Pilgrim Named LPGA General Counsel

Dec 22, 2006

Jill Pilgrim, USA Track & Field general counsel and director of business affairs, will become general counsel of the Ladies Professional Golf Association beginning in January.
Since 1998, Pilgrim has served as general counsel and director of business affairs for USA Track & Field, the national governing body for track and field. She has overseen the in-house business affairs and legal departments of USATF as well as disciplinary and grievance procedures. During her tenure, she oversaw drug-testing litigations and the transition of drug testing to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, worked to standardize USATF event contracts and bid applications and was the USATF National Office liaison to the Law & Legislation Committee, the Diversity and Leadership Committee and the Committee on Sports for Disabled, among others.
“Under Jill’s leadership, USATF was able to bring much of our critical legal work in-house and to more effectively represent the interests of USATF and the sport as a whole,” said USATF CEO Craig Masback. “We wish her well at the LPGA and know that the organization will benefit from her vast expertise in the sports law arena.”
Prior to USATF, she worked at Pilgrim & Associates; Kurzman, Karelson & Frank; Cowan, Liebowitz & Latzman; and Willkie, Farr & Gallagher. During her work in private practice, she serviced clients in the sports and entertainment industries and handled real estate, tax and corporate legal matters.
Pilgrim received a B.A. in Politics from Princeton University in 1980 and studied at the Alliance Francaise and Sorbonne in France prior to graduating with a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1984.
Her responsibilities at the LPGA will include preparing and negotiating business agreements, managing the Association’s intellectual property rights and providing corporate governance advice.
In a memo, Masback alluded to the “combination of excitement, pride, and disappointment” he felt concerning Pilgrim’s departure.
“The excitement comes from the fact that this is an incredible career opportunity for Jill. The LPGA is one of the world’s leading sports organizations – arguably the biggest and best just for women – and she will step into a job of national and international importance. The pride comes from the fact that “one of our own” (a former track athlete and former USATF employee) will become one of the leading women in the sports industry. The disappointment comes from the fact that we will lose one of our most accomplished and longest-standing employees – Jill literally “invented” the position of General Counsel & Director of Business Affairs at USATF and has shepherded us through some exciting and challenging times in her role. I will personally miss her advice, counsel, and dedicated service.
“I am confident of two things: (1) Jill will be a great success in her new job. She will join an impressive leadership team and will make an immediate and long-term contribution to it; and (2) she will remain involved in USATF. Jill’s association with USATF long precedes her employment at the National Office and I am sure she will continue to serve our sport in some capacity.”


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