Michael Evanoff worked for major law firms in New York and London before joining Hyatt International Corporation in 1984. He served Hyatt International as General Counsel, as Vice President – Development and General Counsel, and as Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
While at Hyatt International, Mr. Evanoff worked closely with Jay Pritzker, the legendary founder and Chairman of Hyatt, and oversaw the development of approximately 70 Hyatt International hotels worldwide, as well as several casinos and multi-purpose projects.
Among the investment deals for which Mr. Evanoff was responsible at Hyatt International were the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, the Grand Hyatt Bali, the Park Hyatt Paris, the Park Hyatt Milan, the Grand Hyatt Mumbai, the Grand Hyatt Seoul, the Regency Hotel and Casino (Greece), and the Park Hyatt Zurich.
Of course, as General Counsel of Hyatt Mr. Evanoff was also responsible for general corporate and commercial matters, compliance, litigation, and intellectual and technology issues
After serving Hyatt International for 20 years, in 2004 Mr. Evanoff became Chairman of First Oriental Holdings Corporation (Singapore) Pte Ltd, a private equity firm that invests in and develops residential, commercial and hotel properties in Asia. Starting from scratch in 2004, Mr. Evanoff led First Oriental to profits in excess of USD 50,000,000 in 2007 and 2008, a return on investment of more than 200%.
As First Oriental grew and diversified, in 2009 Mr. Evanoff entered into a partnership with First Oriental’s parent company, the Libra Group, and became Chairman of Marlborough Hospitality Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd (“Marlborough”). In 2011, Mr. Evanoff purchased the Libra Group’s interest in Marlborough, and became the sole owner.
Marlborough is based in Singapore and provides a range of legal, development and project oversight services for the hospitality and residential housing industries.
In July of 2022 Mr. Evanoff joined BH2I as Senior Counsel. BH2I is an international law firm with a focus on the hospitality industry, and has offices in Singapore and Bangkok. Mr. Evanoff is now heading up the Singapore office.
Since leaving Hyatt International, Mr. Evanoff has represented both hotel investors and management companies, and has worked on projects in the U.S., Australia, Greece, Russia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the Maldives, Madagascar, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan. He also advises on corporate and commercial law generally, compliance matters, and on franchising and intellectual property and technology issues.
Mr. Evanoff was educated at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan Law School, and the London School of Economics. He is a member of the New York and U.S. Federal Bars, and is the author of The International Hotel Management Agreement: Origins, Evolution and Its Status Today“, a peer-reviewed paper published by Cornell University (Cornell Hospitality Report, May 2016, www.chr.cornell.edu, Volume 16, Number 11). He has also published several articles on specific aspects of hotel management agreements, and has lectured at the university level on the hotel development process.
Generally, Mr. Evanoff is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on the preparation and negotiation of hotel management agreements and related documentation, and on hotel development.