Clifford J. Risman - Gardere

Clifford J. Risman

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013

Cliff Risman is a veteran business lawyer who represents companies that develop, own, operate and finance hotels around the world. As a leading attorney in the Firm's hospitality industry team and real estate practice group, Cliff is described by clients in the Chambers USA Guide as "very practical and always accessible." Clients choose Cliff over competitors because he speaks the language and fully understands every aspect of their business – from securing capital, structuring deals and negotiating management contracts, to guiding clients through labor, tax, food and beverage, and operational matters and disputes.

Cliff represents luxury and boutique hotel and resort brands, operators and management companies, developers, private equity and other investors in their highest profile projects. He understands how to best tackle the various agreements – he knows the hospitality industry and the unique business and economic issues that arise – and he has guided clients through many complex matters and dispute resolutions. Cliff ensures that clients are protected, focuses intently on their broader business goals, and knows how, where and when to push to get the deal done as quickly as possible.

He also represents leading marketing, technology and other vendors that provide important services to the hospitality industry and has represented the following clients throughout the United States and abroad:

  • Aimbridge Hospitality LP
  • Brook Partners
  • Canyon Equity
  • Capella Hotel Group (f/k/a West Paces Hotel Group)
  • ClubCorp
  • Creswin Properties
  • Gencom Group
  • Grupo Inmobiliario Mosa S.A. de C.V.
  • HCW Development Company
  • Hines
  • Hixon Properties
  • Hudson Advisors
  • KSL Capital Partners
  • Lone Star Funds
  • Morgans Hotel Group
  • NYLO Hotels
  • Range Development
  • Revolution Resorts
  • Riverside Resources
  • Ryman Hospitality (f/k/a Gaylord Entertainment)
  • Second City Capital Partners
  • Traditions Management
  • Vail Resorts

Additional Information

  • Represent Capella Hotel Group (f/k/a West Paces Hotel Group) in connection with numerous domestic and international hotel management, technical services and license arrangements in the United States, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia, as well as sliver equity investments for their SOLÍS and Capella luxury and ultra-luxury brands and numerous independent properties, and its strategic alliance with the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program at Auburn University
  • Represented the Capella Hotel Group (the US based operator of the luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico formerly known as the Capella Cabo) in a dispute with the lender and eventual owner concerning the management and branding of the resort. The dispute was settled on a confidential basis after litigation in New York, California and Mexico as well as the commencement of an ICC arbitration governed by Mexican law
  • Represented the ownership groups in connection with the development, debt and equity financing, branding, and operation of The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, and The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, the acquisition and redevelopment of The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua and the planned Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, and the structuring, development and financing of a number of planned Ritz-Carlton branded lodging, residential and mixed use projects in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean


    Syracuse University Whitman School of ManagementBS 1980Syracuse University College of LawJ.D. 1984
    International Society of Hospitality ConsultantsAcademy of Hospitality Industry AttorneysGlobal Alliance of Hospitality AttorneysHospitality Industry Bar AssociationAmerican Bar AssociationDallas Bar Association

    Office Location

    2021 McKinney Avenue, Suite 1600
    Dallas, TX 75201
    United States

    Practice Areas

    Leisure and Hospitality Law
    Real Estate Law