Jeffrey Benz, Esq., FCIArb, CEDS, is a nationally recognized expert in the resolution of complex and multi-party matters. Mr. Benz has served as a neutral in several hundred large and complex arbitrations and mediations employing various rules and before the major administering institutions, both nationally and internationally. Mr. Benz has been outside counsel (both transactional and litigation), inside counsel, and client, and he brings this well-rounded perspective on dispute resolution to serving as a neutral. At JAMS, he is available for arbitrations, mediations, fact finding, early neutral evaluation, and serving as special master or discovery referee worldwide.
Mr. Benz has extensive, specialized experience in sports and entertainment. He is one of only 300 Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) arbitrators worldwide and is among the most frequently selected American arbitrators. He is the former Disciplinary Tribunal chair for Rugby Football Union in London and a member of Sport Resolutions panels in the UK. In July 2016, the BBC noted Mr. Benz is “widely regarded as amongst the most experienced judges” in world sport. He has served as production counsel on films and has a producing credit on a short. He has a wide-range of entertainment mediation and arbitration experience including disputes involving production companies and investors, copyright claims, and contractual disputes.
Mr. Benz regularly lectures on dispute resolution in sports and entertainment matters and is an Adjunct Professor on Dispute Resolution, Ethics in Arbitration, and Sports Law at Pepperdine University School of Law. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Sports Lawyers Association.
Mr. Benz is known for creative solutions, high energy and unflagging persistence to drive solutions. His sense of humor helps with confronting difficult conversations and solve seemingly intractable problems. As an arbitrator Mr. Benz shapes the process with an eye toward efficiency and fairness.
- Arbitrated claims of misapplication or misappropriation of funds from collection accounts related to film production.
- Mediated dispute between prominent successful hip hop songwriter and his business managers arising from contractual claims under management agreement.
- Mediated dispute between prominent hip hop band and publisher arising from claims of copyright violation, breach of contract, and similar claims.
- Mediated claims for copyright infringement involving film and music properties in the US.
- Arbitrated claim between independent film producer and individual investors arising from production of independent film involving claims of fraud, breach of contract and breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
- Arbitrated claim between hedge fund investors and film production company arising from production of two films, alleging claims of breach of contract, fraud, conversion, and related claims.
- Arbitrated claim between nightclub promoter and nightclub owners arising from promotional contract with claims of breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing and similar claims.
- Arbitrated claim between major distributor of satellite television content and an authorized reseller alleging claims of breach of contract, fraud, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, interference, and similar claims.
- Arbitrated claim between class of independent film employees for back pay, wages, penalties, and interest asserted against independent film producer.
- Arbitrated and mediated several matters between debtors and creditors in connection with entertainment and intellectual property rights.
- Arbitrated numerous (more than 100) doping and sports discipline and qualification claims (reported Court of Arbitration for Sport and domestic decisions include USADA v Bruyneel (the only arbitrated Lance Armstrong-related case), Sharapova v ITF, Cilic v ITF, ROC v IAAF, Armitstead v UK Anti-Doping, UEFA and FIFA soccer/football cases, and many others).
- One of only 300 Court of Arbitration for Sport arbitrators worldwide and one of the most used Americans
- Former Disciplinary Tribunal chair for Rugby Football Union (London); member of Sport Resolutions (UK) panels
- Mediated multiple sports disputes between athletes, teams, and others involved in Olympic-related National Governing Body-related sanctioning or governance disputes.
- Arbitrated disputes involving claims of abuse of athletes by coaches and others.
- Arbitrated commercial disputes between sponsors and others related to sponsorship of various sports properties.
- Arbitrated sponsorship dispute between a European professional cycling team and its large European sponsor relating to claims of breach of contract by both sides, with more than $50 million USD in dispute.
- Arbitrated dozens of selections-related claims by athletes against governing bodies related to their non-selection to compete in international sports events worldwide.
- Arbitrated dozens of claims of breach of sports-related employment agreements between athletes in many different sports, including football/soccer.