Miami market stays hot for law firms as Sidley makes new hires

Signage is seen outside of the law firm Sidley Austin at their legal offices in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Sidley has recruited former co-chairs of O’Melveny’s sports practice
  • Chicago-founded firm builds on recent hires in Miami

(Reuters) – Sidley Austin said Monday it has added sports lawyers Charles (Chuck) Baker and Irwin Raij from O’Melveny & Myers to co-chair the firm’s entertainment, sports and media industry group from O’Melveny & Myers, part of a recent string of Miami hires for Sidley.

Baker and Raij co-led the sports industry group at their prior firm.

Chicago-founded Sidley’s website did not list a physical office in Miami on Monday. But the 2,000-lawyer firm, like several other out-of-town firms, has grown its presence there lately.

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Sidley on Friday said it added two Miami-based partners from Akerman, trial lawyers Larry Silverman and Dianne (Dee Dee) Fischer.

The sports industry dealmakers joining Sidley have worked on matters involving the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Women’s Soccer League and a number of other sports leagues, Sidley said.

The pair represented hedge fund manager David Tepper in his $2.275 billion acquisition in 2018 of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, according to their online Sidley bios.

Both partners will be located in Miami, and Baker will split his time between South Florida and Sidley’s New York office.

Miami has recently seen a spate of lawyer hiring. King & Spalding last week brought on three partners from Akerman, a few months after the Atlanta-founded firm relocated a large group of its lawyers and opened an office there.

St. Louis-founded Armstrong Teasdale launched in Miami in January with an acquisition of small litigation firm Waldman Barnett. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, a Los Angeles-founded firm, opened there last year with recruits from Hogan Lovells and Greenspoon Marder.

On Monday, technology-focused law firm Actuate added former Miami mayor Xavier Suarez in the city, where it will open a physical office later this summer.

Sidley will also have several associates based in Miami, according to recent statements from the firm.

An O’Melveny spokesperson said the firm wishes Baker and Raij well.

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Quinn Emanuel expands in Southeast, tapping Miami mayor for new Florida office

Tech-focused law firm Actuate hires ex-Miami mayor for new office

King & Spalding draws three Akerman partners into new Miami office

NFL notebook: Tepper’s purchase of Panthers official

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Sara Merken

Thomson Reuters

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at

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