Clifford J. Risman



Cliff Risman is a veteran real estate lawyer who represents companies that develop, own, operate and finance hotels and resorts around the world. As co-chair of the firm's Hospitality & Leisure Industry Team and a member of the Real Estate Practice, 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 that arise in real estate law, he knows the hospitality industry and its unique business and economic issues, 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
  • Belmond Hotels
  • Brook Partners
  • Canyon Equity
  • Capella Hotel Group (f/k/a West Paces Hotel Group)
  • Caydon USA
  • Centurion American
  • ClubCorp
  • Colony Capital
  • Drever Capital Management
  • Galaxy Reality Capital
  • Gencom Group
  • Grupo Inmobiliario Mosa S.A. de C.V.
  • Grupo Posadas
  • Hall Group
  • HCW Development Company
  • Hines
  • Hixon Properties
  • Hudson Advisors
  • KSL Capital Partners
  • Linx Industries
  • Lone Star Funds
  • LW Hospitality Advisors
  • Morgans Hotel Group
  • Mosaic Real Estate
  • NYLO Hotels
  • Omni Hotels & Resorts
  • OYO Hotels
  • Revolution Resorts
  • Ryman Hospitality (f/k/a Gaylord Entertainment)
  • Second City Capital Partners
  • Spire Hospitality
  • Texas Central Partners
  • Traditions Management
  • Vail Resorts
  • Veritex Bank
  • Westdale Real Estate

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, International Society of Hospitality Consultants
  • Member, Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys
  • Member, Global Alliance of Hospitality Attorneys
  • Director and Past President, Hospitality Industry Bar Association
  • Member, Urban Land Institute
  • Member, State Bar of Texas
  • Member, American Bar Association
    • Member, Real Property Section
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association
  • Member, International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate
  • Member, The Real Estate Council

Community Involvement

  • Board of Directors, Dallas Contemporary Museum
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dallas Art Fair Foundation
  • Co-Chair, Tribute to Fallen Heroes

Honors & Awards

  • Honored, Anthony G. Marshall Hospitality Law Award, presented by (2018)
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of:
    • Leisure and Hospitality Law (2013-2022)
    • Real Estate Law (2013-2022)
  • Recognized, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Tom Wicker ed., Chambers & Partners)
    • Leisure & Hospitality (Nationwide) (2009-2021)
    • Real Estate (Texas) (2009-2015, 2018)
  • Recognized, The Legal 500 United States
    • Real Estate (2013)
  • Recognized, Texas Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters business, as published in Texas Super Lawyers Magazine
    • Real Estate (2003-2017)
  • Recognized, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system


  • Syracuse University College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1984)
  • Syracuse University Whitman School of Management (B.S., magna cum laude, 1980)


  • Texas (1984)

Representative Matters

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Represented The NEXUS Luxury Collection in connection with the formation of a joint venture for the development and ownership of a high end golf themed indoor entertainment venue concept with food & beverage, the leasing of space for the initial venue, the venue management and branding arrangements various celebrity endorsement agreements.
Leading the multi-disciplinary Foley team that is representing a group of affiliated receivers in connection with a portfolio of 46 hotels in 14 States as to which the owner defaulted on over $800,000,000 in CMBS debt including the negotiation and entering of receivership orders in multiple jurisdictions, negotiating new management agreements with multiple third party management companies, negotiating new franchise agreements as well various liquor, tax and other operational matters and the preparation of the portfolio for sale.
Represented the seller in the sale of the Westin Riverwalk hotel located in San Antonio, Texas.