Hotel & Restaurant law

Boston Hotel and Restaurant Lawyer

In the hospitality industry, customer service and satisfaction are critical to the success of your business, and working with the right legal counsel to ensure your operations run smoothly is just as important. Whether you are purchasing or leasing commercial space, negotiating with state agencies, applying for licensing, managing franchisees, hiring employees or dealing with a shareholder dispute, Rudolph Friedmann can help your business grow while implementing preventive measures to avoid missteps and costly lawsuits.

Over the past 40 years, we have represented some of Boston’s most well-known restaurants and hotels while also helping entrepreneurs get started in the restaurant industry. We understand the unique business challenges and legal concerns faced by businesses in the hospitality industry and have counseled clients on matters ranging from business formation, real estate and employment issues to insurance and liability matters, trademark and copyright law, partnership disputes and much more. Our firm has extensive experience working with some of the most iconic restaurants and hotels in greater Boston as well as throughout New England and our Managing Partner James Rudolph has served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association since 2012.

We can assist with every hotel and restaurant law matter, including:

  • Business entity formation: limited liability companies (LLCs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), sole proprietorships, joint ventures, partnerships and corporations
  • Business organization: structuring your business, corporate governance, drafting and reviewing bylaws and other charter documents
  • Franchising: franchise agreements, becoming a franchise, joining a franchise
  • Licensing and permits including food safety licenses and obtaining a liquor license
  • Negotiations with state agencies: the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, construction boards, licensing boards, the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission
  • Business transactions: purchase and sale agreements, mergers, acquisitions
  • Business litigation: business disputes, contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duties, stockholder or partnership disputes
  • Business contracts including non-compete agreements and non-solicitation agreements
  • Real estate law: leases of property for your hotel or restaurant, financing, zoning and land use, landlord and tenant law issues
  • Employment law: wrongful termination, discrimination, drafting employee manuals, non-compete agreements, employment contracts, wage and hour matters, tip pooling and matters arising under the Massachusetts Tip Act
  • Intellectual property, trademark and patent law: trademark and copyright registration and infringement, trade secrets and litigation
  • Business dissolution
  • Reorganizations
  • Insurance and liability matters, including premises liability and personal injury
  • Shareholder matters
  • Financing
  • Taxes and filing

Representative Experience

Represented restauranter in permitting and licensing of high-end restaurant in Boston, including representation before the City of Boston Licensing Board and highly publicized purchase of a liquor license.

  • Served as co-trial counsel and obtained a defense verdict after a four-day jury trial in Suffolk Superior Court for a group of national restaurants on all counts in a lawsuit involving wrongful termination and discrimination claims.
  • Successfully represented hotel in putative class action for misrepresenting the size of their hotel rooms.
  • Defended a restaurant in a class action and a collective action for alleged wage violations; negotiated an advantageous settlement that was less than the cost of defense.
  • Represented Garrett Harker relative to the buyout from Row 34 and Island Creek restaurants.
  • Business “divorces,” and stockholder disputes, including the following, which were litigated in various courts, involving millions of dollars (many others, not listed below, have been settled without litigation and are therefore not public):
    • Marc Berkowitz vs. Legal Seafoods, Inc. (represented employee/minority stockholder in business dispute involving his brother, mother and father)
    • James Cafarelli v. Todd English et al. (represented minority stockholder in dispute resulting in division of business assets)
    • Newbury Guest House and Harborside Inn (represented son/stockholder in dispute involving family-owned hotels)
    • Gilcorp, Inc. (represented company owning several restaurants and majority stockholder in employee/ stockholder dispute)
    • Barnsider Group (represented employee/minority stockholder of company owning chain of restaurants resulting in settlement of stockholder dispute)
    • Davio’s Restaurant (represented restaurant in wrongful termination case decided in favor of employer after jury trial)
    • Formaggio Kitchens (represented employee/ minority stockholder suit against majority stockholder of gourmet food business resulting in buyout of majority stockholder)
    • Porthole Pub and Restaurant (represented employee/minority stockholder in family owned business)
    • Tapeo, Inc. (represented majority stockholder and company in suit involving minority stockholder owners of company)
    • Vinny Testa’s (represented minority stockholder/employee in dispute with majority stockholders)
    • Davio’s Restaurant (represented restaurant in wrongful termination case decided in favor of employer after jury trial)

Representative Clients

Al’s Café
Aquitaine Group
Bon Chon Cambridge
Bristol Hotels and Restaurants
Castle Island Brewing
Dairy Queen (Franchisee)
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouses
Doubletree Hotel
Eastern Standard
Finn’s Seafood & Grill
Formaggio Kitchen
G Bar and Kitchen
Giacomo’s Ristorante
Gray Lily Rose LLC
Great Taste Bakery and Restaurant
Hay Creek Hotels and Restaurants
HEI Hospitality, LLC
jm Curley
Kika Tapas
Lala’s Pizza
Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott Residence Inn
Merritt Hospitality, LLC
Sea Level Oyster Bar
Shan Dong Dumpling House
Solea Restaurant
Sugar & Spice
Taberna de Haro
The Liberty Hotel
The Salty Dog
The Sheraton, LLC
Tom Yum Yang
Veggie Galaxy Diner

As your lawyers, we will take the time to learn about your hotel, restaurant or bar. Getting to know you, your business and the services you offer will help us develop legal strategies that are  in line with your objectives while providing advice and counsel to protect your interests.

To speak with a hotel and restaurant law attorney call Managing Partner Jim Rudolph at 617.723.7700 or contact us online.

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