Stikeman Elliott

Evolving out of the firm's strong real estate practice, Stikeman Elliott's Hospitality Group offers extensive expertise in the key areas of hotel purchases and sales, management and franchise agreements, employment and labour, financing, intellectual property, licensing and regulatory compliance. With lawyers working in nine major financial and travel destinations in Canada and abroad, Stikeman Elliott understands the link between the hospitality industry and global economic activity while being positioned to meet our clients' needs at the local level. Our clients include hotel owners and developers, management companies, owner associations, financial intermediaries and lenders.

Core Services

Strategic Planning

Skilful assistance with the legal aspects of strategic planning for the acquisition, development and operation of hotels.

Ownership and Tax Structures

Cutting edge know-how in structuring hotel acquisitions, ownership structures and dispositions through the most appropriate domestic or foreign entities to meet business, tax and other objectives of the various stakeholders, including venture capitalists, pension funds and other institutional investors, domestic and foreign.


Thorough understanding of the complex business issues of a hotel acquisition and the ability to co-ordinate, in a cost-efficient manner, the many related operating and ownership due diligence matters. Ability to propose value-added solutions to the issues encountered.


Transactional experience in the drafting, negotiation and monitoring of project management, construction and other related contracts, as well as expert advice relating to construction lien and financing issues and issues relating to zoning, land use and planning matters and health and safety matters.


Detailed understanding of the hospitality business is matched with financing expertise in all provinces of Canada.

Management Contracts

Adept negotiation of management contracts balancing the manager's need for flexibility in responding to market conditions against the owner's need for assurance of full accountability by management, while satisfying the lender's requirements.

Franchise Agreements

Recognition of strategic relationships and economic interdependence between the two parties and valuable contacts and relationships with the major franchisors.

Licences and Permits

Negotiation and drafting of the licences and permits relating  to brand names, business permits and liquor licences.

Intellectual Property

Understanding copyright and intellectual property matters in the context of hotel reservation operations.

Employment Matters

Broad experience with the labour-intensive hospitality industry, including collective bargaining agreements and recent legislation concerning employment conditions and outsourcing.


Thorough understanding of the hotel business enables us to assist with structuring optimal dispositions, the preparation of detailed information memoranda and prospectuses, to respond to inquiries and requisitions during the due-diligence period and to monitor the process.


Often called upon to assist financial institutions to dispose of, or to develop a strategy for the disposition of, hotel properties and to develop an operating plan until the transaction closes.


In-depth litigation experience with respect to management contracts and other matters related to the often-unique ownership and management issues that arise in relation to hotels.

Related Practices
Key Contacts

Neil L. Bindman 
Stefan Fews

John Dow 
Melissa Schyven

Greg Plater
Related Publications