SBJ/March 3 - 9, 2008/Forty Under 40

Jon Oram

As a member of the sports practice at Proskauer Rose, Jon Oram has represented the NBA, NHL, MLS, ATP and WTA, as well as the Eagles, Jets, Yankees, Nationals and Devils. This does not, however, qualify him as a sports lawyer - at least not in his eyes.

Jon Oram
Age: 34
Title: Partner
Company: Proskauer Rose LLP
Education: B.A., public policy, Stanford University, 1996; M.A., education, Stanford University, 1996; J.D., Yale Law School, 1999
Family: Wife, Lisa Rubin
Career: Served as a law clerk to a United States District Court judge from 1999-2000; joined Proskauer Rose LLP in 2000; named partner with the firm in 2007.
Last vacation: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the Iowa Caucuses
Last book read: “How Soccer Explains the World,” by Franklin Foer
Last movie seen: “Juno”
What’s on your iPod? Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, “30 Rock” and “Meet the Press”
Pet peeve: People who call me on my cell phone when I’m in the office
Greatest achievement: Driving my Isuzu Rodeo cross country, alone, in just over three days
Greatest disappointment: Jacksonville, Super Bowl XXXIX (New England 24, Philadelphia 21)
Fantasy job: Athletic director, Stanford University
Executive you most admire: Jacob Ruppert. He bought the Yankees for $460,000, purchased Babe Ruth for $125,000 and Joe DiMaggio for $50,000, built Yankee Stadium and won seven World Series. All that after running a brewery and serving four terms in Congress.
Business advice: Always return every phone call.

"My clients don't need sports lawyers, they don't need guys who want to be Jerry Maguire and stand on the sidelines and hang out with players," Oram said. "They need great corporate lawyers who understand the business of sports. What I do is not all that much different from what the guy down the hall does for insurance companies and oil and gas companies."

In his eight years at Proskauer Rose, Oram has represented those teams and leagues in buying, selling and financing properties, league expansion, franchise relocation and stadium construction. He's also worked on sponsorship, naming rights, licensing and television contracts.

One of his more recent high-profile transactions was representing MLS in the Los Angeles Galaxy's signing of David Beckham.

"Jon is one of the best young attorneys in the business," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "We view him as an integral part of our team. He and other partners at Proskauer are engaged in all aspects of our business."

When speaking with Oram about his involvement in MLS's designated player rule and the Beckham deal, it's apparent that the interest in his clients goes much deeper than fulfilling contractual responsibilities.

"When we were working on Beckham, you knew that it would be a shot in the arm for the league," he said.

Recently, Oram, 34, assisted the NBA in forming an entity to operate its interests in China. He also helped structure the NBA's $1.4 billion leaguewide credit facility and worked on the league's return to Charlotte.

It's Oram's skills beyond his legal abilities that set him apart from other attorneys, said Joel Litvin, president of NBA league and basketball operations.

"You want somebody who can also counsel you on dealmaking and provide both legal and business advice, which he does as well as anybody I've dealt with his age," Litvin said.

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