Restaurant, Lodging and Hospitality


Blending many of our firm’s core practices, Morningstar Law Group’s Restaurant, Lodging and Hospitality Practice serves local, regional, national and international clients, including individual restaurateurs and franchisees, early-stage and established restaurant and brewery companies, multi-site restaurant groups and chains, hoteliers, breweries, investors, and real estate developers by anticipating legal issues and providing strategic advice in connection with organization, capital raising, deal structuring, negotiation, implementation, operations and disputes.

Among the areas where Morningstar regularly advises clients:

Corporate; Transactional. Entity selection and formation; joint venture, investment and participation structures; private securities offerings; secured and unsecured debt financings; mergers and acquisitions; commercial and vendor contracts.

Real Estate Transactions. Leasing on behalf of landlords and tenants; acquisition, disposition, and financing (construction and permanent) of individual properties and multi-property portfolios; horizontal and vertical mixed use development.

Employment. Drafting, negotiating and enforcement of employment contracts, compensation and stock agreements, confidentiality agreements, and non-compete agreements for key staff; onsite training programs for management and human resources personnel; guidance regarding employment actions, employment policies and practices, and compliance with anti-discrimination, harassment and family leave laws, wage and hour issues, employee safety regulations, labor relations and union avoidance strategies.

Permitting. Alcoholic beverage licensing, compliance and regulatory issues.

Intellectual Property/IT Agreements. Trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, privacy law; selection, clearance and registration of trademarks; preparation and negotiation of license agreements, IT services agreements, software license agreements, managed hosting agreements, IT outsourcing agreements and contracts related to cloud services and software as a service.

Promotions and Advertising. Advertising, customer loyalty programs and retail promotions, including coupons, rebates, giveaways, gift cards, loyalty promotions, contests and sweepstakes.

Zoning and Land Use. All aspects of zoning and land use processes within local jurisdictions, including development entitlements, permitting, rezonings, site plans, and special use permits. We also advise clients on how to navigate the federal and state regulatory framework applicable to particular projects such as the Coastal Area Management Act, Endangered Species Act, and national register districts. We have substantial experience with public private partnerships, which has helped achieve financial feasibility for clients on certain projects.

Dispute Resolution and Litigation. Litigation avoidance and dispute resolution, including representation of clients before regulatory agencies and in federal and state courts.

Our attorneys are highly active in a number of hospitality industry-focused organizations, where we routinely make presentations and serve as speakers, including North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and Urban Land Institute (ULI)

Whether arising in the context of an established or new business enterprise, the legal issues hospitality clients face are vast and often complex – Morningstar Law Group’s multidisciplinary team is well suited to provide a full-range of integrated legal services that meet the demands of an ever-evolving industry.

For more information, please contact Gene Jones or Michael Ovsievsky.