Retail & Hospitality

Practice Contacts

Retail & Hospitality

The national Retail & Hospitality Group at Gordon & Rees includes attorneys with specific industry experience who are able to work with our deep bench of lawyers in other practice areas to provide the full array of legal services to owners, developers, and managers of retailers, hotels, resorts, restaurants, and private clubs as well as rental car companies, travel agencies, amusement parks, casinos, cruise lines and related companies.  Click here to view our areas of focus within the group.

Within the group, Leon Silver serves as the National Practice Group Leader and Litigation Chair, Marie Trimble Holvick serves as the Labor & Employment Chair, and Lisa Klein serves as the Business Law Chair.


The Retail & Hospitality Group offers a wide array of litigation solutions focused on preventative services designed to minimize the client’s risk of involvement in expensive litigation. When litigation cannot be avoided, the Group is able to mobilize a team of litigators with extensive trial experience in both state and federal courts.


The Retail & Hospitality Group’s Business Transactions, Real Estate, Intellectual Property and Construction lawyers regularly represent clients in the negotiation of commercial agreements ranging from simple leases to complex construction contracts to the complex agreements such as the purchase and sale of multi-million dollar resorts or of national chains.

Labor and Employment

The Retail & Hospitality Group’s employment and labor lawyers have successfully represented some of the world’s most famous hotels, hotel management companies, retailers, restaurants, and chefs.  They have handled a wide range of matters, including the following:

  • High profile sexual harassment litigation
  • Complex wage and hour class actions, and California PAGA representative actions
  • ADA compliance issues related to both employment and public accommodation, including website compliance
  • Sexual harassment training, management training, and executive coaching
  • Consulting on operational issues for best practices 
  • Preventative audits, including equal pay act audits, reviews of personnel files, independent contractor analysis, and I-9 immigration compliance
  • Negotiation of severance agreements with high-level employees
  • Administrative complaints, including charges filed with the EEOC and state-agency equivalents
  • Full service litigation for claims including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation
  • All aspects of union representation and collective bargaining
  • Insurance coverage and defense

Privacy & Data Security

The Retail & Hospitality industry has faced the unique challenge of being the prime target of computer hackers and information breaches over the last several years. Whether our clients require assistance in the creation, implementation, or maintenance of sound practices and compliance procedures, risk assessment and management, responses to data breaches, notification requirements, or litigation including class actions, we are well qualified to lead clients toward positive solutions.

Dram Shop Litigation

Gordon & Rees is the counsel of choice for the largest and most sophisticated property owners and managers throughout the country. The firm successfully defends bars, taverns, hotels and other social organizations against claims from third-parties for injury or death arising from the sale of alcohol to intoxicated patrons or to minors. We regularly represent liquor license holders who have dram shop coverage, as well as license holders without dram shop coverage.

Development, Acquisition, and Sales

Gordon & Rees’ Retail & Hospitality Group has thorough experience providing a comprehensive range of legal services involved in the development, acquisition, and sale of retail, restaurant, hotel and golf properties, including:

  • Contract review, drafting and negotiation with standard form agreements from AIA, AGC and DBIA, as well as contracts specifically crafted for individual client needs
  • The formation of corporations, partnerships, limited liability entities, and compliance with securities laws
  • Preparation of strategic alliance/joint venture agreements
  • Compliance with SB 800
  • Bid protests
  • Stop notices and mechanics liens
  • ADA compliance and disputes
  • Architectural copyright claims
  • Acquisition, leases and lease-backs, including tax planning
  • Due diligence with respect to all aspects of the transaction, including labor and employment matters
  • Labor negotiations with incumbent unions as well as with respect to union organizing efforts

Risk Management

Recognizing the high cost of litigation, the Retail & Hospitality Group works closely with clients to address problems during design and construction so a project can continue in a timely manner and litigation can be avoided at the end of the job. When construction is complete, problems can often be addressed quickly and confidentially with a minimum amount of impact on the ongoing operations of the property.

Construction Litigation

Gordon & Rees attorneys have litigated all types of actions which can arise from the development of a property, including delay and disruption claims, defect claims, and mold claims. We work closely with the client to resolve disputes without litigation but, when necessary, we have the litigation experience required to achieve successful results, such as a recent $12.5 million award for a developer. Our construction, design and premises liability litigation experience includes the defense of hotels, restaurants, developers, and retailers in cases arising out of alleged inadequate security, falls by guests, alleged mis-design of guest rooms, and food service.

Retail & Hospitality Fast Facts

  • 29 Attorneys
  • Multi-disciplinary team of attorneys focused on meeting the business and litigation needs of owners, developers and managers of retail and hospitality projects