National Women's Soccer League Gets Legal Kick Start from Latham & Watkins

Latham advised on the formation of the league, which includes eight Division-I teams.

September 06, 2013

Latham & Watkins LLP advised the U.S. Soccer Federation and  National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) on the formation of the league and has continued to provide ongoing advice related to league governance, operations, tax matters and intellectual property.  The Portland Thorns FC and Western New York Flash met in the Championship Game of the inaugural National Women's Soccer League on August 31, 2013, which the Portland Thorns FC  won 2-0.

“We have been delighted to work with the U.S. Soccer Federation and the National Women’s Soccer League as the league has worked through the challenges and milestones of its formation and inaugural season,” said Michael Kuh, corporate counsel in Latham & Watkins’ New York office. “It has personally been thrilling to be part of the birth of a new sports league and to watch it culminate in its first championship game.”

The Latham team was led by Michael Kuh, with litigation partner Russ Sauer and corporate associate Hayley Hedges in Los Angeles. Advice was also provided by intellectual property partner Jeff Tochner in New York, tax partner Pardis Zomorodi in Los Angeles, and benefits and compensation partner Bradd Williamson and associate Austin Ozawa in New York.

“Latham & Watkins has been an integral part of the broad team of talented league and team officials who have worked together to make our league and our first season a success,” said NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey. 

The National Women’s Soccer League is an eight-team Division-I women’s professional soccer league featuring players from Canada, Mexico and U.S. The eight founding clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash.

Based in Chicago, the NWSL is supported by the United States Soccer Federation, Canadian Soccer Association and Federation of Mexican Football.