Cozen O’Connor: Sports


Cozen O’Connor has a significant sports law practice and decades of collective experience in the sports law area. Our attorneys represent clients working in all sectors of the industry, including professional and amateur teams and organizations, team owners and executives, professional leagues, professional and amateur athletes, agents and agencies, venues and arena management companies, corporate sponsors, and sporting equipment manufacturers.

While many firms offer a niche sports practice, we have purposefully built a well-balanced group that provides a full range of litigation, corporate/transactional, and intellectual property services to our sports clients. Indeed, one of the great benefits of working with Cozen O’Connor is our flexibility. As a well-known trial firm, we regularly represent sports clients in their most critical litigations. At the same time, our nationally recognized corporate and intellectual property practices provide counsel on matters ranging from stadium development to trademark prosecution. And with offices throughout the United States, as well as in Canada and the U.K., Cozen O’Connor has the capability to represent industry clients from Los Angeles to London.

Beyond our mastery of the legal and regulatory aspects of the sports industry, Cozen O’Connor brings an extensive network of relationships to every engagement—and a deep appreciation for the power of relationships in this sprawling but highly connected industry. Many of our practitioners have been working on behalf of sports clients for decades, so we are often able to make introductions, foster partnerships, and identify opportunities for mutual benefit. Because of this work, Cozen O’Connor is exceptionally attuned to issues of reputation and zealously protects the public image of every client.


  • Leagues and other governing bodies
  • Major and minor league franchises
  • Club owners and ownership groups
  • Coaches and team executives
  • Professional and amateur athletes
  • Players associations
  • Agents and agencies
  • Venues and arena management companies
  • Corporate sponsors
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Sports media content and technology providers



  • Represent sport clients in complex commercial litigation and contract disputes
  • Handle antitrust claims for plaintiffs and defendants
  • Conduct sensitive internal investigations and lead civil, administrative, and criminal proceedings
  • Counsel and defend clients in all manner of labor and employment litigation


  • Serve as outside general counsel to major sports franchise and arena owners
  • Lead mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, including team acquisitions
  • Negotiate private equity and other complex financings
  • Lead public and project finance deals; serve as bond counsel on stadium financings
  • Represent clients in major real estate transactions and sports facility development
  • Negotiate executive and player contracts
  • Advise clients on business development, media initiatives, and marketing strategies
  • Counsel clients on relevant regulations from telecommunications to tax to utilities law
  • Provide estate and tax planning to high-net worth individuals
  • Handle foundation and nonprofit formation
  • Counsel on immigration law issues

Intellectual Property

  • Conduct all forms of intellectual property litigation and dispute resolution
  • Negotiate sponsorship, endorsement, merchandising, and licensing agreements
  • Negotiate the sale or purchase of media rights, media catalogues, or name and likeness rights
  • Counsel clients on the right of publicity and right of privacy
  • Represent clients on trade secret, counterfeiting, and price discrimination issues
  • Lead trademark, copyright, and patent enforcement actions
  • Provide comprehensive portfolio management and counseling



Sports Teams Can Deduct Full Cost of Pre-Game Meals for Traveling Employees at Hotels at Away Games [Tax Alert]

June 29, 2017

The Tax Court has allowed the owners of the Boston Bruins hockey team (a subchapter S corporation) to deduct 100 percent of the cost of pre-game meals at hotels for employees while traveling for away games.

Navigating NBA's New CBA During Misconduct Investigations [Law360]

June 09, 2017

Jeffrey Monhait and Stephen Miller discuss the new collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the NBA Players Association and review the disciplinary powers of both the teams and the league in their Law360 article, "Navigating NBA's New CBA During Misconduct Investigations."

The Sports Law Review

January 18, 2017

Steve Silton, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Corporate practice, discusses the United States in The Sports Law Review.

Tips for Avoiding Olympic Committee Enforcement Letters [Law360]

August 12, 2016

Chanel Lattimer discusses how companies can minimize their risk of receiving intellectual property-related enforcement letters from the Olympic Committee.

Lord of the Rings: The Olympic Committee’s Trademark Protection [IP Watchdog]

June 07, 2016

Chanel Lattimer, an associate in Cozen O'Connor's Intellectual Property Department, discusses Olympic specific trademark law in her article on IP Watchdog.

Use vs. Registration: Do the Limitations of Trademark Law Temper the REDSKINS® Opponents' Victory? [Sports Litigation Alert]

September 14, 2015

Chanel Lattimer discusses the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's cancellation of the Redskins® six federally registered REDSKINS trademarks.

Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Win Appeal Defeating Northwestern Football Players' Attempt to Form Union

August 18, 2015

In dismissing the petition for election, the Board overturned a 2014 decision by Chicago’s Regional Director, Peter Ohr, finding that the scholarship football student-athletes were employees under the Act and entitled to vote in a union election.

Ultimate Game-Changer? Concussion-Related Injuries and Litigation [The FDCC Quarterly]

July 01, 2015

Joseph Ziemianski, Andrea Cortland, and other industry professionals, co-wrote this article in The Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Quarterly which discusses litigation related to concussions in sports.

Summer 2008 [Sports and Entertainment Observer]

August 14, 2008

The summer is almost over, and the entertainment industry has made it through the Writers Guild of America's strike, which we previously outlined in the Fall 2007 issue.

Sports and Entertainment Law Observer [Fall 2007]

November 07, 2007

Specifically, in this issue, we examine two topics currently at the forefront of the sports and entertainment industries. First, we explore the ongoing strike between the Writers Guild and the Association of Motion Picture and Televisions Producers. Next, we outline the various immigration issues and options for foreign athletes who seek employment in the United States.

Slugging Through Boxing's Contactual Minefields: Practical Solutions to Restore a Great Sport [Entertainment & Sports Lawyer]

August 30, 2007

Slugging Through Boxing's Contactual Minefields: Practical Solutions to Restore a Great Sport - Entertainment & Sports Lawyer - As an aspiring screenwriter, expression misappropriation in the screenwriting field strikes a particular chord with me. If any aspect of entertainment is unglamorous, it is the life of a screenwriter-particularly the unknown screenwriter. Unknown screenwriters rarely have resources (or the talent) to turn their manuscripts into motion pictures.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Sports Law for Rookies & Veterans 2018

June 06, 2018 - Minneapolis, MN

The Sports Innovation Series

February 09, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA

2016 Sports Law for Rookies and Veterans

April 15, 2016 - New York, NY

2015 Sports Law for Rookies and Veterans

March 05, 2015 - Miami Beach, FL

Sports Law for Rookies and Veterans

June 20, 2013 - Minneapolis, MN

In The News

Cozen O’Connor Appointed to Oversee Creditors’ Committee for Warrior Golf Reorganization

April 03, 2019

Warrior filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas Laredo Division to facilitate its reorganization. During this time, its custom golf business and nationwide portfolio of public courses remain open for business.

College Sports Face New Integrity Worries with Legal Betting

June 29, 2018

Stephen Miller, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Practice, is quoted Law 360 on the impact legalized sports betting has on the integrity of college sports.

Here is NFL’s chance to be better than Washington politicians in tackling anthem controversy

October 11, 2017

Adam Schlatner discusses the legal grounds to suspend or fire NFL players that are participating in the country-wide protests during the National Anthem. Players have been kneeling or raising their fists, rather than standing, during the anthem to protest the police brutality issues in the country.

Cozen O’Connor Launches Full-Service Pittsburgh Office With Three Former Leaders of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney

May 03, 2017

Cozen O’Connor has launched a full-service Pittsburgh office with three former leaders of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC: labor and employment attorney Thomas Giotto, corporate attorney Jeremy Garvey, and complex commercial and health care litigator Gene Giotto.

NHL exec Bill Daly visits Philly to talk 2018 Olympics and expansion to Las Vegas, Quebec City and Seattle

February 10, 2017

National Hockey League deputy commissioner Bill Daly came to Philadelphia on Thursday to be a keynote speaker at a sports business conference organized by local law firm Cozen O'Connor and Penn's Wharton business school.

Watch What You Post on the Olympics, or Face the Wrath of Organizers

August 10, 2016

Chanel Lattimer, an associate in the Intellectual Property Department, discusses the potential pitfalls of using any Olympic related material in advertising.

NHL Team Calls Fantasy Sports Co.'s Dismissal Bid Improper

June 23, 2016

Steve Silton, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Corporate practice group, discusses the recent Minnesota Wild case against daily fantasy sports on Law360.

Cozen O'Connor's Sports Law for Rookies & Veterans Mentioned in Law360

April 15, 2016

Cozen O'Connor's Sports Law for Rookies & Veterans was mentioned in multiple Law360 articles.

Cozen O'Connor Sports Law Team Weighs In on Recent Scandals

September 09, 2015

Recently, Cozen O'Connor's Sports Industry team has been a go-to law firm for some of the country's leading media outlets seeking commentary on various stories involving the intersection of sports and law.

Cozen O'Connor Labor and Employment Attorneys Score Big for Northwestern University

August 18, 2015

Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment attorneys were successful in thwarting the Northwestern University’s Football Team’s attempt to unionize, when the NLRB declined to assert jurisdiction.

Adam Schlatner Discusses Tom Brady’s Appeal and the Wells Report on In The Huddle with Ragz

August 04, 2015

Adam Schlatner discusses the strengths and weaknesses of Tom Brady’s and the NFL’s positions as “Deflategate” enters court.

Adam Schlatner Discusses “Deflategate” with Inside the Lines on Yahoo! Sports Radio

July 31, 2015

Adam Schlatner joined “Inside the Lines” on Yahoo! Sports Radio to break down the pending court case between Tom Brady and the NFL in regards to “Deflategate.”

John Johnson Interviewed by Capital New York about U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Captain Carli Lloyd

July 14, 2015

John Johnson was interviewed by Capital New York about his representation of U.S. Women’s National team star and captain Carli Lloyd. John, who has represented Carli since 2006, discusses her passion and dedication to the sport, her goals, her work with trainer James Galanis and how her recent fame (after scoring the first hat-trick in Women’s World Cup Final) compares to other notable moments in her career.

Adam Schlatner Discusses Effects of Heightened Scrutiny on Financial Institutions in Wake of FIFA Scandal in The Wall Street Journal

July 01, 2015

Adam Schlatner discusses financial institutions’ need to ensure best practices for compliance and risk management in the wake of the indictments and allegations surrounding the FIFA scandal.

Sports Law Seminar Covered by Washington Post, Boston Herald

March 16, 2015

Cozen O’Connor’s “2015 Sports Law for Rookies and Veterans” in Eden Roc Miami Beach generated a buzz in the NBA community regarding the National Basketball Players Association interest in having the age limit to go pro lowered in the next round of collective bargaining. General Counsel for the NBPA Gary Kohlman spoke at the conference saying that it is “quite likely the union will be taking a radically different position” than the NBA on the age issue. NFL Players Association Executive Director, DeMaurice Smith, was also on hand to discuss his expectations on the upcoming NFLPA elections that took place in Hawaii on March 15, he was hoping to be elected to his third term (ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed DeMaurice Smith was re-elected). "I have a boring job," Smith said. "My job is far more dictated every day by law, regression analysis, budgets, salary, perspective, opinions about where the economy's going to go and the cap. That's a pretty boring job — but I dig it."


Adam J. Schlatner


(212) 883-2236


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