Rachel Bates, Global Vice Chair of Latham's Real Estate Practice, advises clients on all aspects of their most complex and significant real estate transactions across a variety of asset classes, with a particular focus on the hospitality industry.

A nationally regarded real estate lawyer, Ms. Bates serves a broad range of market participants, including private equity sponsors, developers, leading hospitality brands, family offices, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and institutional investors. She frequently serves as a go-to advisor to real estate owners, operators, and developers on every facet of complex transactions.

Ms. Bates’ practice includes:

  • Single asset and portfolio acquisitions and dispositions
  • Development projects, including public-private partnerships
  • Joint ventures and other preferred equity structured vehicles
  • Financings, including mortgage, mezzanine, construction, and bridge financings
  • Management, franchise, and development agreements
  • Acquisitions of distressed debt
  • Repositioning of distressed assets through recapitalization or negotiated workouts

A versatile practitioner, Ms. Bates brings particular experience advising both owner and brand-side clients in the hospitality industry.

Ms. Bates delivers business-minded counsel to clients, with a focus on developing thoughtful and creative solutions. She helps clients mitigate potential risks while achieving their strategic objectives.

Ms. Bates also frequently advises clients on a pro bono basis. Her work includes child guardianship matters, U Visa cases, as well as affordable housing-related matters on behalf of the Chicago Community Loan Fund.

Ms. Bates is a member of CREW Chicago, an organization for senior-level executive women in the Chicago real estate field. She previously served on Latham’s Women Enriching Business (WEB) Steering Committee.

Ms. Bates' experience includes:

  • A real estate investment fund in the acquisition of hotel operating company and fee interest of 200+ hotels together with franchise and management agreements
  • Joint venture acquisition of mezzanine debt, foreclosure of such debt and senior mortgage restructuring secured by hotel in Hawaii
  • Joint venture to develop a convention center hotel, mortgage financing, public/private financing, and ground lease
  • US$1 billion portfolio sale of three luxury hotels
  • Acquisition of lifestyle hotel management platform for major hotel brand
  • Acquisition through a forward purchase of a four property hotel portfolio in Key West, mortgage financing, refinancing and ultimate disposition of the portfolio six years later
  • Disposition of luxury hotels and negotiation of long term management agreements for major hotel brand
  • Sale of five-star urban hotel and contemporaneous management agreements for three additional hotels
  • Acquisition and financing of luxury hotels in San Francisco and New York
  • Leading real estate investment trust in connection with a merger with a non-traded REIT resulting in a combined US$7 billion public company
  • Ground lease with purchase option for a to be developed cancer center and medical campus
  • Joint venture to develop multi-family housing project along with mortgage financing
  • Restructuring mortgage and mezzanine debt and implementing debt-for-equity exchange for golf club operator
  • Joint venture to develop multi-family housing projects along with mortgage financing
  • Leading real estate investment trust owning US$3.2 billion of property in connection with its corporate restructuring and US$500 million initial public offering equity offering
  • National industrial developer in connection with the formation of a joint venture for the acquisition and development of a US$750 million industrial facility for the National Nuclear Security Administration
  • Joint venture for the development of a mixed-use office retail, residential, grocery project; along with senior mortgage financing and mezzanine financing
  • Sale of Wrightwood Capital’s investment platform to Ares Commercial Real Estate
  • Joint venture of a specialized unit of a National Bank with a hotel operator for a programmatic hotel development platform
  • Acquisition and financing of a portfolio properties leased to public utilities

Bar Qualification

  • Illinois


  • JD, University of Tennessee College of Law, 2007
    summa cum laude
  • BA, University of South Carolina, 2003
    magna cum laude
Bates, Rachel S.K.
October 5, 2022 Recognition

MVP: Latham’s Rachel S.K. Bates

Latham & Watkins’ Rachel S.K. Bates advised Hyatt on the acquisition of Apple Leisure Group and represented the hotel giant in the acquisition and sale of Ventana Big Sur.