The National Hockey League and National Football League have turned to
for counsel in their collective bargaining negotiations with players and referees, respectively, as other Am Law 100 firms have also grabbed roles in the high-profile pro sports contract disputes.
James Quinn, cochair of Weil’s litigation practice, says that his firm represents the NHLPA in the United States and has provided some “general advice” to the union on its collective bargaining talks with the NHL. Quinn’s litigation practice partner Bruce Meyer adds that Weil is “advising the union on all of their options.”
Danny Kaufer, Corrado De Stefano, and Gary Rosen, labor partners with Canadian firm
in Montreal, took the lead for the NHL in winning the denial of the NHLPA’s injunctive relief request in Quebec. Like Proskauer and Skadden, Heenan Blaikie also enjoys a long history with the league.
Peter Gall, a Vancouver-based Heenan Blaikie labor partner and another member of the firm’s executive committee, is representing the league in the Alberta action along with Hugh McPhail, a leading labor lawyer and partner at Alberta firm
The Am Law Daily
in an email Monday that several other lawyers—such as referee
, side judges
, field judge
, line judge
, and umpire
J. Jeffrey Rice
—are currently members of the NFLRA as on-field officials. (There may be other members of the NFLRA who are lawyers but no longer practice law, says Torbert, noting that his tabulation also doesn’t take into account associate members of the NFLRA such as replay officials that may also be attorneys.)
The NFLRA itself has turned to Michael Arnold, a name partner at Kansas City, Missouri–based
Arnold, Newbold, Winter & Jackson
, to serve as its lead negotiator with the league as the two sides seek to bridge their differences on a new labor deal.
According to records on file with the U.S. Department of Labor, Arnold’s firm was paid approximately $109,854 in 2011 to handle labor negotiations and other legal issues for the Kansas City–based NFLRA, which is led by executive director and former referee Tim Millis.