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O’Melveny Hires Sports Dealmaker

Jan. 17, 2017, 4:56 PM

Chuck Baker, a corporate partner who advises private equity investors in the sports, media and entertainment deals, has joined O’Melveny & Myers to head up a sports industry practice.

Baker, 56, joins from DLA Piper, where he was a partner in New York since 2010.

“The goal is to build a full service sports practice in transactions, M&A, finance, litigation and other matters,” said Baker. He said that the firm would compete with competitors such as Proskauer Rose, Covington & Burling and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

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Baker’s official title at O’Melveny is chair of the sports industry group, where he’ll be working closely with Matthew Erramouspe, co-chair of O’Melveny’s entertainment, sports and media transactional practice.

“It wasn’t really about leaving DLA as much as joining O’Melveny,” said Baker.

“Matthew Erramouspe... and Brad Butwin reached out to me and they were looking to enhance the sports practice that they have had for a number of years. We started talking several months ago about the opportunity to build something big at O’Melveny, not unlike what I had done at DLA, but with a much more significant entertainment and media practice and Asian presence.”

In his new role, Baker has his work cut out for him. The hire comes a little more than two years after O’Melveny saw its Los Angeles entertainment transactional team, led by Joseph Calabrese, decamp for Latham & Watkins . And in 2015, Robert Schwartz, the chair of O’Melveny’s entertainment and media litigation practice, joined Irell & Manella .

Baker said that his practice is complementary with O’Melveny’s existing clients in the entertainment and media space, which include established corporations such as Disney and Lionsgate Entertainment, to more emerging companies like the film and TV production company Skydance Media.

Baker declined to disclose clients, but his LinkedIn profile shows that he has previously represented owners of the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Hawks.

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