Frederick R. Nance is the firm’s Global Managing Partner, US LLP. Fred is a highly regarded legal and business counselor, nationally recognized Sports and Entertainment Law practitioner and a leader in the firm. His high-profile practice ranges from involvement in an ongoing series of critical negotiations involving community interests in Northeast Ohio to serving as business counsel to NBA star LeBron James, comedian Dave Chappelle and other notable athletes and entertainers. He is also an experienced trial litigator in federal and state courts.

    Fred serves on the boards of the Cleveland Clinic (chairing the Governance Committee), the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the publicly traded company RPM International Inc. He previously served for six years as an outside director to the publicly traded McDonald & Company Investments, Inc., where he was a member of the Audit and Compensation Committees. His previous nonprofit board service includes 10 years on the board of The Cleveland Foundation (the nation’s oldest community foundation with US$100 million in annual grants awarded), as well as service on the boards of Team NEO, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation and BioEnterprise, Inc. He also served for three years on the Board of CCHISCo (Cleveland Clinic’s professional liability self-insurance entity).

    He has a long track record of civic leadership at the highest levels in the Cleveland area, including as a standing member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Cleveland’s 14,000+ chamber of commerce, where he served as the Chairman of the Board from 2006 to 2008. He is also a former member of the Executive Committee and past President of the 50 Club of Cleveland.

    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 and leading the litigation and negotiation that returned the Browns franchise to the city when the former owner relocated the team.

    In 2015, Fred was inducted into the Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame in recognition of the leadership roles he has played in many high stakes community initiatives. He was the only lawyer inducted in the previous 16 years and only the seventh lawyer in the history of Cleveland to receive such recognition.

    His sports and entertainment experience is extensive, including being selected from among several hundred candidates as one of five finalists for the position of Commissioner of the National Football League. Later, Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner asked Fred to join his team’s front office where he served for three years as the Browns General Counsel, while remaining a partner in the firm. In 2012, he was recognized by the seminal sports business publication Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal as “certainly one of the top sports lawyers in the country.” He serves on the Advisory Board of the National Association of Black Sports Professionals and leads the firm’s US Sports and Entertainment practice. His firm leadership experience includes serving two four-year terms on Squire Patton Boggs’ worldwide, seven-person Management Committee and as the firm’s Regional Managing Partner.

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    Representative Clients and Projects

    • 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.
    • Serving as project counsel on various Cleveland economic development initiatives generally in the context of public-private partnerships.
    • 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.

    Firm Capacities

    • 2017 to date – Global Managing Partner, US LLP
    • 2006 to date – Head of US Sports & Entertainment Group
    • 2006-2016 – Regional Managing Partner
    • 2002-2006 – Cleveland Office Managing Partner
    • Elected to two four-year terms on Global Management Committee


    • Stanford University Directors’ College, June, 2019
    • Stanford University Directors’ College, June, 2017
    • 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

    Representative Client Work, Public Service & Professional Recognition

    • Current since 2001 – The Best Lawyers in America
    • Current since 2003 – Personal and Business Counsel to NBA Star LeBron James
    • Current since 2004 – The Greater Cleveland Partnership (14,000-member Chamber of Commerce) Executive Committee (Chair 2006-2008)
    • Current since 2005 – The Cleveland Clinic Board of Directors
    • Current since 2006 – Personal and Business Counsel to Comedian Dave Chappelle
    • Current since 2007 – Board of Directors RPM International, Inc. (a $5.5 billion multinational specialty coatings, sealants and building materials manufacturer)
    • Current since 2007 – Inside Business Magazine’s annual Power 100 listing
    • 2021 Lawyer of the Year for Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) in Cleveland – The Best Lawyers in America
    • 2020 – Lawyers of Color 5th Power List
    • 2020 – Recipient of Facing History and Ourselves Cleveland Upstander Award
    • 2020 – Recipient of Crain’s Cleveland Business 40th Anniversary Commemoration Newsmaker Award
    • 2019 Lawyer of the Year for Bet-the-Company Litigation in Cleveland – The Best Lawyers in America
    • 2018 and 2019 – Law360’s Sports Editorial Advisory Board
    • 2018 – Cover and feature article, Smart Business Magazine
    • 2018 – Savoy Magazine Most Influential Black Lawyers in America
    • 2017 – Cuyahoga County Mayors & Managers Association’s George V. Voinovich Municipal Service Award
    • 2017 – Distinguished Business Leader Award, AARP
    • 2017 – Recognized Practitioner for General Commercial Litigation in Ohio in Chambers USA
    • 2016-2013 – CCHISCo Board of Directors (Cleveland Clinic professional liability self-insurance entity)
    • 2016 – Savoy Magazine’s 2016 Power 300: Most Influential Black Corporate Directors
    • 2015 – Inducted into Inside Business Magazine’s Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame
    • 2015-2005 – Board of Directors The Cleveland Foundation  (The nation’s oldest community foundation with US$100 million in annual grants awarded)
    • 2015 – Cover and feature article, Attorney at Law Magazine
    • 2014 – Managing Partner of the Year Pathfinder Award at the Annual African-American Managing Partners and General Counsel Dinner, during the National Bar Association Convention
    • 2014 – US Army War College Strategic Leader Staff Ride in Normandy, France
    • 2012 – Designated by the Sports Business Journal as “One of the Top Sports Lawyers in the Country”
    • 2012-2011 – The 50 Club of Cleveland (Executive Committee/Chair)
    • 2012-2009 – The Cleveland Browns General Counsel
    • 2008 – Inducted as Fellow to the International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    • 2007 – Cover and feature article, Inside Business Magazine ranked No. 1 on List of Most Powerful People in Northeast Ohio
    • 2006 – One of five finalists for the position of Commissioner of the National Football League
    • 2005 – Cover and feature article, Ohio Super Lawyers annual publication
    • 2005-2004 – Chair of Cleveland Defense Industry Alliance (saved 1,100 Navy jobs in Cleveland slated for elimination by the Pentagon)
    • 1998-1994 – Board of Directors McDonald & Company Investments, Inc. (Regional investment banking firm)
    • 1996-1995 – Led the litigation and negotiation with The National Football League that returned the Browns franchise and intellectual property to Cleveland when former owner relocated

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    • Smart Business, “Master Dealmaker – Fred Nance,” August 3, 2018
      Brokering some of Cleveland’s most noteworthy transactions, Smart Business explores Fred’s insights into the craft of dealmaking and shares the lessons he has learned to get things done under difficult circumstances.
    • Chambers Associate, “Squire Patton Boggs – The Inside View
      Chambers sits down with Fred Nance for Q&A about Squire Patton Boggs’ near-term firm strategy and the importance of diversity.
    • Law360,Global 20 – Global 20: Squire Patton Boggs,” July 17, 2018
      Fred provides comments on how Squire Patton Boggs consistently remains one of the premier global firms handling cross border disputes and transactions.
    • Savoy, “Celebrity Clients, Global Responsibilities and Civic Leadership. Fred Nance’s Improbable Journey – A Quintessentially American Story,” July 10, 2018
      40 years and many “adventures” later, Fred Nance, noted for his celebrity clientele and civic leadership, has been named Global Managing Partner of Squire Patton Boggs US LLP.
    • Forbes, “Mark Ruehlmann And Fred Nance Of Squire Patton Boggs, On Mergers, Culture, Integration And The Media,” January 31, 2018
      Fred Nance and Mark Ruehlmann discuss the importance of diversity, cultural integration and what the road ahead looks like.
    • The American Lawyer"It's Lonely at the Top for Big Law's Few Black Leaders," November 2, 2017 (subscription required)
      In this article, Fred discusses how he beat the odds to become one of only a handful of African-American Big Law managing partners. Alongside other managing partners and chairs, Fred discusses why there aren’t more black lawyers at this level in Big Law, and provides advice for aspiring young African-American managing partners.
    • LCLD Newsletter, “Fellows and Pathfinders Bond at Leadership Lunch Plus in NY,” July 28, 2017 Fellows and Pathfinders from the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD) attended a Leadership Lunch at Squire Patton Boggs’ New York office. Fred Nance and Stacia Jones, Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Abercrombie & Fitch co-hosted the event.
    • The American Lawyer, “Squire Patton Boggs Helps Chappelle Snag Netflix Deal,” November 22, 2016 (subscription required)
      Netflix’s  announcement that comedian Dave Chappelle will produce an original stand-up comedy special exclusively for the Internet TV network made national deadlines. Fred Nance represented long-time client Dave Chappelle in the deal.
    • Bloomberg, “Squire Patton Boggs Elects New Global M.P.” November 8, 2016
      Fred Nance discusses the firm’s “exploding” global compliance practice and “connecting the dots” throughout the firm’s growing global platform as part of a story on his appointment as Squire Patton Boggs’ Global Managing Partner, U.S. LLP.
    • Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Fred Nance named Squire Patton Boggs’ next Global managing Partner of the U.S., LLP” November 6, 2016
      The Cleveland Plain Dealer profiles Fred Nance following his appointment as Global Managing Partner of Squire Patton Boggs’ U.S. LLP, which includes 36 offices in 16 countries including the US, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The article discusses Fred’s visibility and longstanding leadership in Cleveland and the legal industry, as well as the firm’s expansive global platform.
    • WKYC Cleveland, “Speaker Ryan helps kick off local youth empowerment program,” July 19, 2016
      Speaker of the House Paul Ryan stopped by Squire Patton Boggs’ Cleveland office for a kickoff event for local youth empowerment program “Empower Cleveland Youth.” Fred Nance is one of six civic leaders who developed the idea for the effort, and is an active participant and mentor in the program.
    • The American Lawyer, “'Believeland' Becomes Reality for LeBron's Longtime Lawyer,” June 21, 2016
      The American Lawyer profiled Fred Nance, long-time lawyer for Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James, noting the Squire Patton Boggs Cleveland-based regional managing partner has advised LeBron “since he was a teenager, handling everything from lucrative endorsement deals to scuttling salacious paternity suits.”
    • Reuters, “What you might not know about Lebron James,” April 8, 2016
      In an episode of Thomson Reuters’ Keeping Score podcast, Fred Nance, “lawyer and friend of LeBron James, discusses his work off the court. LeBron was ranked #1 in the Horrow Sports/MVPindex Power 100, which evaluates an athlete’s brand and marketability.
    • Lexis Nexis Corporate Law Advisory, “Law Firm Diversity—Best Practices for Firms and Companies That Hire Them,” March 2016
      Since 2003, the National Football League (NFL) has enforced the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for all head coaching and senior operations jobs. On February 4, 2016, the NFL announced that it would expand the Rule to require interviews of female candidates for executive positions. In this article, Fred Nance, who serves as co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee responds to the question “If the NFL can do it, why can’t the legal profession?”
    • Crain’s Cleveland Business, “'Believeland' is a compelling, and at times gut-wrenching, look at Cleveland sports,” March 2, 2016
      ESPN’s long-awaited “30 for 30” documentary “Believeland” spotlights the anguish and dedication of Cleveland sports fans. Fred Nance is featured in the documentary.
    • The Am Law Daily, “Ex-Wilmer Associate Seeks to Save the Browns,” January 4, 2016
      Sashi Brown was named executive vice president of football operations for the Cleveland Browns. Fred Nance, longtime outside counsel to the Browns, said Brown is the “complete package.” In the article, Am Law Daily writes that “Nance, who was part of a team of lawyers that advised on the sale of the Browns to Haslam in 2012, knows a thing or two about team building. He was once a candidate to become commissioner of the NFL, a position Nance was nominated for after successfully orchestrating a $535 million deal to bring the Browns back to Cleveland in 1999. A predecessor team had left the city for Baltimore in 1996, creating the rival Ravens.”
    • Inside Business, “Business Hall of Fame: Fred Nance,” November 2015
      In a profile about Fred Nance, Inside Business writes, “In his colorful life and career, the Squire Patton Boggs regional managing partner has steered clients and Cleveland toward victory.” Fred recently was inducted into Inside Business’ Business Hall of Fame.
    • Crain’s Cleveland Business, “Cleveland's Most Connected,” November 1, 2015
      Fred Nance is named one of the 100 most connected businesspeople in Northeast Ohio by Crain’s Cleveland Business.
    • Crain’s Cleveland Business, “Building a better board: Northeast Ohio companies' leadership groups are dominated by men,” October 4, 2015
      Fred Nance discussed boardroom diversity as part of a two-part series about the people who control some of the most powerful organizations in Northeast Ohio: the board members of public companies.
    • Crain’s Cleveland Business, “Building a better board: Average age of local members is 61,” October 4, 2015
      There are advantages to having a diverse board — in terms of gender, race and age, according to Fred Nance. He commented that we live in a digital age. “ Young people tend to be more knowledgeable…More open to innovation…More aware of the types of social issues that can end up hamstringing a company — if you have a tin ear to how the public will receive what you’re doing.”
    •, “Stokes' legacy includes helping minorities excel in law,” August 24, 2015
      On the passing of former Congressman Louis Stokes, Fred Nance praised his legacy, particularly in paving the path for African-American lawyers in Cleveland and throughout the country. Through scholarships and internships, his influence will continue. Fred commented, "When they see people who look like them, who have accomplished what they might want to do, it inspires them to try that much harder to know that there's a connection in the community. It'll help support them and pursue their dreams, and that's what the Stokes Scholarship Program is all about."
    • ABC News Dateline, “The Life and Business of Lebron James ,” June 15, 2015
      Between playing in the NBA finals and multimillion dollar endorsements, King James is living it up on and off the court. LeBron James lawyer Fred Nance appears in a segment where he discusses the economic impact of James’ return to Cleveland.
    • Attorneys at Law Magazine, “Attorney of the Month Frederick R. Nance; Lawyers as Visionaries – The Legal Futurists who Helped Remake a Great City,” June 2015
      In a profile for Attorneys at Law Magazine, the editor writes; “…There is arguably no one person whose name is more synonymous with Cleveland’s return to glory than attorney Frederick R. Nance, regional managing partner at the international law firm Squire Patton Boggs, founded in 1890.
    • Savoy Magazine, “2015 Most Influential Black Lawyers,” Spring 2015
      Fred Nance has been named one of the most influential black lawyers in the US. He is profiled in the Savoy article “From LeBron to the National Football League: Fred Nance is having more fun than the law allows.”
    • Professional Services Close-Up, “RPM reports cash dividend,” October 22, 2014
      At the annual meeting, RPM International re-elected four directors to serve in Class III in terms expiring at the annual meeting of stockholders in 2017, including Fred Nance.
    • ESPN blog, “First Cup: Monday,” August 18, 2014
      The NBA Players Association does not require a college degree, and most agencies bring on legal teams to handle the contracts. Fred Nance is mentioned as LeBron James’ lawyer and for being a finalist for the NFL commissioner’s job.
    • The New York Times, “An Agent of Change,” August 17, 2014
      The NBA Players Association does not require a college degree, and most agencies bring on legal teams to handle the contracts. Fred Nance is mentioned as LeBron James’ lawyer and for being a finalist for the NFL commissioner’s job.
    • Agenda, “When Social Responsibility Trumps Shareholder Value,” July 14, 2014
      Boards often must make tough decisions over maximizing shareholder value…Board member and attorney Fred Nance pointed out that sometimes directors have to choose unprofitable actions in the short run for a company’s long-term interests, saying that it’s really no different than investing in research and development.
    • Legal Times, “The Morning Wrap,” July 14, 2014
      The Am Law Daily chatted with Fred Nance, a Cleveland-based regional managing partner at Squire Patton Boggs and lawyer for basketball star LeBron James, about the athlete’s return to the city.
    • Am Law Daily, “LeBron’s Lawyer Welcomes Return of King James,” July 11, 2014
      When the news of LeBron James returning to Cleveland, Fred Nance wrote in an email to Am Law Daily that everyone in the city of Cleveland are “literally dancing in the streets.” In a subsequent phone call, Fred could barely contain his enthusiasm about his longtime client’s second major decision to come home to Cleveland.
    • NBC 3 Cleveland, Fred Nance Spends Seven Minutes with Russ Mitchell, June 17, 2014
      Squire Patton Boggs Regional Managing partner Fred Nance sits down with WKYC’s Russ Mitchell to discuss development in Cleveland and the importance of education to the city’s comeback.
    • Crain’s Cleveland Business, One year After Merger, Law Firm Making it Work, June 14, 2014
      Fred Nance and other Squire Patton Boggs leaders discuss the firm’s merger growth ambitions following its historic combination.
    • Forefront Magazine, “Old is Better than New,” May/June 2014
      GC Sashi Brown left one of the newest teams in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars, for one of the oldest, the Cleveland Browns. “Sashi presents that rare combination of low-key affect with an intense and unrelenting strategic focus. He’s already undertaken substantial executive responsibilities in a League where competition and excellence are the name of the game every day. Make no mistake. You’ll be hearing much more from Sashi Brown,” said Fred Nance. 

    • MC, Congressman Renacci Empowerment Group Kick-off Event, Republican National Convention
    • Speaker, 6th Annual African American Managing Partner and General Counsel Dinner, NBA Annual Meeting
    • Panelist, College Athletics, CSU Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium
    • Panelist, “Latest Trends in Sports Law in Europe & US – Views from Both Sides of Atlantic,” Union Internationale des Avocats Miami 2016 Seminar
    • Speaker, “Collaborative Civic Leadership,” Leadership Cleveland – Mid-Year Retreat

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