Spotlight on Hospitality

Hospitality is one of Wedlake Bell’s core Real Estate sector focuses. Our team is highly experienced in all aspects of the hotel, resort, entertainment and leisure industry, and we advise owners, developers, private financiers, banks and top hospitality operators on the full range of legal issues that may arise within the sector. Clients benefit from our multi-disciplinary teams – whether they are buying or selling sites, facing property disputes, commercial agreements, employment issues, dealing with regulatory or licensing issues, planning new developments, or looking for finance to allow further growth. Specifically, the areas in which we can help clients include:

  • Real Estate – Advising on the acquisition, management and disposal of real estate assets within the hospitality and leisure sector.
  • Banking & Finance – Providing transactional advice to financial institutions and investment funds, as well as to corporate borrowers, developers, sponsors, SMEs and family offices across the board from the transaction structuring stage and throughout the full documentation process.
  • Construction – Advising on procurement and construction documentation from project inception through to disputes both during and after completion of a construction project.
  • Corporate & Commercial – Delivering bespoke services to public and private companies, institutional clients, entrepreneurs, owner managed businesses and family offices an all aspects from incorporation to exit.
  • Employment – Advising HR Directors and C-Suite executives on planning and implementing high-level and large-scale business changes.

State of the market in 2023

The hospitality sector has faced significant challenges over the last few years. The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit both operating income coming in and the ability to retain staff. This, combined with the war in Ukraine, which has been taking place for over a year, has fuelled high inflation. We have seen the Bank of England lift interest rates in an attempt to get inflation back under control, which has further impacted the market as a result of uncertainty about where those interest rate rises might end up. These events have led to substantial uplifts in energy bills and the cost of raw materials and supplies, particularly impacting operating businesses such as in the hospitality sector. Where hospitality businesses have taken out financing, financial covenants in those facilities are under severe pressure, and lenders may be concerned about the refinance risk. As the historically low interest rates that we have seen since 2008 have increased rapidly, interest bills are going up against a backdrop of potentially lower post-pandemic income, causing risk for the lender.

Are you facing any of these issues? Our in-depth experience and understanding of the hospitality sector leave us excellently placed to help you navigate any legal issues that might arise. Please get in touch to discuss how we can help.