Sport in United States

Covington & Burling LLP

Based in Washington DC, the team at Covington & Burling LLP remains one of the premier groups in the sports space, acting for major market players such as the National Baseball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League. The practice handles an array of matters spanning copyright enforcement, sponsorship and media rights transactions, collective bargaining, stadium financing, antitrust litigation and M&As. Key names include litigation expert Gregg Levy, who focuses on antirust and competition-related issues, Jeremy Spector, who is well versed in tax planning, IRS controversy work and corporate transactions, and Peter Zern, whose expertise spans M&A and debt and equity financing transactions.

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Spector; Greg Levy; Peter Zern

Latham & Watkins LLP

At Latham & Watkins LLP, the sports team sits within the firm’s broad entertainment, sports and media practice group, which is well versed in the full spectrum of sports matters, including licensing and media rights agreements, structured finance transactions, acquisitions and employment disputes. Leveraging the firm’s international network, the group is also equipped to assist clients with cross-border issues, advising Facebook as it negotiates to become an official supplier to the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France. Based in Los Angeles, Joe Calabrese and Adam Sullins lead the practice, with a breadth of expertise between them spanning the negotiation of complex licensing and distribution agreements, M&A and sponsorship transactions, and esports matters. Also recommended in Los Angeles is Kendall Johnson, an expert in the licensing, acquisition, financing and exploitation of broadcast and sponsorship rights. Supporting the team in New York is Frank Saviano, whose expertise spans team acquisitions and sales, strategic investment and joint ventures, and Justin Hamill, who focuses on high-value M&A and private equity transactions.

Practice head(s):

Joe Calabrese; Adam Sullins

Other key lawyers:

Frank Saviano; Justin Hamill; Kendall Johnson

Testimonials

‘Great attorneys, accessible, practical and strategic.’

‘Frank Saviano is a go-to counselor on anything and everything: thoughtful, accessible, practical and strategic.’

Key clients

888 Holdings plc

Buzzer Media Inc

Caesars Entertainment

Dapper Labs

DAZN Media

Detroit Pistons

Dyal Capital

Endeavor Group Holdings Inc

FC Internazionale Milano

Facebook

Fédération Internationale de Natation

Glazer Family

IceArizona Holdings LLC

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Intuit Inc

Ladies Professional Golf Association

LAFC Sports LLC

Learfield IMG College

Los Angeles Dodgers

MDE Sports

Michael Dell

MSD Basketball Investment LLC

NASCAR

National Collegiate Athletic Association

Okland Athletics

Olympique de Marseille

Roger Ehrenberg

IA Sports Partners LLC

Silver Lake Partners

Sinclair Broadcasting Group

Sportradar

Stormlight Holdings

Silverstein Family LLC

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

United States Soccer Federation Inc

World Surf League

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP stands out for its leading sports labor and employment services, with a dedicated sector-focused team. The group is noted for its work on collective bargaining and complex matters such as wage and hour litigation, while similarly advising major sports leagues such as Major League Soccer on corporate issues such as M&A, finance, and tax. Joseph Leccese, with experience in transactional work, leads the practice alongside Bradley Ruskin, who acts as head of litigation. Supporting the team is Jason Krochak, advising sport leagues and teams in a variety of corporate and commercial matters. Also recommended for his work on high-profile sports transactions is Jon Oram, having acted as principal outside counsel for the Los Angeles 2028, the organization hosting and operating the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Leccese; Bradley Ruskin

Other key lawyers:

Jason Krochak; Jon Oram

Testimonials

‘Personalized service.’

‘They fully engage when we bring forth issues and challenges being faced.’

‘Ultimately we respect and trust the advice that we are being provided.’

Key clients

Activision Blizzard

Ares

Atlantic Coast Conference

ATP Tour

BIG EAST Conference

Big 10 Conference

Blackstone

Bruin Capital

Detroit Pistons

Drone Racing League

Goldman Sachs

Jacksonville Jaguars

JPMorgan

Los Angeles 2028

Madison Square Garden Co.

Major League Baseball

Major League Soccer

NASCAR

National Basketball Association

National Football League

National Hockey League

National Lacrosse League

New York Islanders

Pac-12 Conference

Philadelphia Eagles

PGA of America

San Diego Padres

Shamrock Capital Advisors

United States Golf Association

Washington Nationals

Women’s National Basketball Association

WTA Tour

Work highlights

  • Advised sports leagues and teams on COVID-19 and their ability to resume play quickly, effectively and safely.
  • Represented the “Power 5 Conferences” in high-profile antitrust litigations challenging the legality of NCAA amateurism rules.
  • Represented Ares Management Corporation’s acquisition of a 33.96% interest in Atlético HoldCo, S.L., which owns a 65.98% stake in Club Atlético de Madrid.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP is distinguishable for its strong litigation practice, representing individual athletes, major players’ associations, sport franchises, and leagues. The practice is jointly led by Jeffrey Kessler and David Feher , while David Greenspan heads the college sports practice. Kessler is a prominent litigator and successfully represented a class of current and former Division I college basketball and FBS football players in a lawsuit alleging the NCAA had violated antitrust laws. In addition, Feher and Greenspan have notable experience in litigation and arbitration, often handling matters for sports and player’s associations respectively. Other notable team members include Jonathan Amoona, regarded for his work on both litigation and transactional matters, and San Francisco-based Jeanifer Parsigian, a litigator in antitrust, sports and commercial matters. Associate Adam Dale is also noted for his work on labor and antitrust issues. All named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Kessler; David Feher; David Greenspan

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Amoona; Jeanifer Parsigian; Angela Smedley; Adam Dale

Testimonials

‘Winston & Strawn really took the time to understand my case. It became very complicated at times but the team never backed down.They brought in highly credible expert witnesses that were very respectable in the disabled community. The team discussed every strategy with me and asked for my personal advice on certain situations. My case was very controversial but they were able to present a strong case on my behalf. I really appreciated the extra effort and time the team took for the specific research in regards to the disabled community. I’m very grateful for all the hard work and dedication that was used for my case. A million times thank you.’

‘Individually I noticed that each member of the team really understood the purpose of the case. Each member brought their own set of strengths and values to my case. From talking to the media or battling through emails they understood how to professionally get our point across. Each member humbled and sacrificed their selflessness for not only for me but for the whole disabled community! I was in constant contact with David Greenspan, Jeffrey Kessler and Angela Smedley throughout the whole case. I even remember going through notes and paper work with the team on Christmas. Instead of spending time with family, friends, and loved ones they were up fighting for me. As a professional athlete, seeing Winston & Strawn fight for me gave me even more motivation to keep fighting for myself. Thank you!’

‘Depth of knowledge in wide variety of issues in the sports law space. Unique ability to distill legal concepts into practical advice. Excellent client service – always responsive.’

‘Jeffrey Kessler is a standout. The kind of lawyer where the actual support exceeds an impeccable reputation.’

‘Its encyclopedic expertise, redoubtable record and reputation, and its singular practitioners are nonpareil.’

‘Brilliant advocacy; intellectual superiority; prodigious accomplishment; courteous and responsive communication; unquestioned integrity. For decades I have entrusted my clients’ stake to their representation without reservation.’

‘The team, in particular Jeffrey Kessler, is extremely knowledgeable, flexible and adaptable on sports related matters. Really appreciated that their advice was always clear, to the point and very pragmatic. They have impressive availability and are very quick to respond and provide assistance.’

‘Jeffrey Kessler has a very clear, pragmatic and to the point approach and great flexibility to approach complex or more exotic claims. Outstanding communication, always highlights risks/options in a very clear manner.’  

‘They represent other sports unions and therefore have a vast pool of experience in the area of sports law from which to frame their advice.’ 

Key clients

Classes of current and former Division 1 college football and basketball players

National Football League Players Association

United States Women’s National Team

National Basketball Players Association

Major League Baseball Players Association

North American Soccer League

Disabled athlete Blake Leeper

Super Slam Ltd.

Relevent Sports

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Activision Blizzard, Inc.

William Morris Endeavor

Klutch Sports Group

MVP Sports Group

Work highlights

  • Represented classes of Division 1 college football and basketball athletes in an antitrust challenge in connection with the NCAA’s no-compensation rules.
  • Represented the Major League Baseball Players Association in litigation following Major League Baseball’s decision to move its All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver.
  • Represented Stanford University student athletes advocated for a breach-of-contract, fraud, and misrepresentation lawsuit on behalf of various Stanford University student athletes.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Based in New York, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP handles litigation, transactional and regulatory work for a range of clients, including major sports leagues, athletes, franchises, investors and broadcast companies. Acting as the chairman of the practice is Brad Karp. He and experienced litigator and trial lawyer Christopher Boehning, who acts as co-chair of the firm’s international practice, notably advised the Fédération Internationale de Football Association regarding a partnership agreement for a streaming service offering. Lynn Bayard and Theodore Wells are also noted, with experience in player health and safety issues, and complex civil and corporate litigation respectively.

Practice head(s):

Brad Karp

Other key lawyers:

Lynn Bayard; Theodore Wells; Chris Boehning

Testimonials

‘Really experienced.’

‘Well connected, practical and up to date.’

‘Available, easy to work with, clear, uncomplicated.’

‘Chris Boehning is exceptional.’

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP handles litigation, licensing, and sponsorship matters for individual clubs, universities, sports leagues, and sports associations. Offering a multidisciplinary approach, the team is able to act as general outside and intellectual property counsel in high-stakes work. The practice is co-led by Anthony Dreyer, who focuses on a range of matters in relation to broadcasting and sponsorship rights, and Karen Lent, with notable experience in antitrust cases. Recently, Lent represented the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in connection with an action brought by student athletes regarding remuneration.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Dreyer; Karen Lent

ArentFox Schiff

Arent Fox LLP particularly stands out for its strong expertise in litigation and arbitration as well as transactional work covering naming, sponsorship, media and technology matters. As part of its broad offering, the team is also well versed in team acquisitions and sales, team relocations, financings, and arena and stadium leases and licenses. Based in San Francisco, Richard Brand heads the practice, and alongside associate Zachary Welsh, handles a busy caseload of high-profile transactions, including the SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park’s multi-year naming rights transaction with YouTube together with a multi-year partnership for Google Cloud to power the stadium’s digital innovation experiences. The New York team has strengthened its position with the arrival of William Ordower in January 2021, who was formerly at Major League Soccer as a long-term executive and general counsel.

Practice head(s):

Richard Brand

Other key lawyers:

William Ordower; Zachary Welsh

Testimonials

‘Arent Fox brings a deep experience in sports sponsorship, having worked on many of the top sponsorship deals in the industry. They have a stellar reputation and I highly recommend them to other potential clients.’

‘Richard Brand and Zak Welsh at Arent Fox are exceptional. They bring a deep industry (sports sponsorship) knowledge, so much so that having them on your side in a negotiation borders on an unfair advantage. In addition, they have delivered over and over again on tight deadlines and do whatever it takes to help close a deal.’

Key clients

SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park

Sugar Bowl

Los Angeles Lakers

Under Armour Worldwide

National Women’s Soccer League

Gameface AI

Haslam Sports Group

Cleveland Browns

Columbus Crew

Board of Trustees of the California State University

Credit Karma

Bank of Hawaii

Miami Heat

San Jose Earthquakes

Total Quality Logistics

Q2 Holdings

Amazon

Paragon Marketing Group

ASM Global

New York City Football Club

New York Red Bulls

AEG

Los Angeles Rams

Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE)

San Antonio Spurs

Brooklyn Nets

Charlotte Hornets

Oklahoma Thunder

Work highlights

  • Represented SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park in a multi-year naming rights transaction with YouTube that names the development’s 6,000-seat performance venue, YouTube Theater, together with a multi-year partnership for Google Cloud to power SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park’s digital innovation experiences.
  • Advised Los Angeles Lakers on a major 20+ year lease extension of its lease at the Staples Center, which ensures that the Lakers will continue to play at the Staples Center through 2041.
  • Advised the National Women’s Soccer League on all aspects of the League’s day-to-day operations.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP routinely handles high-profile sports litigation and disputes involving employment issues, allegations of anti-doping violations, sports betting and antitrust matters. On the transactional front, the group is noted for its work advising on M&As and financing of ownership stakes in major and minor league teams, the development of new stadiums and venues, PE investment and the relocation of major professional franchises. Based in New York, Richard Birns, who has extensive experience assisting clients with transactional matters and depth expertise in a number of industries, including technology, media, sports and entertainment, directs the practice.

Practice head(s):

Richard Birns

Key clients

LIV Golf Investments

Affiliates of the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys

RedBird Capital Partners

LeBron James

Tom Werner

Maverick Carter

The SpringHill Company

Alberto Salazar

NeoPollard Interactive LLC

Pollard Banknote Ltd

The Bicycle Casino LP

Hollywood Park Casino Company Inc

Celebrity Casinos Inc

The Chernin Group

TCG Capital Management LP

Ladder LLC

Loeb & Loeb LLP

The team at Loeb & Loeb LLP is noted for its strong track record handling both transactional and litigious work spanning the full spectrum of sports matters, including team acquisitions, dispositions and ownership bids, broadcast and media rights and issues related to the development and operation of arenas and stadiums. The group is also well versed in the growing area of esports and fantasy sports. Los Angeles-based Arash Khalili leads the practice alongside Brian Socolow in New York, who is an expert in media broadcast and distribution agreements and sponsorship and IP matters. Also recommend is Chicago-based Douglas Masters, who is highly regarded for being ‘extremely successful in terms of obtaining desired results’. A new addition to the New York group is Ian Carleton Schaefer, who joined the firm in January 2021 from Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., bringing extensive expertise in workplace and employment issues.

Practice head(s):

Arash Khalili; Brian Socolow

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Masters; Ian Carleton Schaefer

Testimonials

‘The firm has a great profile, and their partners are well-educated, highly skilled professionals who understand an organization’s business needs. Practicality is important when engaging an outside firm, and this firm stands out in that category.’

‘We have worked with Doug Masters on several matters (IP monitoring and consulting, trademark litigation, etc). Masters provided us with excellent representation in a cost-effective manner. He has been extremely successful in terms of obtaining desired results. He plays an important role advocating internally with our leadership, as well as externally with opposing counsel. He understands our position, always responds to inquiries in a timely manner, and takes the time to ensure his approach mirrors our preferred strategies.’

‘Doug Masters possesses the unique skill to quickly get to the heart of the legal issue and provide the right perspective on the matter. He finds the proper case law (regardless of venue) and is always spot on with the best approach to take.’

Key clients

Dwyane Wade

Angels Baseball LP

SRB Management Company LLC

Buffalo Bills

Washington Football Team

Miami Heat

Smith & Co

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins

Reggie Bush

Allen Crabbe

John Wall

Tristan Thompson

Donovan Mitchell

Nyjah Huston

Ephraim Salaam

Tony Gonzalez

Udonis Haslem

DeAndre Jordan

Daniil Medvedev

Cassidy Jarrell

William Morris Endeavor

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

Element Partners LLC

SuperDraft Inc

Simmons Bank

StatStak Inc

Parsons Xtreme Golf

Churchill Downs Inc

BetAmerica

United States Golf Association

Nike Inc

Comcast

Work highlights

  • Advised basketball superstar Dwyane Wade in connection with his purchase of an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz basketball franchise.
  • Representing NFL football team the Buffalo Bills in negotiations with New York State, Erie County and National Football League in connection with the development, financing and construction of a new football stadium.
  • Advising Smith & Co in connection with its name, image and likeness (NIL) practice working with high-profile college athletes.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

O’Melveny & Myers LLP is noted for its transactional work, with a solid track record in M&A involving sports teams, franchises and stadium development projects. Leadership of the practice is divided between Charles Baker  and Irwin Raij, with combined expertise in investigations, stadium developments, media rights, and transactions. In addition, Bartie stands out as an expert in the area of esports and sports tech, acting for a number of organizations in the space. In California, Amy Siegel’s practice focuses on complex commercial licensing arrangements. Changes to the team include the arrival of counsel Eric Andalman in Washington DC, who joined from CAA ICON in September 2021, and Lindsay Conner in California, joining from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP in October 2021. The practice particularly benefits from Andalman’s experience in the development and financing of sports venues, derived from his previous in-house role. All lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Charles Baker; Irwin Raij

Other key lawyers:

Eric Andalman; Lindsay Conner; Amy Siegel; Tobias Knapp; Zach Greenberg

Testimonials

‘O’Melveny has great subject matter expertise in the sports industry and has been incredibly helpful as we navigate various regulatory issues as well as M&A and strategic investments.’

‘They were a key partner as we negotiated our deals.’

‘They’re always available, very user friendly, and flexible on fees when they need to be.’

‘I’d highly recommend Charles Baker, Amy Siegel, Tobias Knapp, and Zach Greenberg, in particular.’

‘The individuals are very good at coming up with creative solutions to complex problems.’

‘Amy Siegel in particular was an incredible advocate/partner as we negotiated our agreements.’

‘Tobias Knapp and Zach Greenberg were amazing from start to finish and helped navigate some complex shareholder issues after the deal was closed. Chuck Baker led the team and provided some very helpful advice along the way on all three transactions.’

Key clients

Aspiration

Empire State Development

Genius Sports

NWSL KC, LLC

Palmer Square Capital Management LLC

SportsTek Acquisitions Corp

Todd Boehly

Angel City Football Club

Arctos Partners

Athletes Unlimited

Carolina Panthers

LaLiga

Fubo TV

game1

Overtime

Pac-12 Conference

Queensboro FC

ShotTracker

Portland Trailblazers

Syracuse University

Work highlights

  • Advised Todd Boehly, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Eldridge holding company, in connection with his acquisition of a minority interest in the Los Angeles Lakers NBA franchise.
  • Advised Portland Trail Blazers on an internal review after the team was notified of concerns around workplace environment by non-player personnel at practice facility.
  • Advised Empire State Development Corporation in connection with plans for a new stadium for the NFL Buffalo Bills.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s practice extends to a variety of litigation and labor disputes, under which it handles employment arrangements and contract negotiations for major league athletes, major players unions and major league teams. For instance, the firm represented NBA star Zion Williamson in connection with an ongoing dispute arising out of a marketing contract entered into prior to his professional career. The team is jointly led by Andrew Tulumello in Washington DC, who joined the practice from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in June 2021, and brings notable expertise regarding high-profile labor disputes. Leading the practice alongside Tulumello are Yehudah Buchweitz and Eric Hochstadt , with expertise in complex commercial litigation in the sports broadcasting sector and experience in class actions and civil antitrust matters. respectively. Former practice head Jeffrey Klein retired in April 2021. All named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Tulumello; Yehudah Buchweitz; Eric Hochstadt

Other key lawyers:

David Lender

Testimonials

‘Solid team on the plaintiff’s side of sports litigation led by David Lender.’

‘Strong trial skills and industry knowledge.’

‘Very media savvy.’

Key clients

NBA All-Star Zion Williamson

NFL Players Association

National Women’s Soccer League Players Association

Professional Tennis Players Association

Staten Island Yankees

Tri-City ValleyCats

Men’s U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association

CBS Sports

Providence Equity Partners

Topgolf International, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented NBA star pick Zion Williamson in connection with litigations arising out of a marketing contract he entered into prior to going pro.
  • Advised the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association in submitting an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit in support of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team players in litigation.
  • Represented two Minor League Baseball teams in lawsuits against the New York Yankees and Houston Astros, as well as Major League Baseball (MLB).

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is particularly known for its strong expertise in assisting professional sports teams, leagues and organisations with complex labor and employment issues and litigation. In a recent highlight, the group represented the NFL in a nationwide putative class action brought by retired players for injuries allegedly caused by the use of painkillers and other prescription drugs during their playing careers. Washington DC-based Daniel L Nash, who is especially sought after to represent professional sports clients in high-profile arbitration and court cases, leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Nash

Key clients

National Football League

Major League Soccer

Monumental Sports

Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment

Southeastern Conference

National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA)

Coalition of Professional Minor Hockey Leagues

Minor League Baseball (MiLB) Clubs

San Francisco 49ers

Work highlights

  • Assisted the NFL with the defeat of a class certification in a nationwide putative class action brought by retired players for injuries allegedly caused by their use of painkillers and other prescription drugs during their playing careers.
  • Assisted the NFL in securing a victory in the 5th Circuit, which agreed that a state-law tortious-interference claim brought against the NFL was preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act 1974.
  • Represented the NTRA and affiliated horse racing associations in securing passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which passed the House unanimously in 2020.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter is well versed in both litigation and disputes and transactional work, frequently acting for major professional sports leagues, individual teams, arena and stadium operators, and sponsors and advertisers. As part of its offering, the group advises on an array of issues involving antitrust, copyright, trademarks, bankruptcy, labor, tax, and licensing and advertising. Based in Washington DC, co-head Dan Cantor is particularly known for his deep expertise in high-profile and complex IP and royalty litigation matters affecting the finances of sport leagues. In New York, co-head Scott Lent is sought after to handle high-profile antitrust transactions, disputes and investigations.

Practice head(s):

Scott Lent; Dan Cantor

Key clients

The Oakland Raiders

Major League Baseball (MLB)

Professional Golfers Association (PGA)

Work highlights

  • Assisted Oakland Raiders in obtaining dismissal of a federal antitrust lawsuit and a state court action filed by the City of Oakland against the NFL and its 32 teams, alleging that the league ignored its own relocation policies and violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by approving the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas.
  • Advised Major League Baseball on various copyright and telecommunications issues and in proceedings involving such issues before the Copyright Office.
  • Represented a consortium comprised of Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Women’s National Basketball Association, and National Collegiate Athletic Association in copyright royalty allocation litigations at both trial and appellate levels involving more than $1b in royalties.

Herrick, Feinstein LLP

Focusing on corporate, real estate, tax, IP, employment and litigation aspects of sports matters, Herrick, Feinstein LLP is typically retained by leagues, teams, owners, banks and investors to advise on an array of issues. The practice is jointly led by Irwin Kishner, a renowned sports lawyers who handles a busy caseload of financing and M&A, sport betting matters and concession agreements, Daniel Etna, an expert in the financing, construction and development of arenas and stadiums, Eric Stabler, who is noted for his financing expertise, and Morris DeFeo, who focuses on capital markets, M&A and corporate governance. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Irwin Kishner; Daniel Etna; Eric Stabler; Morris DeFeo

Testimonials

‘Sports is a key specialty and a clear priority for the firm.’

‘Joel Wagman is a work horse and has been fantastic to work with.’

 

Key clients

New York Yankees

Yankee Global Enterprises LLC

Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network (YES)

Legends Hospitality Management LLC

New York Racing Association (NYRA)

Oak View Global Advisory

New York Islanders Hockey Club

New York Mets

Sterling Equities

Sterling Entertainment Enterprises (SNY)

Top Rank Inc

Phoenix Sports Partners

D.C. United

Lelands Collectibles Inc

Wells Fargo Bank N.A.

The Renaissance Companies Inc

New York Arena Investments LLC

Garnett Sports Ventures LLLP

Bounce Back

Ultimate Fighting Championship

JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.

New York Jets

Dallas Cowboys

Jason Plummer and Robert Plummer (Private investment group)

Work highlights

  • Represented long-standing client Legends Hospitality in its entry into a share purchase agreement which gives Sixth Street a controlling interest in Legends Hospitality.
  • Advised New York Racing Association Inc. (NYRA) on an expanded partnership agreement establishing Fox Sports as NYRA Bets’ official wagering partner and the leading media provider for elite thoroughbred racing through the next decade.
  • Assisted Yankee Global Enterprises LLC with the refinancing of their global bank facility.

Katten

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is particularly strong on the transactional side, frequently assisting clients with debt and equity financings, stadium and arena construction and financing, concession deals, broadcast agreements and acquisitions and sales of sports franchises. Chicago-based Adam Klein, who regularly advises investors, teams, sponsors and arenas to advise on financing and acquisition transactions, directs the practice. Supporting the team in Los Angeles is Benzion Westreich, a real estate expert, and Daniel Render, whose expertise spans acquisitions and sales, sponsorship deals and naming rights agreements.

Practice head(s):

Adam Klein

Other key lawyers:

Benzion Westreich; Daniel Render

Key clients

Atlanta Hawks

Barclays Center

Chicago White Sox

Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Tigers

Dyal Capital, a division of Blue Owl

Golden State Warriors

Larry H. Miller Companies

Los Angeles Clippers (Murphy’s Bowl)

Miami Marlins

Phoenix Suns

Sacramento Kings

Seattle Kraken

United Center

Chicago Bulls

Milwaukee Bucks

Work highlights

  • Advised the Los Angeles Clippers (Murphy’s Bowl) in connection with debt financing for the construction of a new arena as well as a naming rights deal and founding partner sponsorship agreement for the new arena.
  • Assisted Dyal Capital, a division of Blue Owl, in connection with the purchase of minority interest in Phoenix Suns.
  • Assisted the Seattle Kraken in connection with the acquisition of the Seattle Kraken expansion team from the NHL, the drafting of a merchandise agreement for the team store located in Climate Pledge Arena, equity and takeout financing transactions, and a loan for a new home arena for AHL affiliate in Palm Springs, California.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP handles a variety of work in the sports sector, providing a full service offering. The practice is jointly led by Jeffrey Moorad, who divides his time between Orange County and Washington DC, and Jack Concannon in Boston. The group particularly benefits from Moorad’s unique perspective of the industry, courtesy of his background as a former sports agent and team owner, while Concannon brings expertise relating to general corporate and securities law, M&A, and franchising.. Changes to the team include the arrival of Mark Kirsons and Luis Herrero from Sidley Austin LLP in February 2021 and the arrival of Kimberly Eney from a private foundation in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Moorad; Jack Concannon

Other key lawyers:

Mark Kirsons; Luis Herrero; Kimberly Eney; David McManus

Testimonials

‘Tremendous experience–have lived in the clients shoes as well as the law firm perspective.’

‘Always go the extra mile for the deal or their client or the situation.’

‘Jeff Moorad–leader of the sports practice and rightly so–dealmaker of excellence and tremendous network of industry contacts.’

‘David McManus–a gifted and skilled lawyer; a talented problem solver.’

Key clients

Fanatics

MSP Sports Capital

Las Vegas Raiders

Adidas

Ferrari

FlingGolf

Endeavor

UFC

SeventySix Capital

Harena Data

Work highlights

  • Represented Fanatics in numerous fundraising and financing transactions, including its latest round of equity financing.
  • Advised MSP Sports Capital in its minority shareholding of McLaren Racing.
  • Represented FlingGolf in IP and corporate work as well as overall mentoring.

Thompson Hine LLP

Thompson Hine LLP is recognized for its construction law expertise, as it provides legal and consulting services for the design, development and construction of professional sports facilities. The practice has been involved in numerous construction projects for mixed-used development and sports arenas, primarily working on behalf of sports teams and owners. Jeffrey R. Appelbaum leads the team, often serving as project counsel, owner’s representative, partnering facilitator or insurance and risk consultant. Also featured in the team are Alan Ritchie and Patrick J. Sweeney, with combined experience working on community impact projects and transactions involving sports owners. All named lawyers are based in Cleveland.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey R. Appelbaum

Other key lawyers:

Patrick J. Sweeney; Alan Ritchie

Testimonials

‘Extremely knowledgeable in the sports practice. Were able to provide a clear roadmap for engagement with public partners and collaborated well with the project team.’

The team is one of the, if not, preeminent consultants for evaluating insurance programs for major arena and stadium financings. The team has pretty much been involved in all major projects over the last number of years and provides an expertise that is not found elsewhere.’

‘Able to clearly understand a difficult and complex problem and then arrive at creative solutions.’

‘The sports practice has great experience on similar projects which helps to streamline our process and keep fees reasonable. They understand the core risks we are taking and more importantly how best to mitigate them.’ 

‘Jeff Appelbaum and Alan Ritchie have extensive experience, which has been invaluable for us during our projects. Our project has several layers of complexity, and they were able to help us synthesize the core dynamics at every step.’

‘The team has contacts within the industry when additional expertise is needed and works in a collaborative manner.’

‘This practice is very knowledgeable about the sports industry, particularly the development of sports venues.’

‘The individuals are industry experts in risk management and construction law. I would like to give mention to Jeff Appelbaum and Patrick Sweeney. Both are excellent.’

Key clients

Haslam Sports Group

HOF Village, Inc.

TKFC LC

Truist Financial Corporation

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

Bank of America

Cobb County

San Francisco 49ers

Work highlights

  • Advised TKFC LC regarding the new $460 million, 22,000-seat St. Louis soccer stadium project that will include a stadium, sports complex, practice fields and a team headquarters.
  • Advised Haslam Sports Group on the $344 million Confluence Village, which includes a new 20,000-seat MLS soccer stadium, mixed-use development and new training facility.
  • Advised HOF Village, Inc on the development, coordinated design and construction agreements for the$300+ million Hall of Fame Village, powered by Johnson Controls.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP offers a full range of integrated services to its clients and is regarded for its advice on licensing, technology development and data-related offerings. The practice also acts in litigation related to patent and IP matters. Dividing her time between Austin and New York is co-head Hilary Preston, with experience standing before trial and appellate courts in connection with IP and commercial disputes. Devika Kornbacher also co-heads the practice and divides her time between Houston and New York, being further noted for providing advice on data privacy, compliance and cybersecurity issues.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Preston; Devika Kornbacher

Key clients

Banner Seventeen, LLC

Brooklyn Events Center, LLC

Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment LLC

Cavaliers Operating Company, LLC

Chicago Professional Sports Corporation

Detroit Pistons Basketball Company

Hornets Basketball Holdings, LLC

Houston Astros, LLC

Memphis Basketball, LLC

Milwaukee Bucks, LLC

Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball Limited

New Orleans Pelicans NBA, LLC

NHL Enterprises, L.P.

Orlando Magic, Ltd.

Pacers Basketball, LLC

Rocket Ball, Ltd.

San Antonio Spurs, L.L.C.

The Los Angeles Lakers, Inc.

Washington Sports & Entertainment

World Champions Rodeo Alliance, LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Houston Astros in a putative class action brought by five individuals who participated in DraftKings fantasy baseball contests.
  • Represented Houston Astros in relation to a lawsuit brought by a former pitcher for a Major League Baseball team.