Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Robertson

Mark Robertson

Partner, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

Mark Robertson has more than 20 years of experience practicing law in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Sutherland, he spent 17 years with Hilton Worldwide, Inc., ultimately as senior vice president and assistant general counsel responsible for the company's operations, brand and commercial services teams. He managed the full array of business and legal issues relating to international and domestic operations and services for more than 3,500 owned, leased, licensed, franchised and affiliated properties across 10 different hotel brands. Mr. Robertson has extensive experience in information technology, information services, intellectual property, eCommerce, procurement and outsourcing law, having been involved in negotiating, structuring, drafting, implementing and overseeing all manner of purchase and outsourcing agreements. His diverse experience includes oversight of marketing, branding and public relations; crisis management; compliance; joint ventures; new ventures; antitrust and competition; internet distribution; sales; mergers and acquisitions; and franchising and development. Earlier in his career, Mr. Robertson practiced real estate and environmental law at a firm in Los Angeles, California. Prior to law school, he served as a foreign service officer in the U.S. Department of State. His work there took him to diplomatic assignments around the world, including Italy, Canada, Lebanon and the Yemen Arab Republic. Mr. Robertson is admitted to The State Bar of California. He has submitted his application to the District of Columbia Bar. His work is supervised by District of Columbia bar members.

Mr. Robertson can be contacted at 202-383-0945 or mark.robertson@sutherland.com

Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.