Check-In - July 2023

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Helping you stay up to date with the latest news, trends and hot topics in the international Hotels, Hospitality & Leisure sector.


We are delighted to share the July 2023 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 are very happy to feature the second podcast in our series of interviews with inspirational young women in the hospitality sector. In this podcast Laura Brinkmann, Senior Vice President at KSL Capital Partners, speaks with Karen Friebe about female leadership and the importance of senior mentors for women working in the sector.

We also have our three regular highlights: HMA Bites, where Associates James Fowler and Matthew Vance explore various aspects of Hotel Management Agreements, this time focusing on the employment of hotel staff; Employment Corner, where Partner Alison Dixon and Associate Stephanie Creed, summarise the latest employment law issues for hotel, hospitality & leisure businesses; and Construction Columns, where Partner Andrea Chao and Associate Sophie Phillips look into the various trends, opportunities and challenges facing the construction and development of hotels, this time focusing on improving ESG performance.

Finally, in the second instalment of our "Open All Hours" feature, we are putting the spotlight on the increasingly important topic of Competition law and its impact on the hotel sector.

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


Podcast: Female Leadership in the Hospitality Sector

Interview with Laura Brinkmann, Senior Vice President at KSL Capital Partners

In the second podcast in our series of interviews with inspirational women in hospitality, Karen Friebe, head of Bird & Bird’s Hotels, Hospitality & Leisure Group, speaks with Laura Brinkmann, Senior Vice President at KSL Capital Partners. Laura covers her current role at KSL and the excitement of creating value for employees, guests and investors, while also having the opportunity to continuously listen and learn. Laura also reflects on some of the challenges for women who want to secure meaningful business roles in the hotel sector, and the importance of support and mentorship from senior leaders.

Listen to the podcast here


HMA Bites

Demystifying the Employment of Hotel Staff in HMAs

In each edition of Check-In we 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 employment of hotel staff. This can be one of the most confusing aspects of hotel management agreements. We will do our best to demystify the topic and have you talking like an expert!

Read the full article here


Employment Corner

Welcome to Employment Corner!

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

  • The new Tips Act
  • Key employment considerations when restructuring
  • The long-awaited reforms to the UK Whistleblowing Framework
  • UK legal and case updates
  • The EU Whistleblowing Directive

Read the full article here


Construction Columns

Improving the ESG performance of your hotel/leisure asset (while also reducing costs and increasing value)

Through Construction Columns we showcase solutions within the construction industry that hotel & leisure projects can benefit from. In this edition, we look at why ESG performance is becoming so important (including from a regulatory point of view) and some key points the main parties need to consider.

Read the full article here


Open All Hours

Competition law and the hotel sector (part 2)

EU and UK competition law is an often underestimated and misunderstood area of law. However, it very much applies to the hotel sector which in recent years has been subject to increased scrutiny. Businesses that fail to comply with these laws could face significant fines, reputational damage and more, which is why being able to spot the red flags is crucial.

In this new three-part series, we highlight some of the competition law issues applicable to the hotel sector and how businesses can navigate these hazards. You can read the first article here, if you missed it. In this second alert we turn to Information Exchange, a particularly saliant issues for franchises, a business model used widely in the hotel sector. The exchange of commercially sensitive information between actual and potential competitors is prohibited under Chapter I of the UK Competition Act and Article 101 TFEU. This article explores the application of competition law to the sharing of information in the hospitality sector.

Read the full article here


News & Events

We hope to see you at the Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester

Members of our UK Hotels, Hospitality & Leisure team, Karen Friebe, James Fowler, Matthew Vance and Charlie White, will be attending the Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th September.

Please get in touch if you will also be attending the conference - we'd love to meet you there.

For those of you who will be attending and have a particular interest in the topic of ESG and its impact on hotel management and franchise agreements, you may be interested in joining the discussion group we will be leading along with the Energy Environment Alliance at the conference on September 11th.

Find out more about the conference here

We co-host successful webinar on hotel debt finance

We were delighted to welcome 425 delegates to our recent webinar on The Status of Hotel Debt Finance, which we hosted with HVS, AlixPartners and EP Business in Hospitality.

James Salford (Bird & Bird) and Tim Barbrook (HVS Hodges Ward Elliott) kicked off with a presentation on the state of the market, following which Graeme Smith (AlixPartners) moderated a lively panel session comprising representatives from three traditional banks and two alternative lenders. Thank you to our panellists for sharing your expertise with us: Theo Hajoglou (Cheyne Capital), Callum Laithwaite (Starwood Capital Group), Paola Orneli Bock (Aareal Bank), Bob Silk (Barclays Bank) and Dan Williams (Virgin Money).

Our next co-hosted webinar will be taking place in September and will explore the optimal hotel operational model/s for the future – look out for the invitation to follow soon!

View the webinar recording here

Our team returns to the International Hospitality Investment Forum in Berlin

Our international Hotels, Hospitality & Leisure team was represented at this year’s IHIF by seven attendees: Karen Friebe (Head of Hotels, Hospitality & Leisure, London), James Salford (Partner, London), David Dederick (Partner, Budapest), Elie Kaufman (Senior Counsel, Frankfurt), James Fowler (Senior Associate, London) and Matthew Vance (Associate, London).

The theme of this year’s conference was “Fortune Favours the Bold”, celebrating the hotel industry's confidence in its strength and capacity to continue growing, with ESG as a core theme. Karen moderated a standing-room-only panel session titled “Management Agreements: A Critical Review”. The panel of experts, which comprised speakers from CBRE Hotels, Cedar Capital Partners, Corinthia Hotels and Melia Hotels International, covered the hot topics for those involved with hotel management agreements - investors, owners and operators - an area of great importance to the hotel sector and in which our firm has become a recognised specialist.

As sponsors, we also had the opportunity to network with delegates at our conference booth, where we enjoyed catching up with our industry peers and contacts.

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