Nance, Frederick R.

Frederick R. Nance


Frederick R. Nance serves as Squire Patton Boggs’ Regional Managing Partner, operating out of the Cleveland office.  Squire Patton Boggs, which was founded in Cleveland in 1890, now serves clients from 44 offices around the globe.  Fred’s legal practice focuses on sports and entertainment law, commercial litigation, client counseling and public-private partnerships.  Much of his practice in recent years has included high-stakes negotiations involving community interests.  He is an experienced jury trial litigator in federal and state courts and a frequent participant in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.  Fred also leads the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Group in the US.

Fred began his career at Squire Patton Boggs directly from law school.  From 1991 through 2001, Fred served as the primary outside counsel to the City of Cleveland and former Cleveland Mayor Michael White in a variety of impactful initiatives and development projects including spearheading the battle to keep the Browns in Cleveland.  He has also served two four year terms on Squire Patton Boggs’ worldwide, seven-person Management Committee. In the summer of 2006, Fred was selected from among several hundred candidates as one of five finalists for the position of Commissioner of the National Football League. In December 2009, Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner asked Fred to join his team’s front office where Fred served for three years as the Browns General Counsel, while remaining a Squire Patton Boggs partner. Fred’s current capacity with the Browns is as Senior Advisor and Special Counsel.


    • Serving as business counsel to NBA star LeBron James, comedian Dave Chappelle and other athletes and entertainers.
    • Representing a major oil company in a class action seeking more than US$1 billion for alleged property damage.
    • Representing a publicly held company in various matters related to the termination of its CEO.
    • Defending a professional sports team in various grievance proceedings and other litigation.
    • Providing Sarbanes-Oxley Act counsel to companies before the Securities & Exchange Commission.
    • Negotiating and administering a series of agreements between the City of Cleveland and the National Football League guaranteeing the return of the Cleveland Browns.


    • University of Michigan, J.D., 1978
    • Harvard University, B.A., 1975


    • Ohio, 1978


    • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Ohio
    • U.S. Ct. of App., Sixth Circuit

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Member of the Executive Committees of the Greater Cleveland Partnership 
    • Member of the Ohio Business Roundtable
    • Former Chairman of the Executive Committee of The 50 Club of Cleveland
    • Former Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (March 2006 - March 2008)
    • Former Chairman of the Cleveland Defense Industry Alliance (2004-2005)
    • Serves on the Board of the Cleveland Clinic (as a fiduciary director)
    • Serves on the Board of The Cleveland Foundation 
    • Serves on the Board of the Greater Cleveland Partnership 
    • Serves on the Board of RPM International Inc. 
    • Appointed by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson to two boards dedicated to downtown and lakefront development
    • Former Board Member of the Cleveland Museum of Art
    • Former Board Member of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation
    • Former Board Member of BioEnterprise, Inc. 
    • Served as a co-chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the NCAA Women’s Final Four (which took place in Cleveland in 2007) 
    • Served (for six years) as an outside director to McDonald & Company Investments, Inc.
    • Member of the McDonald & Company Investments, Inc. Audit and Compensation Committees 
    • Serves on the Advisory Board of the National Association of Black Sports Professionals
    • Life member of the U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference 
    • Member of the Cleveland FBI Citizens' Academy for 2005

    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014, an honor based on an exhaustive peer-review process.
    • 2014 “Managing Partner of the Year Pathfinder Award” at the Fourth Annual African-American Managing Partners and General Counsel Dinner during the National Bar Association’s 89th Annual Convention.
    • Recognized by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal as “certainly one of the top sports lawyers in the country,” 2012.
    • Selected for the cover and feature story in Smart Business magazine in 2010.
    • “Strong Men & Women - Excellence in Leadership” Award from the Dominion Companies, 2009.
    • “Distinguished American” Award from the National Football Foundation, 2008. “Black Professional of the Year” Award from the Cleveland BPA Foundation, 2008.
    • Inducted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2008.
    • Cleveland Magazine’s list of “Cleveland’s Most Influentials,” 2008.
    • Featured on the cover of the February edition of Inside Business magazine and identified as No. 1 on that publication's list of the 100 most powerful people in Northeast Ohio, 2007 (subsequently been included in that listing every year). 
    • “In Tribute to the Public Service” Award from the Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, 2007.
    • “Regional Vision” Award from the Northeast Ohio Regional Leadership Task Force, 2007.
    • “Community Leaders of the Year” Award from the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, 2006.
    • “Honoree” of the Ohio Cancer Research Associates, 2006.
    • Selected for the cover and featured in the annual publication Ohio Super Lawyers, 2005.
    • “Service to Mankind” Award from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 2005.
    • “Trailblazer” Award from the Norman S. Minor Bar Association, 2004.
    • “Cardinal Robert Bellarmine Lawyer of the Year” Award from St. Ignatius High School, 1999.
    • Listed in Best of the US and included in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2001, including recognition for Sports Law in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. 
    • Selected as the first profiled among several hundred professionals in the inaugural edition of Who’s Who in Black Clevelan

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