The end of Opco/Propco structures in the hotel industry?

18 February 2019

In the UK market, the tax regime has been an important driver behind Opco/Propco structures. Until now, it has normally been tax efficient for the property interest to be held in an offshore company (the Propco) and leased to an onshore operating entity (the Opco) for the simple reason that any growth in value of the underlying property has then escaped UK tax. From 6 April 2019 that is going to change. As from that date, the UK is extending the scope of capital gains tax so that increases in the value of property after that date will fall into charge to UK tax on a sale or other disposal of the land even if the owner of the property is offshore.

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Council challenges Sadiq’s hotel call-in

8 February 2019

In November 2018, London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, called in the Kensington Forum Hotel application which had previously been refused by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RKBC) planning committee (primarily for the reason of insufficiently high design quality and harm to the surrounding area). The Mayor’s first reason given for the call-in was that […]

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2018 in numbers!

17 January 2019

The hotel industry loves statistics and we do certainly get bombarded with them.  However, our friends over at Savills recently reported the following interesting stats which we thought were worth sharing.

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Case Update: Using a franchisor’s name without a franchise agreement

13 December 2018

The recent case of Ghias v (1) Grill’O Xpress Ltd (2) Malik considered the compensation payable where a franchise brand is used after the termination of the franchise agreement without the permission of the brand owner.

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No way, CVA: how to downsize without entering into a Company Voluntary Agreement

3 December 2018

The CVA has been this year’s buzzword, but there are other ways to slim down a restaurant estate, says real estate partner Matthew Williams, who was recently invited by BigHospitality to discuss the issues involved.

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Marriott Hotels breach – UK regulators involved

30 November 2018

UK data protection regulator the ICO has confirmed that it has received notification from Marriott Hotels regarding the widely reported hack (said to involve 500M consumers) involving the Starwood reservation system. The ICO says only that it is ‘making enquiries’.

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UK’s hotel sector stands firm in tough year

6 November 2018

HVS Chairman (London Office), Russell Kett, discusses how the hotels sector has “stood firm in what is proving a tough trading year”.

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What does the Autumn Budget 2018 mean for hospitality?

1 November 2018

Philip Hammond’s November 2018 Budget had some good news for the hospitality sector: the reduction in business rates for restaurants and others with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will reduce rates by a third; the lowering of the apprenticeship levy from 10% to 5% for small and medium sized enterprises should also assist […]

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Five rules for smart expansion

18 October 2018

Real estate partner Gavin Whitney was invited by BigHospitality to discuss how restaurateurs can plan for sustainable expansion, and considers the legal issues to be aware of.

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Restrictions in lease agreements: Competition law matters

21 September 2018

Alex Haffner, Competition Partner, discusses a recent case in which Heathrow Airport Limited was fined by the Competition and Markets Authority for lease restrictions which restricted a tenant’s freedom to set parking prices on a hotel property. The case is an important reminder that land agreements need to comply with the competition law rules and that parties can easily be caught out by restrictions which haven’t previously been considered from a competition law perspective.

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