Ed. note: Law Shucks focuses on life in, and after, BigLaw, including by tracking layoffs, bonuses, and laterals. Above the Law is pleased to bring you this weekly column, which analyzes news at the world’s top law firms.
In honor of the commencement of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we’re going with a sports-themed edition for this week.
But when lawyers say they’re "Masters of the Game," they’re not talking about an athletic endeavor.
Despite the paucity of accomplishments on the field (although Business Insider did pull together a list of lawyer Olympians a few months ago), lawyers, especially big-firm lawyers, have played critical off-field roles in sports. Lawyers also like to set up World Cup office parties and attend other sporting events.
For example, there would be no free agency without BigLaw (Weil Gotshal and Paul Weiss in particular). That has given rise to sports agents, many of whom are lawyers, and players’ associations, the NFL’s version of which is now run by a Patton Boggs lawyer.
More-recently, Covington & Burling and Jones Day went head-to-head at the highest legal playing field. Jones Day won in a 9-0 rout (much to the surprise of FantasySCOTUS players) when the Supreme Court struck down the NFL’s antitrust exemption and remanded for further hearings on apparel licensing, which could redistribute hundreds of millions in fees.
Even on the deal side, nothing gets done without BigLaw. Newly merged Hogan Lovells represented Russian gazillionaire Mikhail Prokhorov on his investment in the New Jersey Nets from a seller represented by Simpson Thacher, and the list goes on from there.
That’s all history.
After the jump, we take a look at the surprising amount of sports-related work BigLaw does in just one week.