The Newark office of global law firm K&L Gates LLP has added a team of lawyers to its resort, hospitality and leisure and restructuring and insolvencypractices. Partner Scott G. McLester joins K&L Gates from Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, where he served as executive vice president and general counsel, while partner Daniel M. Eliades and of counsels David S. Catuogno and William L. Waldman — each with nearly three decades of experience — arrive from LeClairRyan.
In his capacity as general counsel, corporate secretary, and chief compliance officer for Wyndham, McLester led a global team of nearly 75 lawyers responsible for such areas as hotel, timeshare, franchise, employment, intellectual property, and information technology law, litigation, commercial transactions, corporate governance, compliance and ethics, SEC and NYSE reporting, board of director reporting and communications, and government relations. He was appointed general counsel in 2006 after having previously held multiple titles at Wyndham’s predecessor company Cendant Corporation.
Eliades represents franchisors in out-of-court workouts with distressed franchisees, as well as collection and enforcement litigation, and appears on behalf of franchisors in bankruptcy cases throughout the United States. He advises timeshare developers, resort owners, associations, and exchange companies in a variety of debtor and creditor issues, and assists financial institutions, finance entities, automobile lessors, real estate holding companies, and other entities in loan restructurings, compositions, commercial collection and foreclosure actions, lease financing, and many phases of bankruptcy matters.
Catuogno advises creditors, particularly institutional lenders and franchisors in the hospitality industry, in Chapter 7 and 11 proceedings, intellectual property protection, and in other litigation and administrative matters. He also routinely represents financial institutions and lenders in conjunction with challenged loans in workouts and litigation matters involving bankruptcy restructurings and liquidations.
Waldman also concentrates his practice on creditors’ rights, including representing financial institutions in workouts, foreclosures, enforcement of security agreements, bankruptcy, real estate transactions, and many aspects of commercial litigation, such as pre-trial discovery, trials, and enforcement of federal and state judgments, as well as foreclosures in the hospitality industry. He also has significant experience negotiating and drafting various types of agreements, contracts, and other transactional matters.
“We are pleased and excited to have Scott, Dan, Bill, and Dave join the K&L Gates global platform,” said Anthony P. La Rocco, managing partner of K&L Gates’ Newark office. “Combining Scott’s decades of experience leading major hospitality, franchise, and other global enterprises in and through various areas of law with the depth of knowledge and decades of experience that Dan’s team has serving franchise and hospitality clients, we greatly enhance our ability to service this industry segment and continue to grow the firm’s hospitality practice.”
K&L Gates’ resort, hospitality and leisure practice represents clients including developers, investors, lenders, construction companies, management companies and franchisors, and operators and franchisees in complicated, large-scale, urban, and resort hotel projects in areas across the firm’s global platform.
With more than 65 bankruptcy lawyers, the restructuring and insolvency practice has handled numerous mergers and acquisitions of distressed resort and hotel properties and associated note purchases and sales for lenders and investors, as well as loan restructurings, asset-based lending, secured transactions, intellectual property protection and overall financial restructuring.