Number 1 law firm for hotels & leisure since 2003 - Chambers UK, Legal 500

Hotels, Sport & Leisure

Whilst economic conditions, access to capital, the need for modern infrastructure and other issues present challenges to be overcome, investment opportunities in key locations, the acceleration of sport as a business, ongoing appetite for gaming and other leisure pursuits continue to bring opportunity for companies and investors in the leisure sector. BLP has a long track record in helping businesses across the diverse spectrum of leisure-related industries to address their legal needs. Industries such as hotels, sport, betting and gaming are key areas of expertise and focus for BLP, and clients across the sector continue to rely on our lawyers to help them take advantage of opportunities and protect their interests.

Our team members have served hundreds of companies, financial institutions active throughout the wider leisure industry. Just some examples of our experience and expertise include:

  • Hotels: It is no accident that we have been Tier-1 ranked in hotels related work since 2003. We act for a diverse mix of property owners and investors, hotel operators, sector-focused lenders, and developers. Whether it is the sale or purchase of a portfolio of hotels or a substantial single asset, the development of a new build hotel, or the negotiation of a complex hotel agreement, we combine experience across tax, financing, intellectual property, health and safety, licensing, litigation, and of course real estate to deliver game-changing outcomes.
     
  • Sport: Lawyers from nine BLP practices have acted for over 100 sport clients, including clubs, governing bodies, financial institutions, investors, sponsors and renowned players. With particular strength in planning and construction of sports infrastructure, sports financing, resolution of sport disputes, sponsorship and other commercial agreements, our work in recent years has included six stadia projects across four different sports, and work for more than 20 football clubs in leagues across Europe and South America.
     
  • Betting & Gaming: Referred to as “traditionally a leading firm across the spectrum of alcohol and gaming licensing” by Chambers UK and with long track record in acting for betting and gaming companies as the premier-ranked firm for mid-market corporate finance/M&A, companies across Europe and Asia operating, or involved, in the online and offline betting and gaming sector continue to rely on BLP’s expert lawyers.
     
  • Pubs, Clubs & Restaurants: Having acted for companies, retailers, financial institutions and investors, our team has acted on projects relating to over 50 well-known brands across the industry. In particular, clients have relied on our legal experts to deliver results in areas such as alcohol and gaming licensing, real estate, restructuring & insolvency, health & safety, commercial contracts, finance and food safety.

Latest examples of work

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      HIG Capital

      The acquisition of the 378 room Hilton London Docklands from Pandox for HIG Capital.

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      Prime Hotels development

      The development, branding and operation of a luxury hotel and residences in Knightsbridge London for Bulgari and Marriott, under the Bulgari brand.

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      Yianis Group - Mixed Portfolio

      The £380m refinancing of a mixed portfolio, including two major London hotels - the Marriott West India Quay and the Four Seasons Canary Wharf for Yianis Group. Also on a further refinancing of mixed assets, including a regional UK hotel. BLP also advised the Group on a development agreement and lease with Grosvenor Casinos Limited, a subsidiary of The Rank Group, for the installation of a new generation casino at the Palace Hotel, Southend.

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      Moto Hospitality Limited

      The property aspects of Moto Hospitality Limited’s 2011 refinancing for £450m and its 2015 refinancing for £445m. Worked over many years on their acquisition, development, site management and financing work. Examples are the acquisition and development of the Reading, Stafford, Donington and most recently Wetherby Motorway Service Areas, the latter being a “green” development incorporating a hotel operating under “green” lease clauses.

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      Acquisition of Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Chester

      The 2015 acquisitions of Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Chester; Blackstone’s UK Regional Mint portfolio of five hotels; the Ramada Hotels in Birmingham and Salford Quays; and the Indigo Hotel in Liverpool for Marathon Asset Management.

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      Sir Richard Sutton Settled Estates - The Park Lane Hotel

      The acquisition of the leasehold interests in The Park Lane Hotel and granting of a long term management agreement to Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc for the hotel to be operated as part of the Sheraton brand for Sir Richard Sutton Settled Estates.

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      Hotel management agreements in Adu Dhabi and Dubai

      The negotiation of hotel management agreements for several projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including with Hard Rock Hotels, Swissotel and Park Inn for Aabar Properties, a major UAE based investor.

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      Football clubs in Spain and Germany

      Acted for a lender on a large amount of broadcast receivables financing work involving football clubs in Spain and Germany. The Spanish transactions are structured differently to those with football clubs in England, involving our client acquiring the rights to the future broadcast payments by forward funding the amounts at a discounted rate. The payments flow from various broadcasters in Spain and involves taking into account the complex structure of the nature of TV rights in Spain. The team also acts on player transfer instalment financings, involving some of the largest transactions in world football.

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      Premier League Clubs

      Our team regularly advise between six to eight Premier League clubs and a similar number in La Liga and other international leagues. We act on a large amount of receivables financing work which can be worth anything from £65 - £120 million to each Premier League club per year and will increase in 2016/2017 when a new broadcast rights deal comes into play. BLP drafts and agrees the various legal documents with the Clubs and liaises with their other lenders and the Premier League, who have to consent to the documentation required for such transactions.

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