THE FIRM Proskauer Rose has occupied a position close to the apogee of the US sports law market for many years. Commentators view its grip on the pinnacle as likely to strengthen yet further after another astonishing year of sporting success. The team represented the NBA in its collective bargaining agreement with the NBAPA, and served as labor counsel to the NFL during its collective bargaining agreement with its player association. The team remains lead counsel to the English Premier League in an ongoing suit against YouTube concerning the presence of copyright-infringing content on its website.
Client Service "The lawyers have great people skills, and take a very collaborative approach - it's not about doing things their way, but about working with us to make sure we're doing it in the right way for us."
Commercial Awareness "They understand sport as well as any outside law firm we've worked with, both in terms of their willingness to listen, coupled with the fact that they represent the NBA, the NFL, the NHL, various teams - they have a 360-degree understanding of sport, and almost understand how we fit into the picture of sport better than we do."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Howard Ganz co-chairs the firm's sports practice group. He is held up as one of the sports sector's leading labor lawyers, and he recently represented the NBA in relation to the collective bargaining negotiations with the NBAPA.
Joseph Leccese co-chair's the practice group alongside Howard Ganz, as well as chairing the firm itself, and also maintains a highly active presence in sports transactions; "he seems to be everywhere at once - he's in every single major deal." Recent highlights include representing the Pac-12 Conference in high-profile media rights agreements with FOX and ESPN. Clients are keen to stress that "he brings great judgment, which is exactly what you need in sport, and we've really come to rely on him."
Robert Batterman is another of the firm's notable sports labor lawyers. He is lauded as "highly client-centric, and with a great understanding of not just labor laws but also the sports industry." He represented the NFL as its labor counsel during the collective bargaining negotiations.
Bradley Ruskin co-chairs the sports team and remains leader of the sports litigation section. He is "a highly strategic lawyer with a real deft way of reviewing the case and managing the situation and people - he has a very practical perspective." He has been involved in leading the group advising the MLB in relation to the issues arising from Frank McCourt's ownership of the LA Dodgers, and in connection with the Dodgers' bankruptcy.
Jon Oram is "a gifted corporate lawyer with an extraordinary capacity to handle complex matters." He has recently represented Jim Crane in connection with financing its over-$600 million acquisition of the Houston Astros.
Wayne Katz is a corporate attorney who is highly regarded for his work advising sports leagues and teams in relation to transactions.