Joe Martin has more than 40 years of global experience, including litigation, corporate law, concession contracting, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, franchising, hotel management agreements, executive compensation and employment law. He has also served as non-executive Chairman of the Board of HMS Host Corporation, the leading food and beverage airport and motorway concessionaire in North America. He has lived and worked in London, Milan, New York, Philadelphia, Houston and Washington D.C.
Recent experience includes serving as Corporate General Counsel, since April 2017, to 3Sixty Duty Free, a duty free operator in airports and on airlines and one of the world's largest distributors of liquors and airport retail products based in Miami, Florida. From 2013-2017 he served as International Counsel to TelePizza SAU, based in Madrid, Spain for M&A and master franchising and joint venture matters, including acquisitions in Switzerland and the Czech Republic, and master franchise agreements in the UK, Saudi Arabia and Iran. He also served as Special Counsel to the Chairman of World Duty Free SpA and as Co-Counsel to Edizione in 2015 in the sale of World Duty Free to Dufry AG, a transaction valued at $3.8 billion, including obtaining Competition Authority approval in the EU, Brazil, Mexico and the US.
Mr. Martin has been the Group General Counsel of Autogrill SpA, a Milan Stock Exchange company, and the leading food, beverage and retail concessionaire in airports, train stations and motorways around the world. Autogrill operates over 100 different proprietary and franchised brands, including some of the world’s leading food, beverage and retail brands. Mr. Martin also was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Host Marriott Services (now HMS Host) a New York Stock Exchange listed company which is the leading food and beverage concessionaire in the United States and Canada. He is also previously the Associate General Counsel of Host Marriott Corporation, a leading international hotel ownership company, and Assistant General Counsel of Marriott Corporation ( now Marriott International) one of the world’s leading hotel operators. Mr. Martin was also an Associate attorney with the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski, and a senior trial attorney with the Civil Rights Division, Office of the Solicitor, United States Department of Labor.
Mr. Martin has been lead attorney in federal and state jury and non-jury court cases and administrative trials and arbitrations in more than 30 states and the District of Columbia. He has also managed complex antitrust and theft of intellectual property litigation in Europe. His experience includes successfully representing corporations in FBI and Grand Jury investigations. Among his court cases is one of the leading cases interpreting the rights of companies under the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between Japan and the United States and elaborating the boundaries between laws enacted by Congress and international treaty obligations of the United States. Speiss v C.Itoh & Co., 643 F.2nd 353, remanded 457 U.S. 1128.
He has helped lead major acquisitions in the airport food, beverage and retail concession business including the acquisition of Anton Foods by HMS Host in the United States, Alpha Airport Group in the UK, Aldeasa SAU in Spain, and World Duty Free in the UK, all by Autogrill. Mr. Martin has put together joint ventures in the United States, and across Europe and in Asia-Pacific. In 2018, he was co-lead counsel in the sale of the DFASS-SATS Joint Venture business to Singapore Airlines and the creation of an omni-channel retailing platform based in Singapore. He is also experienced in ensuring both transparency and successful business ventures in emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe countries, and Asia- Pacific countries.
In addition to extensive experience in franchise and license agreements with major American and European brands, Mr. Martin is also well versed in the restructuring and turnaround of failing franchisees.
In his business role of Chairman of HMS Host, which had about $2Billion dollars in revenues and 25,000 employees, Mr. Martin was focused on installing best practices in corporate governance and positioning the company for sustained growth.