O’Melveny Adds Heavy Hitter as Sports Industry Group Co-Chair

April 17, 2017


NEW YORKApril 17, 2017O’Melveny welcomes 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 since the start of 2017. 

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. “The firm’s underlying culture, which stresses the importance of shared success among friends, is a perfect fit for me and my practice.”

Raij also upholds O’Melveny’s commitment to government service, having acted as assistant counsel to the Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign, where he was responsible for federal election law compliance, drafted committee contracts and leases, conducted research, and provided other legal guidance. Before that, he served as an attorney in the White House Office of Counsel to the President, associate counsel in the White House Office of Counsel to the Vice President, and attorney advisor and special assistant in the office of the general counsel for the Department of Housing & Urban Development. 

Raij serves on the national board of directors for the Development Corporation for Israel and on the board of advisors for the University of Miami School of Law’s Graduate Program in Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law. He is a previous member of the Jewish Federation of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet and a former board member at Amigos for Kids, a Florida nonprofit.

He received his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Mo., and a B.B.A. from the University of Miami.

About O’Melveny
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Julie Fei
O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Chris Till
O’Melveny & Myers LLP