Our first runners-up this week are litigators at Latham & Watkins and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison who fended off antitrust claims brought by Relevent Sports, which was seeking to stage games between foreign soccer clubs in the United States. Latham represented the U.S. Soccer Federation, and Paul Weiss represented the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, of FIFA. U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan granted the associations’ motions to dismiss this week, finding the plaintiff, represented by Jeffrey Kessler at Winston & Strawn, failed to allege an unlawful horizontal agreement necessary to claim a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The Latham team representing USSF includes partners Christopher Yates and Lawrence Buterman and associates Elizabeth Yandell, Aaron Chiu, Jake Itzkowitz and Charles Dameron. The Paul Weiss team included litigation partners Chris Boehning (who argued the motion for FIFA) and Andrew Finch, counsel Dan Crane, associate Justin Ward and former associate Marcelo Triana.
Also getting a runner-up nod this week is Zack Tripp, the co-head of appellate litigation at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. This week Tripp got a decision on interlocutory appeal from New York’s Appellate Division, First Department that reduces client Epiq Systems’ potential exposure in a $100 million breach of contract suit to $15 million. The decision marked the third straight win Tripp has scored in interlocutory appeals. In December 2020, he persuaded a Florida state appellate court to knock out a $100 million complaint against NBA all-star Zion Williamson brought by the player’s former agent. In May, he convinced the Sixth Circuit to reverse a lower court’s decision allowing plaintiffs to move forward with a new direct purchaser class action against Bridgestone as part of Auto Parts MDL, despite the company’s $80 million settlement agreement with indirect purchasers. Tripp was assisted in the Epiq case by associate Jennifer Crozier. The Weil trial team on the case includes partners Gary Friedman and Diane Sullivan; counsel Kevin Meade; associates Jeremy Cain, Selma Haveric and Brittany Bunch; and law clerk Omar Abdel-Hamid.