Akin Gump Repeats as Law360 Sports Practice Group of the Year

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump’s sports practice has once again been named a Law360 Practice Group of the Year. The publication cited the firm’s work advising the National Football League in “multiple legal matters” as having helped to land it on the list—the second straight time Akin Gump’s sports practice has appeared on it.

In recognizing Akin Gump, Law360 cited the firm’s work on behalf of the NFL in class actions brought by former players over injuries related to painkiller usage as well as its role advising the San Francisco 49ers and the league in separate contract disputes. Most notable, however, was the league’s standoff with the National Football League Players Association over the suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. (Click here to read more.)

Labor and employment partner Nathan Oleson said, “The relationship with the league is not just focused on these labor arbitrations, but there is a great deal of value that we provide to the league and to teams because we have a very good understanding of where the various sports law issues intersect with traditional labor law and other aspects of employment law.”

Stacey Eisenstein, another partner in the practice, added that despite the high-profile nature of cases like the Elliott matter, a lot of the firm’s work for the NFL is behind the scenes, “advising the league and the teams on arbitration, contract disputes, contract interpretation and various employment and discrimination matters.”

Oleson pointed to the two-decade relationship the firm has with the NFL, during which time Akin Gump has been primary counsel “on a large number disciplinary hearings and arbitration type hearings.” He also noted that the firm sets itself apart from others thanks to the experience working on these matters because they “have institutional knowledge to know how these issues are going to play out as a variety of legal regimes intersect.”

In addition to the NFL work, Law360 noted the pro bono tax advice Akin Gump provided to the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, which assists underserved communities in the Washington, D.C., area, helping to raise $500,000 through an annual charity softball event to help fund the efforts.

To read the full profile of the firm, please click here.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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