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JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® Announces 3rd Edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook in Response to Sea Change in the Hotel Industry

April 12, 2014 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

The Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) is pleased to announce publication of the 3rd edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook, a guide for hotel owners, developers, investors and lenders negotiating or terminating hotel management agreements (HMAs) and franchise agreements.

Co-authored by JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® Chairman, Jim Butler, and Senior Member of the Group, Robert E. Braun, the 3rd edition of The Handbook has been revised extensively to reflect a recent sea change in the industry — the proliferation of franchise agreements, which have become increasingly negotiable. Hotel management agreements continue to be critical for luxury properties, resorts and larger properties. But for bread-and-butter hotels and the hot select service segment, owners and brands are placing more importance than ever on franchise agreements.Excellence250X250px

The Handbook has been expanded to include a new chapter devoted to franchise agreements, brands and independent management agreements. The 3rd edition also includes a discussion of recent court rulings that allow owners to terminate long-term, “no-cut” branded management agreements.

“Hotel management agreements remain a foundation for the profitability and value of a hotel, particularly in luxury, destination resort, and larger convention hotel segments,” said Butler. “But franchise agreements, independent operators and unbranded properties have become so important, particularly in select service and upscale segments, that we needed to deal with the phenomenon in The Handbook.”

“More brands are focusing on franchises and limiting branded management to strategic assets,” said Braun. “As a result, the relationship between brands, independent managers, lenders and owners has become more complex and requires the insights and advice of hotel industry insiders like our Global Hospitality Group®.”

Butler and Braun will both speak at the 24th annual Meet the Money® hotel finance and investment conference on May 5-7 in Los Angeles, which will address many of the topics covered in the book. For more information on the conference speakers and presentations, visit

How to get a free copy of the 3rd edition of the HMA Handbook

To download a copy of the 3rd edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook, go to the Resource Center on This has been one of the most popular downloads on for the past several years.

Important topics covered in the 3rd edition of The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook

The HMA & Franchise Agreement Handbook covers four major topics that are critical to every hotel owner, developer, investor or lender:

1. How to get a great hotel operator

  • Maximizing hotel value with management, branding and franchise
  • Three of the most important things you will ever do for your hotel
  • The five biggest mistakes hotel owners make in selecting operators and negotiating brand HMAs
  • How to get a great hotel operator and a fair hotel management agreement
  • How to negotiate an HMA

2. What you need in your hotel management agreement

  • What to do before you start negotiating your brand HMA
  • Hotel management agreement performance standards and why they matter
  • Five keys for good HMA budget provisions
  • Indemnification provisions
  • Subordination agreements and how they affect the value, financeability and collateral value of a hotel
  • Exculpation clauses

3. Franchise agreements, brands & independent operators

  • Decisions about brands and management
  • The myth that franchise agreements cannot be negotiated
  • Five things to keep in mind when you look for a hotel operator
  • The importance of comfort letters in financing franchised hotels
  • Brand franchise issues in hotel purchase and sale transactions
  • Dual-branded hotels
  • The trap of “changing brand standards”

4. How to terminate a hotel management agreement

  • Why is hotel management agreement litigation on the rise?
  • Why all long-term hotel management agreements are now terminable
  • Marriott v. Eden Roc — what it all means for terminating hotel management agreements
  • Importance of fiduciary duties in disputes between hotel owners and hotel operators
  • Terminating hotel management agreements when things don’t work

Commitment to the Hospitality Industry

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® is an active participant in the hospitality industry, and we are committed to providing thought leadership, education, and opportunities for members of the industry to gather and share information. By visiting, you can see some of the many projects we have handled and learn about the legal and advisory services we provide. You can also access the Hotel Law Blog, download the books in our We Wrote the Book™ series, and find updates for our annual Meet the Money® conference (May 5-7, 2014 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles).

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®

The hotel lawyers in the Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) comprise the premier hospitality practice in a full-service law firm. We represent hotel owners, developers, investors and lenders and have helped our clients find business and legal solutions for more than $68 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 1,500 properties worldwide. For more information about the Global Hospitality Group®, go to

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