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One of Nixon Peabody‘s biggest dealmakers and two other partners are jumping to DLA Piper to boost its sports, entertainment and finance practices. Peter White, a partner in Nixon Peabody’s New York office who orchestrated financing for the New York Yankees and Mets stadiums, is joined by Mark Whitaker in Washington, D.C., and Katherine Baynes in Rochester, N.Y. Both of those attorneys have public finance practices. The move is intended to bolster DLA Piper’s sports and entertainment practice, especially on international deals. “[White's] ability to do this on our platform here and in other places, as in China, is an example of the enormous opportunity,” said Roger Meltzer, global chairman of DLA Piper’s corporate and finance practice. Asked whether he expected other Nixon Peabody attorneys to follow, Meltzer said that the the integration of White, Whitaker and Baynes was the firm’s immediate focus. White has worked on the financing, development and operation of stadiums and arenas for professional sports teams in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. He worked on more than $5 billion in financing for NFL franchises including New York Giants, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. In 2007, he was named a “Dealmaker of the Year” by The American Lawyer, an affiliate of The National Law Journal. Whitaker, a partner in Nixon Peabody’s sports and entertainment practice, represented the Ricketts family in their financing of a controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field. He also has transactional experience in transportation infrastructure, convention centers, hotels, and colleges and universities. Baynes’ main areas of practice include industrial development revenue bonds, civic facility revenue bonds, college and university bonds, hospital and health care bonds, exempt facility bonds and multi-family housing bonds. Nixon Peabody spokeswoman Allison McClain said the firm respected the attorneys’ decision to leave. “Lateral movement is a common dynamic in today’s competitive legal marketplace,” she said.

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