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JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® announces publication of The HMA Handbook,
a FREE practical guide for negotiating Hotel Management Agreements for
Hotel Owners, Developers, Investors and Lenders


LOS ANGELES—March 11, 2011The Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM) today announced the release of The HMA Handbook, a practical guide for hotel owners, developers, investors and lenders negotiating, re-negotiating or terminating hotel management agreements (HMAs).

Co-authored by JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® Chairman, Jim Butler, and Partner and Senior Member of the Group, Robert E. Braun, The HMA Handbook draws on articles from JMBM’s Hotel Law Blog and is the second book in JMBM’s "We Wrote the Book" series. In the book’s Foreword, 
James J. Eyster, professor emeritus of hotel finance and real estate at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration refers to the authors as lawyers who “work at the highest levels and cutting edge of the industry”.

“The hotel management agreement is critically important for every party with an interest in a hotel,” said Butler, whose Group has negotiated, litigated and advised on more than 1,000 HMAs. “Our experience consistently demonstrates that the hotel management agreement can add or subtract as much as 25 percent of the value of a hotel. Owners don't want to give up that kind of value if they know there is an alternative.”

“We specialize in representing owners, developers, investors and lenders — not the traditional hotel brands,” said Braun. “The big hotel operators have teams of experienced lawyers and business people whose full time job is to negotiate these agreements day-in and day-out. Owners are not in the business of negotiating hotel management agreements. That puts them at a big disadvantage in dealing with the operators, unless they hire experienced business and legal advisors to make up for the owner's gaps in hotel industry knowledge and bargaining leverage.

Key topics

The HMA Handbook explains why hotels are different from every other class of real estate investment and demystifies industry terms and jargon. Written in plain English, The Handbook covers three broad topics of concern to every hotel owner, developer, investor or lender at some point in their involvement with a hotel investment:

1. How to get a great hotel operator
  • Two of the most important things you will ever do for your hotel
  • The 5 biggest mistakes hotel owners make in selecting operators and negotiating hotel management agreements
  • Why hotel owners need an HMA PRO™ to identify and retain the best operator for its hotel
  • Hotel mixed-use case study
2. What you need in your Hotel Management Agreement
  • What to do before you start negotiating your hotel management agreement
  • Hotel management agreement performance standards and why they matter
  • 5 keys for good budget provisions in the hotel management agreement
  • Indemnification provisions
  • SNDAs or Subordination Agreements affect the value, financeability, and collateral value of a hotel
  • Exculpation Clauses – protecting the owner's assets
3. How to terminate a Hotel Management Agreement
  • Terminating hotel management agreements when things don't work? Not easy, but not impossible either
  • Fixing hotel management agreements that don't work
  • Hotel Management Agreement hell – our perspective
  • How to terminate a hotel management agreement when an operator really deserves it
  • Terminating hotel management agreements: Thunder over Woodley Road
  • Terminating hotel management agreements without liability – the alchemy of lead to gold for troubled hotels and hotel loans? 
Register for your free copy
“For years, clients have asked for a practical guide to help them get a leg up on the steep learning curve about hotel management agreements,” said Butler. “That’s why we decided to make the Handbook available at no charge to hotel owners, developers, investors and lenders.”

To register for a free copy of The HMA Handbook, go to

The “We Wrote the Book” series includes The Lenders Handbook for Troubled Hotels and The HMA Handbook. The practical handbooks, written by respected business and legal advisors, are published by the Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP (JMBM). 

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®
The hotel lawyers in the Global Hospitality Group® of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell (JMBM) comprise the premier hospitality practice in a full-service law firm and are the authors of the Hotel Law Blog. We represent hotel owners, developers, investors and lenders and have helped our clients find business and legal solutions for more than $60 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 1,200 properties worldwide. For more information about the Global Hospitality Group®, go to For more information about full range of legal services provided by JMBM, go to

Jim Butler
[email protected]

Robert E. Braun
[email protected]


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Hotel Lawyer on Hotel Management Agreements: Exculpation Clauses for Protecting the Owner's Assets / Jim Butler / February 2011

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Hotel Lawyer: So, You Think You Want to Buy a Hotel? For savvy investors, the time could be right / Jim Butler / January 2011

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ADA Defense Lawyer: California's Certified Access Specialist program -- Does it provide all of the intended ADA protections? / Jim Butler / December 2010

How "Standards" Can Protect Your Hotel Mixed-use Assets . . . / Jim Butler / November 2010

Hotel Lawyer: Checklist for Negotiating Hotel Management Agreements/Hotel Operating Agreements - The HMA PRO™ Checklist / Jim Butler / November 2010

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