The following article was written by Spencer Wingate.
The NFLPA is the labor union that represents current and former NFL players. They are in charge of maintaining former and current players’ benefits. Through subsidiaries, their responsibilities expand to players’ marketing and licensing agreements. Therefore, they pay expenses for players’ royalties, arbitration, and general counsel. Last year the NFL lockout leading to union decertification left the NFLPA very busy. The union is in charge of CBA negotiations which consumed a large portion of their outside legal and lobbying expenditures. Being a labor union, they are required to detail their finances to the U.S. Department of Labor. Their most recent LM-2 for the fiscal year of March 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011 was for $313.6 million. The financial statement details payments to outside accounting, law, and lobbying firms. Representational activities and legal work accounted for $63.2 million, with “only” $1.7 million being spent on political activities and lobbying.
The AM Law Daily detailed specific figures that were spent on firms and companies. Their article notes that since DeMaurice Smith became NFLPA Executive Director three years ago, his former firm Latham & Patton Boggs has substantially benefited. They have been able to make inroads into the legal turf typically dominated by Dewey & LeBoeuf and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
DeMaurice Smith’s contract is up for renewal in March and his leadership has recently been criticized by Attorney David Cornwell in a detailed eleven page memorandum. If you are interested in learning more about the letter, Darren Heitner, owner of this website, analyzed the memo here.