people when a hotel changes hands? Our Head of Hotels, Hospitality & Leisure, Karen Friebe, asks Employment Partner, Alison Dixon, to share some of the key headline points to consider when a deal is in the offing.

Listen to the Podcast here


New French hotel classification

French hotels are classified based on a star rating system similar to other countries. Ratings are determined by criteria that hotels must meet to qualify for a category, which are organised into a points system consisting of different types. The Order of December 29th 2021, fixing new rules and procedures for hotel classification, came into force on April 1st 2022 . It was drafted based on the collaborative work of the French Administration and the agency managing hotel classification in France. The new classification system increases the importance of environmental criteria by doubling their overall number from 13 to 27.

Read the full article here

News & Events

Our UK team celebrates Tier 1 ranking for Hospitality & Leisure in the 2023 Legal 500 guide

We are delighted that our UK team has again achieved a Tier 1 ranking for Hospitality & Leisure in the Legal 500 UK guide, and is recognised as having a "deep understanding of the hospitality industry, and in particular industry specific contracts such as hotel management agreements." Head of our Hotels, Hospitality & Leisure sector, Karen Friebe, is also ranked as a leading individual. Many thanks to all of our clients for their support and for taking the time to provide feedback of their experience of working with us.

The full write-up about our team can be found here

We explored the challenges involved in managing hotels through ultra-high inflation in a recent seminar

In the latest seminar in our series co-hosted on 14th September with AlixPartners, EP Business in Hospitality and HVS, we were joined by industry experts to look at the challenges involved in managing hotels through ultra-high inflation. Thomas Emmanuel (STR) and Kathrin Cockhill (HotStats) presented data showing how the hotel sector is performing in 2022 against 2019. This was followed by a lively panel consisting of James Salford (Bird & Bird), Graeme Smith (AlixPartners), Jan Hazelton (Kerzner), Aiden McAuley (Accor) and David Nicholson (Jumeirah), moderated by Russell Kett (Chairman of HVS).

Read the full article here

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