Jackson Walker’s sports attorneys have played an important role in shaping the sports industry. Members of our award winning team are regularly recognized by U.S. News–Best Lawyers® as some of the leading sports lawyers in the country.  We offer clients first-hand knowledge of the complex facets of the industry and a commitment to roll up our sleeves and work side by side with them to evaluate opportunities, identify potential issues, and plot strategies for the future.

Our broad roster of clients spans the spectrum of the sports sector, including:

  • Professional, Olympic, collegiate, and high school athletes
  • Collegiate and professional sports teams and their owners
  • Sports franchises and governing bodies
  • Olympic organizations
  • Sports facilities
  • Investor syndicates

We routinely counsel sports clients on a wide variety of legal matters that focus on:

  • Player eligibility, discipline, anti-doping measures, defamation, and gender issues
  • Contracts, endorsements, and sponsorship deals
  • Investments in professional teams and clubs
  • Intellectual property including trademark and copyright licenses, purchases, and consent agreements
  • Media, content distribution, syndication, and rights negotiations
  • Civil litigation, including defense of injuries on the playing field and advocacy of the sports activity doctrine
  • Negotiation of sports facilities
  • Counseling of privacy, wealth management, and tax planning
  • Immigration

Jackson Walker’s deep roots within the business of sports offers clients a perspective from various angles within the industry.  This is further highlighted by leadership roles within national and international sports governing bodies, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, and other highly regarded sports organizations.

  • Preparation and negotiation of various industry agreements
  • Preparation and negotiation of sponsorship and athlete endorsement deals
  • Intellectual property rights management issues for athletes and sports teams, including copyright, trademark, and right of publicity
  • Sports industry dispute resolution, including sports contract disputes, intellectual property disputes, and right to compete grievances
Bob Latham

September 13, 2021

What I Feel Good About | SportsTravel Winners & Losers

In a challenging environment for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, there was still plenty to embrace.

August 19, 2021
Attorney News

‘The Best Lawyers in America’ Honors 178 Jackson Walker Attorneys in 2022 Edition, Including 8 “Lawyers of the Year” and 31 “Ones to Watch”

The Best Lawyers in America has recognized 178 Jackson Walker attorneys across 6 offices and 67 specialty practice areas in its 2022 edition, including 8 Lawyers of the Year and 31 Ones to Watch. Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas.

Stadium race track with JW logo

May 17, 2021

Still Awaiting the New Normal | SportsTravel Winners & Losers

In his recent SportsTravel Magazine column about the return of sports – and fans – after the COVID-19 pandemic halted events, Bob Latham wrote, “It will not be truly ‘normal’ until people from all walks of life and all parts of the globe can gather, connect with each other and share the unbridled emotion and common spirit that makes sport such an important unifying element.”

Bob Latham

February 8, 2021

Bob Latham Speaks on Legality of Daily Fantasy Sports in Texas

Following a recent filing of a House bill that would define daily fantasy sports as a game of skill, CBS 11 Dallas-Fort Worth spoke with Bob Latham about the state’s anti-gambling laws and the legality of participating in a daily fantasy sports league.

December 24, 2020

2020*: An Unusual Year Sparks Debate Over Which Victories Were Legitimate | SportsTravel Winners & Losers

By Bob Latham | On December 2, the No. 8-ranked Michigan State basketball team traveled to Durham, North Carolina, to play No. 6-ranked Duke at fan-less Cameron Indoor.

October 19, 2020

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us | SportsTravel Winners & Losers

By Bob Latham | “While professional athletes are paid to perform, we sometimes forget the sacrifices they make to allow us a feeling of normalcy,” Bob Latham writes in this Winners & Losers column published in SportsTravel magazine.

Bob Latham

September 22, 2020
Attorney News

Bob Latham Re-Elected to World Rugby’s Executive and Regulations Committees

Jackson Walker congratulates Bob Latham on his re-election to another four-year term on the World Rugby Executive Committee, on which he has served as a member since 2011. In addition, Bob was reconfirmed as Chair of the Regulations Committee, a position he has held since 2012.

Nate St Clair with Jackson Walker logo

August 25, 2020
Attorney News

Nate St. Clair Joins National Sports Law Institute’s Board of Advisors

Nate St. Clair has been invited to serve on the Board of Advisors of the National Sports Law Institute, an affiliate of the Sports Law program of his law school alma mater, Marquette University.

June 15, 2020

Appreciating Sports Through the Classics | SportsTravel Winners & Losers

“As live sports slowly come back, I will again be cheering from my couch and seeking to affect the outcome with my fandom. But I also hope that my 9½ weeks in the sports Wayback Machine has trained me to know that it is just as rewarding to appreciate every nuance of the performance as it is to celebrate or mourn the result.”

April 13, 2020

XFL Files Bankruptcy, Owes University of Houston Nearly $300,000 | Houston Chronicle

Bruce Ruzinsky shares how XFL bankruptcy filing gives unsecured creditors such as the University of Houston and Roughnecks coach June Jones the opportunity to negotiate with debtors to reach compromises on the value of stadium leases and employment contracts. In the article, he notes, “If they reach agreement, the contracts can be modified, which results in accommodations that help the debtor. If the XFL wants to stay in the Houston market, I would expect to see some accommodations made.”

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