To say O’Melveny has gone on the offensive this winter in terms of growing its Sports Industry Group would be a gross understatement.
First, the firm announced on January 17 the addition of Charles Baker, a nationally acclaimed sports lawyer whose practice includes mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and venture capital transactions. Working out of O’Melveny’s New York office, Baker will chair the group.
The firm followed that with an announcement two weeks later that veteran sports lawyer Jared Bartie was joining the firm as a partner in the group. Bartie has extensive in-house experience and was most recently a partner at Herrick.
Talk about a 1-2 punch.
Baker has represented a wide range of buyers and sellers of sports franchises in every major professional league, including the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and many European football leagues. He has guided the acquisition and sale of top professional franchises by investors in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In 2015, Baker represented the owners of the Atlanta Hawks in the sale of the NBA team, a transaction that Global M&A Networks recognized as the USA Deal of the Year.
“We welcome Chuck Baker to O’Melveny,” said Bradley J. Butwin, the firm’s Chair. “He is one of the country’s top sports and media lawyers—a leader in an area that continually outperforms previous years. He adds a dimension to our practice that is both rewarding and exciting.”
Matthew Erramouspe, Co-Chair of the firm’s Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice Group, added that “Chuck will bring a ‘best in class’ sports practice to our existing ‘best in class’ entertainment and media practice. With Chuck’s addition, we look forward to offering the sports industry a powerful combination of leading practitioners and a full suite of resources to service its needs on a comprehensive 360-degree basis.”
Baker received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1985 and is a Distinguished Lecturer at NYU’s Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business. He is also a member of the University of Miami School of Law’s Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law board.
Bartie will join the New York office and “work closely” with recent addition Charles Baker “to expand the firm’s sports industry offerings,” according to the firm.
Bartie brings more than two decades of sports and media experience to O’Melveny, having worked in both the corporate offices of various sports organizations and as a corporate lawyer. He has guided clients through high-profile investments in sporting organizations, prominent naming rights deals, and sponsorship and media rights agreements. Bartie also advises on arena operating agreements, food and beverage agreements, merchandise agreements, ticketing arrangements, suite licenses, and front office, coach, and player agreements.
Bartie’s extensive business experience spans a range of sports organizations. He has served as the Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel to the United States Tennis Association; Vice President of the NBA’s Team Marketing & Business Operations group, where he advised multiple NBA clubs on revenue enhancement strategies; Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets); and Executive Vice President and General Counsel of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
“We’re excited to welcome a lawyer with Jared’s broad experience and deep industry connections,” said Bradley J. Butwin, chair of O’Melveny. “He brings not only legal acumen to client matters, but also a practical business perspective.”
Bartie received his law degree from Northwestern University in 1993 and his Bachelor’s from American University in 1990.