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February 8, 2011 12:17 PM

Sullivan & Cromwell Hired in Dodgers Dispute

Posted by Brian Baxter

Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, currently fighting for control of the team in a tough divorce case, has hired Sullivan & Cromwell to represent the interests of the franchise.

A week after reporting that McCourt had terminated his relationship with Bingham McCutchen, which was representing the interests of the team in the divorce case, the Los Angeles Times now reports that S&C has been hired in the firm's place. The paper also reports that Bingham has retained Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Kevin Rosen in case it faces a malpractice claim over its role in the case. (Click here, here, here, here, here, and here for some of our previous coverage about McCourt's divorce from his wife Jamie.)

"We have asked Gibson Dunn to advise us concerning various matters of California law related to the ongoing situation," a Bingham spokesperson said in a statement. "Like anyone in these circumstances, we have taken and take advice on a variety of matters from various internal and external sources, including Gibson Dunn."

A source says that Bingham brought in Gibson Dunn in November, when the firm's name emerged in settlement discussions. The same source says that S&C chairman Joseph Shenker is serving as finance counsel to the Dodgers, which has been searching for additional capital to cover operating expenses while McCourt fights for control of the team in court.

Shenker did not respond to requests for comment from the LAT or The Am Law Daily. The National Law Journal, a sibling publication, has more on S&C's and Gibson Dunn's entry into the divorce case.

In December, a Los Angeles County superior court judge threw out a marital property agreement that would have given Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers. McCourt met with several Major League Baseball executives in January about the team's financial situation.

We asked former MLB president and COO Robert DuPuy, who rejoined Foley & Lardner on Monday, about the ongoing ownership battle in L.A. DuPuy says that, since leaving MLB last October, he has not been involved in the dispute, noting that any role in the case Foley might have would be confidential.

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What happened to the LA Dodgers? They used to be one of the strongest and most profitable teams in the major league. Fans are now hoping this issue would be settled and would not lead to the demise of a franchise that is a legend in MLB.

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