Principal Counsel - ESPN

New York
205615.00 - 266090.00 USD Annual
Sep 18, 2023
Sep 20, 2023
Contract Type
Principal Counsel – ESPN

ESPN is seeking a seasoned attorney for the role of Principal Counsel. This position will report to the Deputy Chief Counsel and will assist and support the Deputy Chief Counsel(s) and Chief Counsel in fulfilling the legal affairs and requirements of the corporation. Areas of focus may include, but are not limited to, programming acquisitions for live sporting events and, unscripted/scripted original content, production agreements, marketing and promotions, digital (including social) media and platforms, as well as legal work related to various aspects of direct–to–consumer offerings. The preferred location for this position is Bristol, CT. Will also consider New York, NY.

Job Responsibilities:
  • Maintains current knowledge of substantial range of federal, state, and local laws and of legislative and regulatory developments, analyzes how these might impact ESPN, and conceives and recommends compliance actions.
  • Serves as primary Legal Department representative for assigned ESPN departments or categories.
  • Drafts contracts and other legal documents, recommends approval/modification of contracts proposed by outside parties, and negotiates with outside parties.
  • Possesses and maintains (including through continuing legal education) knowledge in specialized legal areas, including emerging trends, specifically in connection with (1) content (including live event and/or scripted/unscripted audiovisual programming, licensing and production); (2) intellectual property (copyright, trademark, rights of publicity); (3) marketing and promotion; and/or (4) digital (including social) media and platforms.
  • Conceives and recommends strategies and tactics in response to legislative and regulatory developments and other events or anticipated actions.
  • Keeps internal clients (and Legal leadership team) fully informed of relevant legal issues and implications of their current operations and proposed actions and, advises them accordingly of risks and legal consequences of alternative actions.
  • Reviews and edits significant guidelines, policies, letters, work orders, and other documents from applicable client departments to ensure that legal implications are appropriately handled.
  • Manages outside counsel in their representation of ESPN on litigation and other legal service matters and analyzes the approach and effectiveness of such outside counsel.
  • May directly supervise, on a non–exclusive basis, one or more Paralegal and Legal Assistant colleagues, and may supervise individual projects of Counsel(s).
  • Recommends and may implement Legal Department policy at the direction of Chief Counsel and Deputy Chief Counsel(s).
  • Operates within the context of defined corporate strategies.
  • Recommends and implements enhancements and improvements to established processes and workflows.
  • Translates corporate strategy into mid– and long–term goals.
  • Translates the analysis and evaluation of trends in ESPN's legal positioning and compliance into recommended corporate actions.
  • Conceives and recommends strategies and initiatives to minimize the legal risks of current operations and proposed actions.
  • Determines / recommends the language of template legal documents.
  • Analyzes the legal implications of proposed ventures and current operations and proposed actions of internal clients.
  • Analyzes new laws and legislative and regulatory developments for their potential impact on ESPN.
  • Guides or participates in the management of client organizations in the interpretation of complex information.
  • Contributes to ensuring the processing efficiencies at all levels of the organizations.
  • Ensures that internal clients have an adequate understanding of the law as it applies to their operations.
  • Interacts with internal client management.

Required Qualifications:
  • A minimum of 8 years contract law experience, including extensive drafting, in a transactional IP practice at a law firm, network/studio, sports league, agency, and/or other in–house legal department.
  • A strong understanding of content agreement negotiating (including, by way of example only, audiovisual programming, licensing, and production agreements), intellectual property law (copyright, trademark, rights of publicity), and/or scripted or unscripted original content acquisitions and production, including guild related matters, and/or talent negotiations.
  • Familiarity with entertainment, broadcast/cable, internet, mobile, direct–to–consumer, social and other digital media and/or sports businesses.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written/verbal communication, and analytical skills.
  • Excellent organizational, prioritization, and time management skills with the ability to work under tight deadlines and execute efficiently against multiple, high–priority and high–volume projects in a fast–paced environment.
  • Exceptional ability to respond to and interact with creative and business executives at all levels of seniority in a manner that is personable and professional.
  • Exceptional facility with spotting issues, assessing and communicating risks, making common–sense decisions, and finding flexible/creative solutions to achieve business goals.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Familiarity with marketing, data/privacy/piracy, gambling/fantasy sports, music clearance matters and/or international sports programming acquisitions, and/or employment matters.
  • Experience supervising paralegal/legal support staff.

Required Education
  • JD degree or equivalent from an accredited law school
  • Admission to Connecticut State Bar or New York State Bar in good standing or willingness and qualification to be Registered In–House Counsel

The hiring range for this position in New York is $205,615 to $266,090 per year. The base pay actually offered will take into account internal equity and also may vary depending on the candidate's geographic region, job–related knowledge, skills, and experience among other factors. A bonus and/or long–term incentive units may be provided as part of the compensation package, in addition to the full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits, dependent on the level and position offered.