Wilmer Represented Ted Leonsis and His partnership in Purchase of the Washington Capitals and Other Sports Interests From Abe Pollin

Wilmer Represented Ted Leonsis and His partnership in Purchase of the Washington Capitals and Other Sports Interests From Abe Pollin

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A Sporting Chance...Thanks to last week's sale of theWashington Capitals hockey franchise, D.C.'s Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering expectsto add another team to its sports stable. Partner George Stamasheaded a team that helped America Online Inc. executive Ted Leonsis andWashington entrepreneur Jonathan Ledecky buy a piece of AbePollin's sports empire. "This was an extremely smooth transactionbecause we were really on the same side of the table," says Stamas, who is alsooutside general counsel to baseball's Baltimore Orioles. Wilmer landed the workbecause of Stamas' ties to both Leonsis and Ledecky. Stamas was outside counsel toU.S. Office Products when Ledecky chaired the company. Working with Stamas werepartners, Mark Pollak, a trustee of the Washington Redskins footballteam, who recently jumped to Wilmer from Baltimore's Piper& Marbury; William Wilkins, head of Wilmer's tax practice; ThomasWhite, who also does work for the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes;and Mark Dewire. They were assisted by five associates. Pollin was represented by David Osnos and Richard Brandat D.C.'s Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, which has longrepresented Pollin and his sport ventures. At Arent Fox, where Osnos has put inthousands of hours for Pollin since 1973, it was Brand who led the work on thistransaction, with help from Osnos and tax partner John McCoy. Branddescribes the sale as "win-win," and says there is a genuine affection betweenPollin and Leonsis. Arent Fox expects to continue representing the Pollin sportsempire, which includes the Washington Wizards basketball team, the MCI Center, theTicketmaster franchise, and the US Airways Arena in Landover, Md. Because of theownership change, Wilmer Cutler has a good shot at succeeding Arent Fox as general counselof the Capitals.

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