Paul Hastings Named 2022 Hospitality “Practice Group of the Year” by Law360

January 31, 2023

Paul Hastings LLP has been profiled by Law360 as a 2022 Hospitality “Practice Group of the Year."

The profile noted the firm’s role advising Eagle Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust, a public REIT formed in Singapore, in connection with its complicated Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, which involved the sale of 14 hotels to various bidders for $515 million. Eagle previously went public on the Singapore Exchange in May 2019 and owned 18 hotels across the U.S.

“When we got involved, it was the only REIT that had ever been formed in Singapore that had not paid one dollar in dividends,” said Rick Kirkbride, chair of the firm’s Hospitality & Leisure practice group. “Many of the hotels were closed, with all of the employees laid off. A few of them did remain in operation, but there were huge issues with the brand franchisers, as well as companies that were managing those hotels. Ultimately, there was a vote in Singapore to adopt a rescue plan for Eagle that the shareholders turned down, and when they did turn it down, we were then forced to file a bankruptcy petition.”

Law360 also highlighted Paul Hastings’ ongoing representation of Watermark Lodging Trust Inc. in its $3.8 billion sale to funds managed by Brookfield Asset Management.

“We represent developers, owners and investors, and we do joint ventures. But all of it relates to hotels,” said Derek Roth, co-chair of the firm’s Hospitality & Leisure practice group. “We have great expertise across all those aspects, doing it day in and day out. We're really attuned to the market.”

Other notable matters that the Paul Hastings team has handled include the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia in the development of two projects valued at more than $15 billion on the Red Sea; OKO Group LLC and Aman Hotels in their acquisition of an equity interest in a new hotel, residence and club to be built in Beverly Hills, California; and Fort Partners and Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings Ltd. in the creation and development of a luxury cruise line to be branded by Four Seasons.

The profile noted that Paul Hastings’ Hospitality & Leisure practice group has over 50 lawyers and continues to grow, highlighting the addition of Pablo Clarke in 2022.

This marks the latest in a series of accolades for the Firm’s hospitality practice, which has been ranked in Band 1 for Nationwide Leisure & Hospitality by Chambers USA every year since Chambers USA started honoring preeminent leisure and hospitality practice groups in 2007. Mr. Kirkbride has also been ranked in Band 1 for Nationwide Leisure & Hospitality by Chambers USA every year since 2007.

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