Press Release
March 28, 2011

Goodwin Advises Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. on Award-Winning W London – Leicester Square

A team of Goodwin Procter attorneys, led by the firm’s London office hospitality practice, has served as legal advisors to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. on various aspects of the development of Starwood’s new flagship hotel, W London – Leicester Square, the W brand's 40th hotel globally. Set in the center of London's West End entertainment scene, the property was recently named a winner in the prestigious MIPIM awards competition, which recognizes outstanding global real estate projects in various categories.

The Goodwin team provided legal advice and services related to Starwood’s leasehold interest in the hotel component of this mixed use project, including lease negotiation, a design consulting services agreement and other related documents for the hotel, as well as the negotiation of an agreement for the Spice Market Restaurant located at the property and the negotiation of various tri-party agreements with the project’s developer and the anchor retail tenant.  Goodwin’s work with Starwood on this project spanned approximately four years, commencing in 2007. 

“This was an extremely high-profile project within the hospitality industry and one with strategic importance to our client, both for establishing the W brand in London and for further fueling global expansion for W,” said Matthew Pohlman, a Goodwin attorney based in London.  “These factors, combined with a very challenging economic environment, required close collaboration between the Starwood and Goodwin teams.”

“The result was a truly exciting and satisfying project experience, particularly given our opportunity to see and experience the quality of the design, build and operations of this hotel firsthand.” 

W London – Leicester Square was selected as “Best UK Project,” for the MIPIM Awards 2011 by combined vote of a jury composed of international industry experts and MIPIM participants. It was also a finalist in the “Global Hotel Development of the Year” category.  More than 100 real estate projects from 27 countries were entered in the competition. The MIPIM Awards ceremony took place in Cannes on March 10. 

The hotel is part of a new 10-storey building that includes retail, leisure and residential accommodation spread over 200,000 square feet. It features 192 guest rooms, including 17 suites, three WOW suites and one Extreme WOW suite as well as the UK's first Spice Market, a signature restaurant by three Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.  The retail component will be anchored by the first European M&M’s World retail outlet.

W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 40 hotels and retreats in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world.  W Hotels is on track to reach more than 50 hotels by the end of 2012.  Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1025 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties.

The Goodwin team was led by Brian Smith and Matthew Pohlman.