Picture of Jim Butler

Jim Butler is a founding partner of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP, and founder and chairman of the Firm’s Global Hospitality Group®. One of the top hotel lawyers in the world, he devotes 100% of his practice to hospitality, providing unmatched hotel business experience and practical legal advice.

Jim and his team represent lenders, owners, developers, independent management companies and capital providers on their hotel projects worldwide. The Group brings more than 30 years’ of hotel experience with more than 4,700 hospitality properties located around the globe valued at more than $125 billion. They have worked on more than 2,700 hotel management and franchise agreements and more than 100 hotel mixed-use developments. 

They have worked on many hundreds or even thousands of acquisitions, sales, developments, brandings, repositionings, financings, and other hotel business transactions as well as complex hotel litigation under Common Law and Civil Law legal systems. They have handled more than 2,000 hotel receiverships and bankruptcies and even more workouts for distressed assets.

How do they work anywhere in the world? Location is not an issue on any significant project because most of their work is done by telephone, virtual meetings, and email. This enables Jim and the Group to provide their services across all time zones, making physical office location immaterial. They often work with regional advisors for handling local law permits or regulatory issues.

He is frequently quoted as an expert on hotel issues by national and industry publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Hotel Business, Thomson Reuters, and Bloomberg News. He is also the author of www.HotelLawBlog.com, and serves as an expert witness in hospitality matters.


J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Order of the Coif, Editor, California Law Review

A.B., University of California, Berkeley
Great Distinction (highest academic designation), Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha

Bar Admissions State Bar of California
State Bar of Nevada

Member, International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC)

Founder and Seminar Chair, The Hospitality Industry Forum, 1991-present

Faculty, University of California, Los Angeles Extension

Faculty, University of Southern California, Advanced Professional Program

Awards & Recognition
  • Super Lawyers – Listed as a Southern California Super Lawyer in real estate (2009-2024)
  • Daily Journal – Listed in Top Development Lawyers (2014)
  • Los Angeles Business Journal – Listed in Who's Who in Real Estate (2013)
  • Daily Journal – Listed in Top Real Estate Lawyers (2012)
  • Daily Journal, Listed in Real Estate Dealmakers (2011)