Jeffrey L. Kessler, Co-Executive Chairman of Winston & Strawn, focuses his practice on all aspects of antitrust/competition, sports law, intellectual property, complex litigation, and government criminal and civil investigations. He has been lead counsel in some of the most complex antitrust, sports law, and intellectual property law cases in the country, including major jury trials, and has represented a number of U.S. and international companies in criminal and civil investigations in the antitrust, trade and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) areas. He successfully defended Matsushita and JVC against claims of a worldwide conspiracy in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Zenith v. Matsushita and is regarded as a leading commentator on international antitrust law. He has also been the lead counsel in numerous IP cases involving frontier issues of IP law and lead counsel in numerous government criminal and civil investigations.
Jeffrey is also one of the most prominent lawyers in the country regularly engaged in high-profile sports litigation. He has litigated some of the most famous sports-antitrust cases in history, including McNeil v. NFL, the landmark antitrust jury trial which led to the establishment of free agency in the National Football League (NFL), and Brady v. NFL, which led to the end of the 2011 NFL lockout. Some of Jeffrey’s clients in the sports law area have included the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), the National Basketball Players Association, the Arena Football League (AFL) Players Association, the National Hockey League Players Association, the Major League Baseball Players Association, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), CAA Sports, Wasserman Media Group, SCP Worldwide, MVP Sports, the Women’s National Soccer Team, the NFL Coaches Association, Players, Inc., the Women’s Tennis Benefit Association, Excel Sports, and Adidas. Jeffrey has also represented various classes of NBA, NFL, AFL, and MLS players, the North American Soccer League, the United States Football League, and the Cities of San Diego and Oakland, as well as Alameda County, in various sports law disputes. Jeffrey negotiated the current free agency/salary cap systems in the NFL and NBA, and successfully represented Latrell Sprewell in his controversial suspension arbitration. In the area of NFL discipline, he successfully represented Ray Rice, Tom Brady, and the “Bountygate” players. He also represented pro bono Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee athlete, in his successful arbitration to obtain the right to compete against non-disabled athletes around the world.
Education/Alumni: Columbia University, J.D., 1977
Last Updated September 2019