David Feher is a litigation partner in the firm’s New York office and co-chair of the firm’s sports law sub-practice group. He is one of the leading sports lawyers in the country. He has extensive experience in complex litigations, negotiations and arbitrations involving contract, intellectual property, antitrust and international issues.
Mr. Feher has been outside counsel for the NFL Players Association and the NBA Players Association for many years. He is one of the prime negotiators of the collective bargaining agreements and antitrust settlements in the NFL (1993, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2011) and the NBA (1995, 1999, 2005 and 2011).
Mr. Feher has represented a variety of clients in the sports industry, including Oakley, Inc. in litigation filed in 2012 against Nike and World #1 golfer Rory McIlroy to enforce the right of first refusal in Mr. McIlroy’s endorsement contract.
Mr. Feher has served as counsel in many prominent sports lawsuits and arbitrations, including the NCAA/NIT litigation (which resulted in a favorable settlement for the five New York City colleges and universities that operated the NIT), the Reggie White and Patrick Ewing class actions, the NFL lockout insurance/network TV contract case, the Jeremy Lin “Bird Rights” arbitration, the Drew Brees Franchise Player arbitration, the Michael Vick roster bonus forfeiture arbitration, the Terrell Owens arbitrations, the Arena Football League class action, the Bill Belichick/New York Jets litigation, and the Latrell Sprewell grievance.
Mr. Feher co-led the historic pro bono representation of double-amputee Oscar Pistorius in the successful effort to overturn the ban against Mr. Pistorius competing in IAAF track events and the Olympics (which led to Mr. Pistorius competing in the 2012 London Olympics), and 800M World Champion sprinter Caster Semenya in her successful eligibility dispute with the IAAF.
Mr. Feher was one of the lead lawyers for the NFLPA and three NFL players in the New Orleans Saints Bounty Case that overturned the discipline the NFL had imposed on the players for allegedly participating in an undisclosed “pay for performance/bounty” program operated by the team. He was also the principal author of the brief submitted by all of the major player associations to the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark American Needle case which rejected the NFL’s efforts to characterize itself as a ‘single entity’ for antitrust purposes.
Mr. Feher represents the player board members on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, including negotiating a new prize money system for the WTA's Roadmap restructuring. He also has represented agents and their clients at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Wasserman Media Group (WMG), and other such firms in various matters. He negotiated Avon's sponsorship of the Olympic Games and Avon's licensing contract with Derek Jeter. He also successfully represented noted nutritionist and The New York Times best-selling author Dr. Joel Fuhrman in an arbitration and negotiation regarding the terms of a joint venture.
Mr. Feher successfully defended Avon Products, Inc. against a $100 million false advertising claim in the S.C. Johnson v. Avon Products trial. He has been involved in numerous other major cases, including the NASDAQ price-fixing class action, and the Freeman McNeil/NFL antitrust trial. Mr. Feher represented the New York Stock Exchange in connection with the "decimalization" of NYSE trading operations, and has advised companies involved in price-fixing investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Feher recently represented a Turkish company in successfully vacating an arbitration award on grounds of evident partiality. He has represented a number of large US and international companies in various matters, and has extensive experience litigating complex commercial disputes. He has negotiated numerous commercial contracts in the sports and other industries.
Honors and Awards
Mr. Feher has been recognized in Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2005-2012) as “one of the country’s leading sports attorneys,” with only six lawyers in the entire country ranked higher. He also was selected in the first 100 Lawdragon’s “New Stars” in 2006 and honored in 2010-12 by New York Super Lawyers.
Winston & Strawn's Sports Law group has been recognized by U.S. News and World Reports - Best Lawyers “Law Firm of the Year” in Sport Law for 2012-2013.
Mr. Feher is a member of the American Bar Association and the Sports Lawyers Association. He also often writes and speaks on antitrust and sports topics, and served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.
Mr. Feher received a J.D. from Duke University in 1984, where he was an article editor for the Duke Law Journal. He received an A.B., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1980.
Speeches and Publications
- Inside the Minds: Winning Legal Strategies for Entertainment, Sports, and Media Law, Chapter (Aspatore Books 2006).
- “The Supreme Court’s Decision in Dagher: Canary in a Coal Mine or Antitrust Business as Usual?,” Antitrust, co-author (Fall 2006 Issue).
- Chapter 12, “The Corporate Counsellor & Antitrust,” Corporate Counsellor’s Deskbook, co-author (5th ed.).
- “The Adverse Effects of Brown v. Pro Football on Labor Relations in Professional Sports,” Antitrust Magazine, co-author (Spring 2000 Issue).
Speeches and Programs
- Panelist, “Sports Law Developments,” Practising Law Institute, New York, New York (May 8, 2012).
- Keynote Speaker, Harvard Law School, 2012 Sports Law Symposium, Cambridge, Massachusetts (March 23, 2012).
- Panelist, Collective Bargaining, Duke Law School, Sports and Entertainment Law Symposium, Durham, North Carolina (March 16, 2012).
- Panelist, Sports Law Practitioners, Columbia Law School, New York, NY (March 5, 2012).
- Speaker, Minnesota State Bar Association Panel, “Sports & Antitrust,” Minneapolis, Minnesota (December 14, 2011).
- Speaker, Wharton School’s 6th Annual Ivy Sports Symposium, Labor Relations and Player Personnel, University of Pennsylvania (November 18, 2011).
- Speaker, Sports Law Symposium, Collective Bargaining & Antitrust Issues, New York University School of Law, New York, New York (April 13, 2011).
- Speaker, Hofstra Sports & Entertainment Law Society Spring 2011 Speaker Panel, Hofstra Law School, Hempstead, New York (April 11, 2011).
- Panelist, “Collective Bargaining in Sports: Impeding Negotiations, Potential Lockouts, And The Main Sources of Conflict Between Owners and Unions,” Fordham Law School, New York, New York (April 1, 2011).
- Speaker, Sports and Entertainment Law Journal Symposium: Stitching Together the Past, Present, and Future of Antitrust Law in Professional with an American Needle: Where Do Professional Sports Leagues Stand after American Needle v. NFL?, Villanova Law School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (January 29, 2011).
- Panelist, “Joint Ventures: Lessons from U.S. Experience for the New Canadian Law,” Canadian Bar Association – 2010 Annual Fall Competition Law Conference, Gatineau, Quebec (September 30, 2010).
- Guest Speaker, American Bar Association, Antitrust Section, “ American Needle and Sports Leagues,” Washington, D.C. (June 16, 2010).
- Guest Lecturer, “Sports Law” Columbia Law School, New York, New York (November 18, 2009).
- Guest Lecturer, “Sports law – Player-Union Relations,” Columbia Law School, New York, New York (September 17, 2008).
- Guest, “Oscar Pistorius,” CBC Sun Day Newsmagazine Program, Canadian Broadcasting Company (May 18, 2008).
- Panelist, “Sports Law Careers,” New York University Law School, New York, New York (January 23, 2008).
- Guest Lecturer, “Sports Law – Player Discipline,” Columbia Law School, New York, New York (September 12, 2007).
- Sports Lawyers Association, 33rd Annual Conference, “Legal Ethics in the Evolving World of Sports Agents,” Cambridge, Massachusetts (May 17, 2007).
- Duke Law School, “Democracy and Liberty: Representing Athletes and Players In The Real World,” Durham, North Carolina (March 28, 2007).
- American Conference Institute, Sports Law Leadership Summit, “Understanding the Antitrust Implications of Sports Leagues,” New York, New York (September 28, 2006).
- Guest Lecturer, “Sports Law – Arbitration,” Columbia Law School, New York, New York (September 27, 2006).
- Guest Speaker, “Recent Developments in the NFL/Collective Bargaining,” Duke Law School, Durham, North Carolina (March 20, 2006).