Kasowitz’s Real Estate and Hotel Litigation Practice Group is comprised of experienced litigators who have successfully handled a wide variety of real estate and hotel-related matters, including partnership and joint venture disputes, contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud claims, air rights and development rights disputes, investigations, foreclosures, workouts and other restructurings. Having represented a broad range of clients, including developers, real estate investment trusts (REITs), borrowers, lenders, institutional and individual investors, majority and minority partners, and hotel owners, operators, and managers, Kasowitz’s Real Estate and Hotel Litigation Practice Group understands the environment in which such disputes arise, as well as the underlying instruments and agreements.
Offering a multidisciplinary, integrated and strategic approach, Kasowitz’s Real Estate and Hotel Litigation Practice Group provides valuable, efficient and effective services that are focused on achieving the client’s specific goals, whether by negotiating a resolution, preparing for possible litigation, or litigating a case through discovery and trial. Thus, in addition to drawing from their extensive experience, the members of the Real Estate and Hotel Litigation Practice Group work closely with Kasowitz’s Transactional Real Estate Practice Group as well as other practice groups, to ensure that each case team has a full complement of expertise.
Some of the Real Estate and Hotel Litigation Practice Group’s clients include: Blackstone; Morgans Hotel Group; The Related Companies; DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners, LLC; Hilton Worldwide; The Jack Parker Corporation; a joint venture between Atlas Capital Group LLC, The Procaccianti Group and Rockpoint Group LLC; Fremont Realty Group; Fontainebleau Las Vegas Holdings, LLC; The Related Group; Intercontinental Hotel Group; Fortress Investment Group; SL Green; LaQuinta Hotels, LXR Luxury Resorts; and JD Carlisle Development.
Notable representations include:
- Defending several major hotel operators against threatened terminations of hotel management agreements.
- Prevailing on summary judgment, and successfully obtaining the appointment of a receiver and a new hotel operator for the Alex Hotel and Flatotel, in several actions in New York state court to foreclose on more than $300 million of loans secured by the hotels, and to recover on personal guaranties.
- Bringing suit on behalf of a hotel manager concerning a violation of its right of first refusal to manage and operate a hotel being built in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.
- Representing a major boutique hotel operator in a confidential arbitration concerning fees owed pursuant to a management agreement for a hotel located in Los Angeles.
- Defending and pursuing counterclaims in a suit arising out of an air rights transaction related to a mixed-use hotel and residential development in Manhattan.
- Representing the non-controlling members in several special purpose LLCs that own prominent New York City office buildings, including the Seagram Building, in connection with several actions concerning, among other things, the controlling members’ failure to properly distribute sale and other proceeds relating to the properties.
- Conducting a confidential internal investigation on behalf of a beachfront hotel in Miami after allegations of wrongdoing were reported via an employee tip line.
- Representing the minority member of an LLC that owned a large commercial office building in Chicago in a suit against the managing member for failure to comply with the forced-sale provision in the LLC agreement.
- Representing a major hotel operator and franchisor in an action alleging trade secret misappropriation brought by its competitor, and in a grand jury investigation conducted by the United States Attorney's Office (S.D.N.Y.), relating to the same underlying facts.
- Prevailing on summary judgment with respect to liability in a breach of contract action against a New York real estate investment company based on its failure to purchase an interest in a real estate holding company for $20,000,000.
- Representing the principal owner of the Aman Hotel in connection with disputes relating to the acquisition and control of the company.
- Providing strategic advice to and negotiating on behalf of a prominent South Florida real estate developer, as borrower and guarantor, in connection with its workout of 7 condominium project construction loans and 11 land loans, including the loans for the ICON Brickell towers and Viceroy Hotel.
- Defending owner of the Savoy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, against a foreclosure action based on a $39.5 million loan, and counterclaiming for fraud, conspiracy, breach of contract and violations of Florida’s racketeering statute against the foreclosing bank.
- Successfully challenging the New York Power Authority’s exercise of eminent domain to take property belonging to a tri-state area real estate developer, and transfer it to Calpine Corporation, a national power company, for its $100 million expansion of an existing power plant.
- Defending a leading REIT, from shareholders’ claims in actions filed in New York and Maryland stemming from a multi-billion dollar acquisition and subsequent spin off of certain properties.
- Representing a major hotel chain in defeating class action certification with respect to the hotels’ charging of resort fees.