The United States Soccer Federation compensated approximately $6.4 million to two Large Law firms all through its most new fiscal year, in accordance to a economical disclosure.
Latham & Watkins, which has been representing the governing body for US soccer in a shell out equity combat with US women’s countrywide group players, obtained almost $5 million in lawful expenses in the course of the one particular-calendar year period of time ending March 31, 2022.
The annual variety 990 filing by the nonprofit federation, which was unveiled very last 7 days, exhibits that the organization also paid out extra than $1.4 million to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. The federation’s overall authorized charges have been almost $9.9 million.
Latham, Morgan Lewis, and the Chicago-dependent federation didn’t react to requests for remark. The authorized service fees for the two firms previous yr are fewer than the $9.2 million and $2.2 million that Latham and Morgan Lewis respectively obtained for the duration of the organization’s 2021 fiscal year.
The federation past yr agreed to a $24 million settlement in its extensive-functioning pay out bias fight with US women’s national crew gamers. The landmark agreement equalized spend with the US men’s countrywide staff and presented the collective bargaining framework for equivalent pay pushes in other industries.
Latham took around the federation’s pay back fairness defense in 2020. The firm changed Seyfarth Shaw, which exited immediately after it filed a controversial quick evaluating the biology of male and woman soccer gamers. Latham is also representing the federation in antitrust litigation submitted by soccer promoter Related Sports activities LLC and the North American Soccer League, a now-defunct rival to MLS.
The federation has longstanding ties to Latham. Alan Rothenberg, a retired lover at the business, was at the time president of the business and established Significant League Soccer, the best US circuit for qualified men’s gamers. The agency has also finished perform for the Nationwide Women’s Soccer League, the leading tier for US women’s players, which till not too long ago was led by a previous Latham associate.
Morgan Lewis represented the federation previous calendar year in achieving a new collective bargaining settlement with US women’s countrywide workforce gamers after resolving the underlying litigation.
Karen Leetzow, employed in 2020 as the federation’s chief lawful officer, was compensated nearly $441,000 in whole payment past calendar year, for every its economic statement.
Leetzow took over from the federation’s former authorized and compliance chief, Lydia Wahlke, who resigned amid the fallout from the Seyfarth submitting and returned to non-public observe. Leetzow subsequently promoted longtime federation attorney Gregory Fike to general counsel.
The federation has continued to shake up its in-home ranks. In February, senior counsel Leah Holt remaining to turn out to be senior lawful counsel for partnerships at FIFA, soccer’s world governing physique for soccer. An on line employment board demonstrates that the federation is wanting to backfill Holt’s place.
The firm also hired a new lawful counsel last thirty day period in Alidu Salifu.