Listing 234 entertainment and 204 sports practitioners, across a total of 234 law firms and 36 countries, our latest publication is a significant resource for those seeking out the world’s leading sports and entertainment private practice lawyers.
|Most Highly Regarded Individuals|
|Jeffrey Mishkin||Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, New York|
|Joseph Leccese||Proskauer Rose, New York|
|Wayne Katz||Proskauer Rose, New York|
|Shepard Goldfein||Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, New York|
|Peter Zern||Covington & Burling, DC|
|Antonio Rigozzi||Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva|
|Jonathan Taylor||Bird & Bird, London|
|Andy Korman||Couchmans, London|
|Juan De Dios Crespo Pérez||Ruiz-Huerta & Crespo Sports Lawyers, Valencia|
|Benoît Keane||Keane Legal, Brussels|
|John Frankenheimer||Loeb & Loeb, Los Angeles|
|Kenneth Ziffren||Ziffren Brittenham, Century City|
|Anthony Cabot||Lewis Roca Rothgerber, Las Vegas|
|Mark Clayton||Greenberg Traurig, Las Vegas|
|Garron Whitesman||Whitesmans, Cape Town|
|Jamie Nettleton||Addisons Lawyers, Sydney|
|Jörg Hofmann||Melchers, Heidelberg|
|Quirino Mancini||Tonucci & Partners, Rome|
|Santiago Asensi Gisbert||Asensi Abogados, Santa Ponsa|
|Tony Coles||Jeffrey Green Russell, London|
DLA Piper offers a premium global service to its clients, supported by an unrivalled number of leading individuals from both the sports and entertainment segments of our research. The London office boasts a particularly strong contingent. The “excellent” Nick Fitzpatrick is co-chair of the global media, sport and entertainment team and one of few lawyers to feature in both chapters of this edition. He provides “innovative and commercially tailored advice” on sponsorships, commercial contracts, and broadcasting and media rights. Hilary Stewart-Jones is highly recommended by a broad base of peers and clients for her advice on gambling-related issues, including multi-jurisdictional regulatory, general commercial and corporate support. Stephen Ketteley is well known for his practice advising online gambling and gaming companies on the operational and regulatory aspects of their businesses. He is “a top-notch lawyer with an excellent knowledge base”, according to respondents. Nicholas West is celebrated as “an institution in sports broadcasting”. He takes the lead on all of the Premier League’s media work and is “thought of very highly” by his peers across the table. In Italy, Giulio Coraggio is considered “one of the country’s leading advisers to the gambling and gaming industries”. According to respondents, “he provides highly valuable insight, especially in regards to industry developments”.
In the US the firm is well represented by the “skilful” Mark Whitaker in Virginia. He advises financial institutions, investors and borrowers on sport infrastructure transactions. In New York, co-chair of the global media, sport and entertainment team Peter White leverages over two decades of experience and accumulated knowledge to advise on commercial and corporate matters involving the world’s major sports leagues, including the MLB, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL and the MLS, as well as the FA’s Premier League and Italy’s Serie A.
Greenberg Traurig excels in the entertainment field in the US and is universally recognised for its experienced and dedicated counsel to the industry. In Las Vegas, Mark Clayton is co-chair of the firm’s gaming practice and is “one the principal lawyers in US gaming law”. He is a former member of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board and is considered “peerless in his knowledge of gaming regulations”. Vincent Chieffo, co-chair of the firm’s national media and entertainment litigation group, is widely seen as “a first-rate entertainment litigator” and “a skilled trial advocate”. His practice encompasses a variety of entertainment disputes, including copyright and trademark infringement, defamation, royalties, and distribution and financing agreements. Jeffrey Smith advises a variety of entertainment companies on various securities, trademark-licensing and other financial transactions. He is “very commercial and knows the industry well”, according to peers. Jay Cooper is famed for advising music, television and film companies and individuals on intellectual property and copyright issues. He is widely seen to be “one of the top entertainment lawyers in the country”.
Loeb & Loeb offers a premium service to the US entertainment industry with a large pan-US team featuring nine market-leading practitioners based equally on the East and West coasts. John Frankenheimer is recognised as “an institution in the Californian entertainment bar”. He provides businesses and talent clients with “clear, practical and reliable” advice on corporate and commercial transactions. Craig Emanuel advises on all aspects of motion picture and television transactions and is seen as “a guru of film financing”. Mickey Mayerson is also “one of the best-known film finance lawyers”, having acted for clients in connection with over $3 billion in transactions over the last decade. One peer stated that he is “a widely admired lawyer and a true leader in his field”. Brian Socolow is listed for his “acclaimed” expertise in the sports, entertainment and media industries. He regularly advises sport stars, teams, event owners, media companies and equipment manufacturers in their IP issues. He also has a niche practice developing emerging sports, including negotiating media and licensing deals.
Couchmans is seen both domestically and internationally as the UK’s leading sports boutique, garnering an impressive nine listings: the largest number of recognitions from one office alone. Chairman and co-founder Nic Couchman advises on intellectual property and media rights strategies for sports entities and individuals. One source stated that “nobody does it better than Nic, he is a true genius of his field”. Andy Korman is greatly experienced in advising rights holders, sponsors, clubs and individuals on their commercial ventures, including sponsorship, merchandising and licensing. “He really knows his stuff and his advice is always practical and insightful”. Satish Khandke advises on corporate transactions and commercial matters in sports. “He is easy to work with,” says one respondent, and “has a diligent approach to his clients’ matters.” The “excellent” Steven Burton specialises in the sports data, media accreditation and gambling sectors; he is particularly known for his practice in the collection, protection and worldwide exploitation of sports-related data.
Reed Smith is a market-leading firm in entertainment law, with a distinguished transatlantic practice group. It recently announced the creation of a standalone media and entertainment practice as it looks towards expanding its expertise in this field even further. In London, co-head Gregor Pryor is a “leading light in digital media”, advising on the acquisition, production, licensing and distribution of content on digital media networks and platforms. Sources state that “he is at the apex of this growing sector and his advice is invaluable”. Michael Maxtone-Smith is extensively experienced in matters of film and television financing, representing banks and other financiers, producers, distributors, private investors and broadcasters. He is “responsive”, “articulate” and “very good at getting deals through”, according to clients. Alongside them, Stephen Edwards receives praise for his “great insight” into the commercial and regulatory aspects of copyright and broadcasting law. He has recently worked with the BBC, Channel Four, RTÉ and the European Broadcasting Union on such matters.
In New York, Ed Shapiro is the leader of the firm’s music and entertainment practices. He is generally considered to be “a world-leading transactional entertainment lawyer”; he regularly drafts a wide range of contracts spanning the entertainment industry, although he is particularly well known in the electronic dance-music sector. In Century City, Michael Sherman is praised for a “strong expertise in intellectual property”. He advises individual and institutional clients across the motion picture, television, internet, music, theatre and sports industries.
US firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton has a deep bench of sports and entertainment practitioners in its Century City office. Robert Darwell specialises in advising clients in all aspects of the development, production, acquisition and distribution of film, television and video games. One respondent reported, “He is very highly regarded for commercially brilliant advice.” Benjamin Mulcahy is a “leading name in sports and entertainment marketing” and peers state that they “would refer work to him without a second’s hesitation”. Alongside them, Shaun Clark is “absolutely brilliant”. He is an expert in entertainment intellectual property rights and he is well known for advising on brand development and the negotiation of sponsorship and endorsement agreements.
Bird & Bird is a pre-eminent name in European sports law. According to respondents, “The London team is particularly brilliant.” Jonathan Taylor advises a range of sports bodies on commercial matters such as the exploitation of broadcasting and sponsorship rights, as well as on a wide range of contentious matters. He receives effusive praise: “His practice is exceptional, not many can match his experience, business sense and advocacy skills”. Max Duthie is an expert in sports disputes and regulations, including discipline and anti-doping, brand protection, contracts and commercial sponsorship. He reportedly has “an excellent relationship with his clients”, who appreciate his “standout commitment and expertise”. In Germany, Markus Körner is an intellectual property specialist with “a reputed practice” that advises sports entities on TV rights agreements, sponsoring and licence agreements.
The firm also boasts a standout name in Asia. Hong Kong-based Justin Walkey is strongly endorsed by peers who describe him as a “brilliant lawyer”. He has wide-ranging experience of the corporate, commercial and regulatory aspects of sports law.
Renowned entertainment boutique Ziffren Brittenham offers an outstanding level of expertise to its clients in transactional matters. Founding partner Kenneth Ziffren is seen as “an undisputed leader in the field” and is heavily in demand for his “peerless experience and industry knowledge”. John Branca is recognised as “one the country’s most influential and skilful music industry lawyers”. He has earned a big reputation for negotiating ground-breaking recording, touring and publishing deals on behalf of artists. Sam Fischer’s transactional law practice represents some of the leading names in the motion picture, television and new media areas. He is “an institution in Hollywood”, according to peers.
Proskauer Rose is “the US’ premium destination for sports law”, according to many. From its “outstanding” New York office the firm provides the full range of services to the world’s major sports leagues and teams, as well as their owners and affiliate companies. Chairman of the firm and co-head of the sports law group Joseph Leccese regularly represents the US’s major leagues, teams and owners in their big-ticket transactional matters. He is widely regarded “one of the most influential people in the sports industry”. Fellow co-head of the sports group Howard Ganz specialises in employment and labour law matters in the sports industry. He is “a standout negotiator and a person you definitely want fighting your corner.” Wayne Katz is renowned for his work on a wide range of corporate matters for the NBA and NHL, including team ownership transfers, team financings and the grant of expansion franchises. Peers describe him as “a very smart and sophisticated dealmaker”.
Covington & Burling also impresses for its “excellent reputation” and is “a key player” in sports law in the US, having represented many of the country’s leading sports organisations and teams. The “outstanding” Gregg Levy is an antitrust litigation specialist in the sports industry. He has been the principal outside counsel for the National Football League for two decades and has been the lead counsel in a number of landmark judgments involving the league over the years. Peter Zern represents industry clients in a range of corporate and financing matters. He is praised as “first-rate lawyer with a great business sense and a practical approach”.
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has a very strong practice in sports litigation with four listings in the US, including the “exceptional” Jeffrey Mishkin. He represents major sports leagues and teams in high-stake antitrust, intellectual property and labour-related disputes. Alongside him, Shepard Goldfein is known as an “extremely good litigator” and “a star in the sports bar” for achieving a number of landmark judgments on behalf of the NHL and the NFL.
In Geneva, Antonio Rigozzi of Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler is “an authority on sports arbitration” with a particularly famed role in anti-doping cases. He is “the destination of choice” for clients across the main areas of sport and is currently the external counsel for the UCI.
Juan de Dios Crespo Pérez, head of the sports department at Ruiz-Huerta & Crespo Sports Lawyers in Valencia, is “a world-class sports lawyer”. He is particularly well known for advising major clubs and players in disputes before international football bodies.
Benoît Keane of Keane Legal is an expert in European sports law. He advises sport entities on their regulatory and commercial matters, ensuring that they are in line with EU and competition law. Sources state that he is “very knowledgeable and provides business-minded advice in a clear and concise manner”.
At Lewis Roca Rothgerber, Anthony Cabot is “a world-leading name in gaming law”. His clients include casinos game manufacturers, developers, and internet gambling sites. He also regarded as “a pioneer” in online gaming and “a go-to practitioner for matters in this field”.
Garron Whitesman, founding partner of Whitesmans in South Africa, is “globally renowned” for his “excellent” gaming and gambling practice which covers commercial, contentious and regulatory matters.
Jamie Nettleton, at Addisons Lawyers, receives widespread praise in our research for his gaming law practice in Australia. One source remarked, “He is the country’s leading lawyer in the field,” while another claimed, “There is no questioning his ability, he is simply brilliant.”
Melchers’ Jörg Hofmann is a leading figure in the European gaming and gambling market. He is described as “a hugely valuable resource in the industry”, especially for regulatory matters and licensing applications.
Tonucci & Partners’ Quirino Mancini is, according to some, “the best gambling and gaming lawyer in Italy”. He provides “first-class” regulatory and commercial advice to industry clients.
Santiago Asensi Gisbert, managing partner of gaming and gambling specialists Asensi Abogados, is recognised as both “the leading expert in Spain” and “a leading figure worldwide”. He advises major operators and gaming service providers on regulatory compliance and in representation before the Spanish gaming authorities.
Tony Coles of Jeffrey Green Russell commands a great deal of recognition for his longstanding practice in gaming law. One source echoed the thoughts of others by stating, “His knowledge of the industry is matchless and I cannot recommend his advice enough.”