Senior Hires to Drive Growth of Global Sports Law Offering

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    Squire Patton Boggs has appointed partner Warren Phelops and director Mike Llewellyn to its global Sports & Entertainment Practice. Based in London, they will have an international focus working with the team across the firm’s global platform.

    Mr. Phelops joins from K&L Gates, where he ran the sports, media and entertainment practice. Mr. Llewellyn also joins the firm from K&L Gates, and will be an integral part of the senior team. Together, they will lead the practice on commercial, media and gaming matters. They also bring with them a first-rate digital gambling practice and experience, which will further enhance the team’s capabilities.

    The appointments significantly expand the firm’s global Sports & Entertainment Practice, uniting two stalwarts of the international sports legal sector, Mr. Phelops on transactional and rights matters and Stephen Sampson, leader of the Sports & Entertainment Practice and head of the London Litigation Practice, on governance, contentious and regulatory matters.

    “I am very pleased to welcome Warren and Mike to the firm, to further develop our practice,” said Mr. Sampson. “They are respected and market-leading practitioners in the sector, committed to delivering outstanding client service. This recruitment is a step change to our already well-rounded and highly regarded offering. Adding their substantial expertise and relationships to our existing strengths creates a formidable offering for clients around the world.”

    “This is an exciting move to a firm with a deep commitment to the sports industry, a first-class reputation, a highly impressive and wide-ranging team and a global multidisciplinary platform,” said Mr. Phelops. “I am really looking forward to working with the team and spearheading our opportunities in commercial and media rights internationally in particular.”

    Frederick R. Nance, global managing partner and co-head of the Sports & Entertainment Practice, said, “The specialist knowledge and experience of Warren and Mike will be a great boost to our sports offering and their appointment reinforces our firm’s commitment to be the leading advisor for international sports businesses and elite sportsmen and women.”

    David Elkins, global leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property & Technology Practice, added, “Warren and Mike make a great addition to our group. Their varied experience in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific strengthens our sector capabilities and enhances our client synergies worldwide.”

    Mr. Phelops is described in Sports Business International as “one of the world’s 20 most influential lawyers in the sports industry”. Having trained at Slaughter & May, and qualified into its corporate and commercial department, Mr. Phelops left in 1993 to join K&L Gates legacy firm Nicholson Graham & Jones to set up its sports practice, the first of its kind at a traditional City of London law firm. A particular focus of his work today is in the field of international media and technology rights, where he has gained a significant reputation advising rights owners, sport associations and governing bodies, as well as rights buyers, broadcasters and licensees, in sports ranging from cricket, football, rugby and golf, to boxing, motor racing and horse racing. Mr. Phelops also has extensive experience of sports regulatory matters, and other sports commercial rights agreements, particularly event hosting/staging, merchandising, sponsorship, data, hospitality, and travel and tours. He has advised leading national teams, governing bodies, leagues, clubs and investors, as well as many global consumer, sport and business brands, on significant commercial transactions covering major international events, such as the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup, Six Nations, Formula One, Ryder Cup and America’s Cup.

    Mr. Llewellyn focuses on both the sports and gambling sectors, where he has wide-ranging and in-depth experience. He advises on the acquisition, distribution and licensing of sports media rights and on sponsorship agreements. He also advises operators and suppliers in the gambling sector on commercial and regulatory issues.

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