Gary Axelrod, Global Co-Chair of the firm’s Hospitality, Gaming & Leisure Industry Group, and former Global Co-Chair of the Real Estate Practice, advises clients on many of their most complex and highest-profile real estate transactions.

Nationally recognized as a leading transactional lawyer in both the real estate and hospitality industries, Mr. Axelrod delivers creative and strategic counsel to private equity sponsors and funds, institutional investors, operating companies, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and entrepreneurial developers. His experience spans all types of transactions and asset classes, with a particular focus on hotels, resorts, and gaming properties. He also brings substantial experience advising on international projects, including in Canada, China, Dubai, India, Abu Dhabi, and Mexico.

Mr. Axelrod regularly advises on transactions related to:

  • Complex single-asset acquisitions and dispositions
  • Portfolio acquisitions and dispositions
  • Entity-level mergers and acquisitions
  • Joint ventures, including platform and strategic joint ventures and public-private partnerships
  • Development projects
  • Debt and equity financings
  • Bankruptcies and restructurings, including complex asset-level and corporate-level restructurings

He is consistently recognized by leading industry publications, including Chambers USA, The Legal 500 US, Law360, and Leading Lawyers Network

Mr. Axelrod also supports community causes by serving as a board member for the Anti-Defamation League, Midwest and assisting clients on a pro bono basis, including in connection with community outreach programs.

He regularly frequently serves on the Advisory Boards for Real Estate Law360 and Hospitality Law360, and was licensed as a certified public accountant in 1994.

Representative clients include:

  • Apollo Global Real Estate
  • Ascendant Capital Partners
  • Atrium Hotels
  • B&B Hotels
  • Dune Real Estate Partners
  • GEM Realty Capital
  • Haberhill
  • Hersha Hospitality Trust
  • HHM
  • Highgate Capital Investments LP
  • Junius Real Estate Partners
  • Kayne Anderson Real Estate
  • KHP Capital Partners
  • Loews Hotels
  • MCR Development
  • Monarch Alternative Capital
  • Peterson Companies
  • Playa Hotels & Resorts
  • Remedy Medical Properties
  • Riller Capital
  • Schulte Hospitality
  • Starwood Capital Group
  • Walton Street Capital

Mr. Axelrod’s experience includes advising:

  • Highgate Capital Investments LP in its acquisition of the Viceroy Hotel Group
  • Public company and private investor in connection with the development of a mixed-use project in the City of Miami
  • Private equity fund in formation of two development pools for investing in single-family home rental portfolios
  • Hersha Hospitality Trust in go-private transaction with KSL Capital Partners valued at US$ 1.4 billion
  • Highgate Capital Investments LP in its US$1.5 billion go-private acquisition of CorePoint Lodging, a publicly-traded REIT
  • Highgate Capital Investments LPin its US$2.8 billion acquisition of Colony Capital’s 197 hotel investment platform
  • Ascendant Capital in its US$450 million joint venture with respect to preferred equity PIPE and warrants in Watermark Lodging Trust
  • Highgate Capital Investments LP in its US$3.5 billion acquisition of Colony Capital’s Wellness platform
  • Closely held real estate investment company in its US$516.3 million acquisition of Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, a gaming resort, from Caesars Entertainment
  • Highgate Capital Investments LP in its US$50 million joint venture with respect to preferred equity PIPE and warrants in American Hotel Income Properties
  • A real estate private equity fund in its PropCo and OpCo investment in a combination contemporary art museum and boutique hotel chain
  • C losely held real estate investment company in its ground lease for a new-build hotel and casino in Maryland and subsequent bond financing
  • Private equity fund in a development joint venture for a luxury hotel-anchored mixed-use project
  • Private equity fund in the acquisition of a more than 1,700 single-family home rental portfolio
  • Loews Hotels in a public-private partnership for the development of two flagship convention center hotels
  • Private equity fund in the formation of two Freddie Mac-focused debt funds
  • Starwood Capital Group in a joint venture for a mixed-use project involving two, dual-branded hotels in Nashville
  • Remedy Medical Properties in acquisitions of large, medical office building portfolios
  • Starwood Capital Group in its acquisition of TMI Hospitality, an owner and operator of more than 200 hotels
  • MCR Development in the acquisition and financing of a portfolio of 18 Marriott and Hilton hotels across 11 states in the US
  • Private equity fund in the acquisition of multiple portfolios of manufactured housing communities
  • Hersha Hospitality Management in numerous joint ventures and company-level recapitalization
  • KHP Capital Partners in the sale of Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, an operator of boutique hotels and restaurants, to the InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Walton Street Capital in a joint venture acquisition of mezzanine debt, foreclosure, and senior mortgage restructuring secured by a hotel in Hawaii
  • KHP Capital Partners in the redevelopment of an office building into a boutique lifestyle hotel, as well as the related financing
  • Private - equity owned manufactured housing operator in the restructuring of approximately US$1.6 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities debt
  • Private-equity owned golf club operator in the restructuring of mortgage and mezzanine debt and the implementation of a debt-for-equity exchange
  • General Growth Properties in the bankruptcy and restructuring of more than US$10 billion of debt
  • MCR Development in the acquisition and financing (including loan assumptions) of a 26 hotel and operating company portfolio
  • Hersha Hospitality Trust in a US$200 million notes offering
  • GEM Realty Capital in the acquisition and financing of a luxury hotel in San Francisco
  • Kerzner International in the management, development, and ownership of six-star international resort projects, including in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Mexico
  • International hotel brand operator in the US$650 million acquisition of a national hotel chain, including 60 owned hotels
  • International hotel brand operator in the ground lease, financing, construction, and management of a flagship convention center hotel
  • International hotel brand operator in the US$325 million sale of four hotels in Sardinia, Italy, and a joint venture to develop approximately 6,000 acres of undeveloped land
  • Merchant developer in the restructuring of US$650 million of debt

Bar Qualification

  • Illinois


  • JD, University of Illinois College of Law, 1997
    magna cum laude
  • BS, University of Illinois, 1994
    with high honors
Axelrod, Gary E.
October 24, 2023 Recognition

MVP: Gary Axelrod

The Chicago-based Global Co-Chair of Latham’s Hospitality, Gaming & Leisure Industry Group, recognized for representing Flynn Properties in a joint venture with Värde Partners and their US$1.1 billion purchase of an 80% interest in 89 select service and extended stay hotels from Highgate Hotels and Cerberus Capital Management.