Giving new meaning to the concept of sports free agent, yet another prominent sports lawyer has left one firm for another.
O’Melveny has announced the hire of Irwin Raij as a partner in the firm’s Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice Group and as Co-Chair of the Sports Industry Group.
Raij is the third New York sports partner to join O’Melveny (www.omm.com) since the start of 2017. He is one of several high profile sports law attorneys, who has switched firms.
Raij has extensive experience throughout the sports industry, representing buyers and sellers of professional sports teams, guiding stadium development projects, and negotiating licensing, advertising, and media rights agreements. Having worked on deals involving the MLB, MLS, NBA, NHL, NFL, and English Premier League, along with major colleges and universities, Raij has been behind some of the sports world’s most innovative and highest-profile transactions and complex public-private partnerships. In what remains the single largest transaction ever for a professional sports franchise, he led the team that represented Guggenheim Baseball Management (headed by Mark Walter, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Stan Kasten, and Peter Guber, among others) in the US$2 billion acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“The firm is deeply committed to serving our clients in the sports world, and with Irwin joining Chuck Baker and Jared Bartie in our New York office, O’Melveny’s Sports Industry Group has never been stronger,” said Bradley J. Butwin, chair of O’Melveny. “Irwin’s reputation as a consensus builder and his detailed knowledge of his clients’ businesses are a great addition to our team. We’re thrilled to welcome him aboard.”
Raij also is an owner of the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers and the new Los Angeles Football Club (expected to make its MLS debut in 2018), adding a real-world practical perspective to his intensive hands-on legal work.
“I was attracted to O’Melveny because of its collaborative approach to client service and its long-term commitment to a synergistic entertainment, sports, and media practice,” Raij said, who received his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Mo., and a B.B.A. from the University of Miami.
“The firm’s underlying culture, which stresses the importance of shared success among friends, is a perfect fit for me and my practice.”