Morgan Lewis Establishes 2026 World Cup Initiative
In anticipation of “the many business opportunities and complex legal and regulatory challenges” that will emerge from FIFA World Cup 26TM, Morgan Lewis has assembled a multidisciplinary 2026 World Cup Initiative to “advise companies on the business potential of the global sporting event, while helping them manage risks and navigate compliance across the three host countries.”
In a press release, the firm asserts that its “lawyers provide comprehensive corporate, transactional, litigation, and regulatory services in the sports industry, including assisting with events such as the FIFA World Cup 2018 and the London Olympics and Paralympics, handling the regulatory and transactional work for the first major US stadium on track to operate on 100% renewable energy, counseling a FIFA World Cup 26TM host city on employment issues and grant documents, and advising the US Soccer Federation in its historic collective bargaining agreement for equal pay for the men’s and women’s teams. Morgan Lewis lawyers regularly support globally renowned sporting organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, the US Soccer Federation, Formula One, and the US Tennis Association on a wide range of matters.”
Partner Nicole Buffalano, who provides ongoing support to the US Soccer Federation and played a key role in negotiating its collective bargaining agreement for equal pay, noted that “the business opportunities and regulatory challenges will be magnified for all companies involved in the global sporting event. By creating this cross-practice initiative to collaboratively serve clients operating and investing in the World Cup, we will draw on our firm’s experience in the sports industry to guide clients through their opportunities for sponsorship and commercial enterprise, while helping them navigate their responsibilities around human rights, sustainability, and immigration.”
Buffalano, along with partners Daniel Losk and Stephanie Sweitzer, will co-lead the initiative, which counts nearly 30 lawyers from a dozen practices, including commercial transactions, labor and employment, intellectual property, immigration, finance, and tax. Lawyers from the initiative regularly represent global sports brands, teams, and leagues; investors including private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds, and individuals; and sponsors, broadcasters, and the media, according to the firm.