Retail, Leisure & Hotels

Retailers, leisure operators and hotel developers, investors and franchisees compete in some of the world's most challenging and fast-changing sectors. Now more than ever, you need legal advisers who embrace change and give you the commercial, pragmatic and insightful advice your business needs to thrive.

Gowling WLG's retail, franchise, leisure and hotels teams work across all disciplines, including advertising and marketing, intellectual property, real estate, finance, franchising, corporate, employment and equalities, commercial contracts and IT, privacy and data protection and dispute resolution.

We work alongside some of the most successful and innovative retail, leisure and hotel businesses and franchises, as well as hotel developers and investors, ranging from FTSE 100 companies to smaller, innovative start-ups. And we use that experience for your benefit.

With over 1,500 legal professionals in offices across Canada, as well as in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, we offer you counsel on any business issue - from coast to coast and around the world, in a host of languages.

Retail & leisure

  • We clear price promotional strategies to manage the risk of regulatory issues, challenge competitors on their comparative advertising, defend retailers against complaints and negotiate local and international contracts with advertising agencies and celebrities.
  • We advise all types of retailer and leisure operators on their use of data to improve personalisation and customer engagement. Our commercial contracts and IT lawyers have worked on some of the most exciting commercial and technology projects in the retail sector.
  • Acquiring the right space quickly and on the right terms can help you gain competitive advantage. If you are looking at prime pitches, you need lawyers who can work to the timescales agreed, with the minimum of fuss, while obtaining sensible terms.
  • Our Corporate team has real in-depth sector knowledge and experience, which is vital in supporting growth through fundraising and/or acquisition or expanding internationally through strategic joint ventures.
  • Our lawyers can help you raise funds for existing and new chains; we advise investors and founding families on realising their investments often through sale, listing or equity release; and on acquiring existing portfolios.
  • We handle all aspects and types of construction and engineering projects and can help you quickly secure your objectives and avoid potential pitfalls.
  • Our employment and equalities lawyers advise retailers on everything from contract and policy reviews, equal pay and TUPE through to assisting with employee investigations and successfully defending Tribunal claims using our award-winning methodology.
  • If something goes wrong, or a dispute arises, you want the best possible solution for your business. Our first priority in any dispute is always to understand your commercial objectives. After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your case, we'll work with you to pick a strategy that gets you to where you want to be.
  • Regulatory investigations lead to business interruption, adverse publicity, lost management time, cost and potentially fines (or even prison). Our team will invest time getting to know your business operations to help prevent regulatory breaches and hit the ground running if something happens.

Dedicated to your franchise needs

With a team of professionals dedicated exclusively to franchise and distribution law, we help you launch and expand your businesses through franchising, both nationally and internationally. We work closely with you to ensure the most effective means of expansion including master franchise, area development and multi-unit development, as well as licence and distribution arrangements.

We're committed to your success across all stages of the franchise process. Whether it's dealing with complex regulatory and compliance issues, drafting a franchise agreement for use in multiple jurisdictions, protecting your intellectual property, or assisting with the management of the franchisor-franchisee relationship.


You need lawyers who understand your world, and the many stakeholders involved in hotel acquisition and development projects. As a leading adviser in the hotels industry, our cross-disciplinary hotels team works closely alongside owners, investors, developers, funders and managers on hotel acquisition and development projects around the globe.

Our corporate lawyers advise on: acquisitions and disposals of hotels, luxury resorts and developments; hotel management agreements; franchise agreements and direct agreements/non-disturbance agreements.

Our specialist hotel finance lawyers can advise you on everything from financing facilities for full-service luxury hotels to restructuring debt finance arrangements secured on hotel assets. We also advise on all aspects of property acquisition and disposal.

Learn more

To get in touch and discover how we can help business succeed, please contact any member of our team.

Key contacts

Related pages