Leading sports litigation attorney for multiple Major League Baseball teams Ronald Gaither has joined the Atlanta office of BakerHostetler as a partner in the Litigation Group and the Sports and Entertainment Industry team. For the past 10 years, he has served as outside litigation counsel for the Atlanta Braves. Gaither joins more than 55 attorneys in the Atlanta office who practice in the areas of healthcare, intellectual property, corporate, real estate, litigation and tax. He comes to the firm from Schiff Hardin.
As a trial attorney highly specialized in stadium operations and sports management, Gaither focuses his practice on assisting facility owners with matters related to stadium financing, naming rights agreements, labor and employment, internal investigations, intellectual property, litigation, licensing and sponsorship agreements, and real estate transactions. From organizing multimillion-dollar financing of new stadiums to handling delicate internal investigations of alleged player misconduct, he represents sports franchises through all facets of stadium operations and issues arising from day-to-day management of sports teams. With experience in state and federal courts, Gaither also serves as counsel for Fortune 500 clients in complex matters involving allegations of fraud, breach of contract and other high-profile matters.
BakerHostetler continues its aggressive expansion in the Atlanta office that was established in 2014 when it combined with intellectual property boutique Woodcock Washburn. In 2015, the firm created a full-service office when it added 32 attorneys from McKenna Long & Aldridge. Recent additions include prominent employment and labor attorneys Eric L. Barnum and James D. Levine and the appointment of Joann Gallagher Jones as managing partner.
“Ron’s reputation for successfully handling complex matters for sports and entertainment organizations precedes him,” said Ray Whitman, chair of the Litigation Group. “He’s known as a go-to attorney for his wealth of experience in this industry. We’re excited to add someone with his depth of skills and knowledge to our team.”
“Ron has a multidimensional understanding of the business model unique to professional sports owners,” said Gregory D. Lee, leader of the Sports and Entertainment Industry team. “He understands the challenges, complexities and opportunities facing leagues, teams and team owners, and brings solid business strategies to help them meet their short- and long-term goals. We couldn’t be more excited Ron has chosen to join our team.”
“Sports management has long been a prominent piece of BakerHostetler’s history that continues today,” said Joann Gallagher Jones, managing partner of the Atlanta office. “As we continue to grow our service offerings in the Atlanta market, we looked to Ron because of his respected business savvy in the industry. When you combine this with his common-sense approach to delivering value to his clients, he’s a natural fit for our expanding litigation practice.”
“I’m proud to join BakerHostetler’s national sports and entertainment practice,” said Gaither. “The depth of experience the team has in sports management is aligned perfectly for my practice and clients. In addition, the firm’s teamwork approach to the practice of law is the right fit for me personally –– I’m excited to get started.”
Gaither is a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, earning his J.D. in 2001. There he served as notes editor for the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment Law and Practice. He earned his B.A. in political science from The University of Oklahoma in 1997. Gaither is a decorated soldier, having served in the United States Air Force in Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He currently serves on an advisory board dedicated to eliminating homelessness for veterans of war.