Boies Schiller Flexner is the choice for the world’s premier sports organizations seeking counsel in litigation and commercial matters. Our partners have served as lead counsel, co-lead counsel, and trial counsel in major cases pertaining to antitrust law, media rights, and other critical areas, including in the landmark case of O’Bannon v. NCAA. We represent clients at the pinnacle of professional sports, including the NBA, NASCAR, the YES Network, the America’s Cup, International Speedway Corporation, the New York Yankees, and the New York Jets.
The firm launched in 1997 when co-founder David Boies represented George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees, along with Adidas, in a widely publicized antitrust suit against Major League Baseball. The case challenged longstanding agreements between baseball clubs regarding shared licensing revenue; it was ultimately settled out of court to Steinbrenner’s advantage, setting a precedent for lucrative merchandising agreements across professional sports. Since then, the firm has remained at the forefront of innovative sports law that challenges the status quo.
Called a “litigation powerhouse” by The Wall Street Journal, Boies, Schiller & Flexner is one of few elite firms with the ability to effectively prepare and successfully take an antitrust case to trial. This was brought to the fore during O’Bannon v. NCAA, when former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and other plaintiffs sought a ruling that the NCAA could not prevent them from sharing the proceeds from broadcasts and video games in which their names, likenesses, and images are used. The case challenged the modern interpretation of amateurism in college sports and highlighted the exploitation of student athletes.
We made headlines when we represented the NFL in the resolution of a labor dispute with its Players Association, and when we worked with members of the pro basketball players union in an antitrust suit against the NBA and its owners. Whether in litigation or arbitration, our Sports practice strategically outflanks the opposition to create successful outcomes for clients. This extends to our work in media rights, as evidenced in New York Yankees v. Cablevision, which settled favorably for the Yankees’ YES Network after arbitration.