Anjarwalla & Khanna acts for a range of players in the hospitality industry, including owners, operators and investors in and lenders to hotel, restaurant, spa and other leisure projects. Our work includes negotiating and advising on hotel, restaurant and spa management and franchise arrangements, investment, joint venture and financing arrangements relating to the hospitality sector, advising on technical services agreements, advising on protection of intellectual property rights and licensing arrangements,  tax and employment issues arising from hospitality operations. We also advise on emerging challenges and opportunities in the hospitality sector, such as data ownership and privacy concerns, and the use of online travel agents and other non-traditional reservation and distribution platforms. We also advise on hotel sale and purchase transactions.

We have acted for clients in many countries in Africa and the Middle East and as such we have strong awareness of industry issues and the key commercial drivers (from an owner, lender and operator perspective) and extensive experience and appreciation of relevant local law and tax issues across various jurisdictions. Our hospitality team members also work closely with colleagues in our finance and construction teams to provide well-rounded solutions to our clients.

Matters in this sector include:

  • Acting for Hemingways Watamu on its re-development and refurbishment of a high-end luxury hotel in Watamu, Kenya, including advising on group restructuring, legal and regulatory issues and compliance, tax efficiencies and advising on the sale of the high end luxury apartments forming part of the development including drafting the form letter of offer, and the standard forms of the agreements for lease as well as the leases and the rental pool agreements for the various purchasers who opt to submit their apartments into the rental pool.
  • Acting for Section Investments, in its acquisition of the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, a luxury hotel, including advising on regulatory matters related to competition law and putting in place the transition arrangements for the transfer.
  • Acting for Sun N’ Sand, a beach resort in Mombasa, Kenya, in connection with its mixed use development comprised of residential, commercial and recreational space, including advising on overall project legal, corporate organizational and management structures and drafting and negotiating all documentation necessary for residential unit sales.
  • Acting for Actae Development, in its development on Galu Beach known as Lantana Galu, comprising of 48 holiday homes made up of villas, apartments, penthouses, bungalows, swimming pools, a restaurant, a health club and a business centre, being an exclusive development of beach front holiday homes situated on one of the most spectacular unspoilt beaches on the south coast of Kenya, including structuring the development comprising of the management structure and preparing the management agreement, deed of adherence and hotel-type agreement.
  • Acting for Standard Chartered Bank Kenya in connection with its USD 25 million construction loan for the completion of the Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi, including drafting and negotiating the LMA-governed facility agreement and security documentation.
  • Acting for The Sankara Hotel Group, a luxury hotel group in Kenya, on its registration of trademarks in Kenya and Mauritius.
  • Advising Jumeirah Restaurants, a Dubai based company, in connection with its consideration of entering into the Kenyan market, including reviewing its standard license agreement, advising on Kenyan franchise law and intellectual property law as well as the local tax framework.
  • Advising DEG and Proparco on the financing of the purchase and refurbishment of what was the Nile Hotel and is now known as the Serena Hotel in Kampala, Uganda.
  • Advising the developer of an achor hotel for an East African five star hotel chain in Westlands, Nairobi, including advising on the implementation of the management contract scheme for their various units and the management options available, drafting and negotiating the terms of the management agreement as well as providing advice in connection with tax advisors on tax efficient management structures.
  • Acting for an African luxury travel operator headquartered in the United States, in connection with a very large tax demand by the Kenya Revenue Authority, relating to transfer pricing issues, Value Added Tax and employment taxes, including handling the matter from the onset, interfacing with the Kenya Revenue Authority and managing to reduce the tax demand significantly.