Law360 Profiles Employment MVP Daniel Nash

In November, Akin Gump labor and employment partner Daniel Nash was selected as one of Law360’s 2016 MVPs (learn more here). In its follow-up profile, the publication featured Nash and the successful, high-profile work he performed for the National Football League during what it called a “banner year” for him.

Law360 noted a string of three major wins for his client, beginning in April, when an arbitrator upheld the NFL’s right to implement its “Personal Conduct Policy.” Subsequently, the 8th Circuit reversed a lower court ruling against league commissioner Roger Goodell in the case of Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson. Finally, the highest-profile win among these three headline-making cases was the 2nd Circuit overturning a lower court to reinstate the four-game suspension of New England Patriot Tom Brady in the “Deflategate” case.

Regarding these cases, which Law360 characterized as “major victories for the league and Goodell,” Nash said, “They’re really based on traditional labor law principles. The sports fans who follow these cases, they’re focused on other things but ... to me, these were always about the deference that the labor laws say are supposed to be given to arbitrators' decisions.”

On the intense media and fan attention that the Brady and Peterson cases drew, Nash said that judges are generally able to set aside distractions and decide the cases on the basis of the law, noting, “I think that’s what the appellate courts did in both cases. It didn’t matter to them that these were famous athletes. They approached it from what the law required.”

The profile also notes Nash’s successful work for Starbucks Corp. and Ernst & Young LLP (now EY), the latter in a particularly complex and impactful case involving class waivers in arbitration agreements.

In all these matters, Nash said, representing clients is a team effort: “There are a number of lawyers that I work with here at Akin Gump who have really developed their own relationships and become very important counsel to these clients. That’s maybe been the best part of the whole relationship.”

In late June, Nash was named a Power Lawyer by Sports Business Journal (learn more here), while, a month earlier, Akin Gump was named one of the top 20 law firms serving professional sports teams in the four major leagues (learn more here), with Nash highlighted as one of the firm’s leading lights in that work.

To read the full Law360 profile, please click here.