SBJ/20100510/This Week's News

DLA Piper hires Nixon Peabody sports partners

Global law firm DLA Piper has hired the four partners who make up the sports practice of Nixon Peabody.

Peter White, the now former Nixon partner who will manage the group, said they switched because of the international opportunities offered by his new firm’s global reach.

The four partners are White; Charles Baker; who specializes in mergers and acquisitions; Mark Whitaker, who represents borrowers and lenders in sports finance deals; and Katie Baynes, a public finance specialist.

There are a handful of law firms that specialize in sports. The most prominent, Proskauer Rose, is known for its representation of sports leagues and teams. The new DLA practice is geared toward the finance side of sports, representing buyers and sellers of sports team, and the different entities involved in financing those deals and venues.

White said it was a trip overseas to represent an English Premier League team that convinced him of the need to expand globally. Stadium infrastructure in Europe is years behind the U.S., he explained, underscoring the opportunities overseas. He noted that the new group now counts the English Premier League as a client.

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