Our attorneys routinely handle complex commercial disputes and regulatory investigations for hospitality, leisure, and gaming clients, both in the U.S. and around the globe. Williams & Connolly advises real estate developers, restaurant brands, hospitality technology companies, and owners and operators of hotel and leisure properties, such as private equity firms and pension funds. The firm also has substantial experience representing gaming and casino owners and operators, including those doing business domestically and overseas, as well as Native American gaming interests. Williams & Connolly advises on a wide variety of disputes for clients in this industry, including antitrust matters, class actions, employment and management disputes, trademark and intellectual property, breach of contract, and property development disputes, among others. Williams & Connolly also represents hospitality and leisure clients in criminal investigations including before Congressional committees, attorneys general, and regulatory agencies.
Hospitality, leisure, and gaming clients come to Williams & Connolly with their most complex disputes, many of which are bet-the-company matters. Recently, the firm secured a major victory on behalf of Booking.com, one of the world’s largest online travel agencies, in a closely watched intellectual property case before the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Court held that the addition of “.com” to a generic term can create a protectable trademark, thereby preserving the company’s most valuable asset.
The firm is nationally recognized by leading publications for its service to clients. Chambers Global and Chambers USA have consistently ranked Williams & Connolly among the top firms for International & Cross-Border Disputes. For over a decade, Vault has consistently ranked the firm among the top ten firms in the U.S. for General Commercial Litigation, and Forbes also has named Williams & Connolly among its list of “America’s Top Trusted Corporate Law Firms.”
Some of the firm’s matters include representing:
- A global hospitality company in connection with a Congressional investigation concerning the company’s response to COVID-19.
- A global hospitality company in a dispute with a provider of IT infrastructure regarding performance questions and pricing issues under a service contract.
- Galaxy Entertainment Group, a leading Hong Kong‑based hospitality and gaming company, in a trial win in the New York Supreme Court’s Commercial Division on claims related to Galaxy’s convertible bond issuance, followed by successful representation of Galaxy on two rounds of appeal, both of which upheld that victory.
- A Native American casino company in a dispute against a major construction company in connection with defective construction claims arising from a resort and casino project.
- A global gaming content and technology company in a trademark dispute concerning the company’s slot machine and potential infringement by a competitor's machine.
- A tribal nation challenging grant of a state casino license.
- A recreational charter company before the Ninth Circuit concerning a false advertising claim under the Lanham Act.
- A major cruise line, its officers, and the officers of the largest cargo line in the world in cases involving Clean Water Act criminal investigations into illegal discharges of pollutants in United States waterways.
- A leading international space tourism company in various contract-based and other disputes relating to private space travel to the International Space Station. The cases have involved matters of Russian, Swedish, Nevada, and Virginia statutory, corporate, and common law.
- A financial services company in response to gaming investigations by the United States Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) and a United States Attorney's Office regarding the adequacy of controls related to its anti-money laundering compliance.
- A multinational video game company in connection with a complaint alleging patent infringement.
- A major international hotel chain in ICC arbitrations with various owners.
- A restaurant chain in a dispute over ownership and associated intellectual property.
- A national food franchisor defending against an array of business tort claims alleging that the client misappropriated technology for its own use.
- Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews as U.S. counsel in business disputes including an antitrust action where the complaint was dismissed before trial.
- A British hotel chain in a dispute with a Hong Kong hotel management company in an arbitration seated in London.
- A global entertainment company in a dispute over the development of a theme park.
- A gaming technology company in a class action challenging the lottery game “Keno.”
- A private equity fund and hotel owner in an arbitration with a global hotel operator regarding territorial restrictions.