Alan Tompkins, a top lawyer for the family of late Kansas City Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt, said Sunday’s victory was a high point in his 20-year association with the club.
“I don’t think I took a breath during the last three minutes,” Tompkins said of the team’s 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, adding that he’s relished “watching the development and progress of the Chiefs.”
Tompkins is general counsel for Unity Hunt Inc., the parent company of the Hunt family’s business holdings, with sporting assets that include the NFL’s Chiefs, Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas, and Kansas City Mavericks, a minor league hockey team.
He spends most of his time handling corporate matters and transactions, real estate projects, and financings and investments, while also dealing with major sponsorships, trademarks and copyrights, Tompkins said. “I help the family with management of their trusts and legal affairs,” he said.
He also helps “with Chiefs matters from time to time, when Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt calls on me.” Clark Hunt is one of Lamar Hunt’s three sons and a part-owner of the Chiefs, whose star quarterback is Patrick Mahomes.
Tompkins started as general counsel in 2003 after working at several law firms, including Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Back then, many of the Hunt children, whose fortune comes from the oil and gas industry, were barely out of high school.
“It’s been a wonderful thing to be able to watch them grow and help them succeed,” Tompkins said.
The Hunt family’s portfolio of assets span private equity, real estate, and sports, and they all require different types of legal expertise, Tompkins said. That necessitates a “well-established network of outside lawyers,” he said, primarily in the Dallas area.
They include Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton associate Robert Hough II for intellectual property, Coats Rose partner Michael Saks for real estate and construction, and Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz partner Michael Hutchens for employment law matters.
Tompkins said Katten Muchin Rosenman partners William Rivers and Victor Zanetti get the call for corporate work and that Unity Hunt also often turns to Dallas-based solo practitioner Cristin Adam to assist on family real estate matters.
Inside the Hunt family organization, Tompkins said he’s just one of several attorneys who help “make things happen and keep things running” for its corporate namesake.
James O’Sullivan, a former assistant general counsel and director of land administration at Unity Hunt, last year was named general counsel for FC Dallas.
Unity Hunt’s president, Steven Caple, is a former general counsel at Novo Networks Inc. The Chiefs have their own club counsel in Christopher Shea, who is also the team’s vice president of football operations.
Shea, who was unavailable for comment, is the point person for all Chiefs-related legal matters. That legal slate includes everything from player health and labor issues to salary cap and NFL affairs, Tompkins said.
Tompkins said he chose to stay home in Dallas and watch the Super Bowl with friends and family, all of whom are Chiefs fans, rather than travel to Glendale, Ariz., for the main event because he’s been busy with projects.
The Chiefs have appeared in three out of the past four Super Bowls, winning two of them and losing to Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021.
Tompkins, a western Kentucky native who leads a foundation to promote bluegrass music, like Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, has no plans to retire from working for the Hunt family.
“I’ve had a great run with this family over the past 20 years, but I also have a wonderful 13-year-old daughter who needs to finish private school and college,” Tompkins said. “I’m not planning on slowing down anytime soon.”
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