Jeffrey G. Benz, Esq., CEDS

T: 310-392-3044
F: 310-396-7576
Available nationwide
Entertainment and Sports

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.

Representative Matters

  • Entertainment
    • 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.
  • Sports
    • 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.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Accredited Mediator, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR)
  • Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS), Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS)
  • Member, Academy of Court-Appointed Masters
  • Vice President, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, North American Branch
  • Member, American Bar Association (Forum on Entertainment & Sports Law; Litigation, Business Law, Health Law, and Dispute Resolution Sections)
  • Member, State Bar of California (Business Law and Litigation Sections)
  • Member, Hawaii State Bar Association
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member, Association for International Arbitration
  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association
  • Member, California Society for Healthcare Attorneys
  • Member, panel of arbitrators of Court of Arbitration for Sport, LCIA, CIETAC, Beijing Arbitration Commission, Bucharest International Arbitration Center, Sport Resolutions UK, Rugby Football Union, and others.
  • Recognized, Who's Who Legal, Entertainment and Sports Law, Worldwide, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017; Recognized, Who's Who Legal, UK Bar 2017, Leading Barristers
  • Board Member, Chair of International Committee, and Annual Conference Co-Chair, Sports Lawyers Association (SLA)
  • Board Member, National Sports Law Institute; Member, RexSport
  • Advisory Board Member, LawInSport.com, 2013-Present
  • Admitted to practice in California, Colorado, Hawaii, and New York
  • Author or co-author of leading articles on ADR, international and domestic commercial and sports arbitration and mediation, and managing costs in ADR; frequent trainer and lecturer on arbitration, mediation and sports topics around the world.
  • "The Next Generation of Neutrals," ADR Profile, Bloomberg BNA, August 13, 2016
  • Vice Chair, ABA Business & Corporate Litigation, ADR subcommittee
  • Board Member, Institute of Sports Law and Ethics

Background and Education

  • Door Tenant, 4 New Square Barristers, Lincoln’s Inn, London, 2013-Present (mediation, arbitration, dispute resolution, sports, corporate governance, early neutral evaluation/factfinding, investigations, entertainment, technology)
  • Attorney, Mediator, and Arbitrator, Versus Advocates and Benz Law Group, Los Angeles, 2007-Present (general commercial practice, transactions and litigation, sports, technology, entertainment, general counsel services, investigations)
  • Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, and Secretary, Golden Spear, LLC, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, China, 2009-2010 (technology, software, telecommunications, entertainment, corporate governance, China joint ventures, Chinese law/culture)
  • Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Secretary, AVP, Inc. and AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Los Angeles, 2007-2008 (sports, entertainment, music, public company compliance, corporate governance, M&A)
  • Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, and Secretary, A2 Holdings, LLC, Los Angeles, 2006-2007 (sports, corporate governance, investments/M&A, entertainment)
  • General Counsel, Managing Director of Legal and Government Affairs, Chief Compliance Officer, and Secretary, United States Olympic Committee, Colorado Springs, 2001-2006 (sports, commercial transactions/litigation, real estate, licensing, trademarks, corporate governance, employment)
  • Attorney, Coudert Brothers (co-chair and founder of Worldwide Sports Practice Group and member of Litigation and Arbitration practice groups), San Francisco, 1996-2001 (antitrust, commercial litigation and arbitration, patent and trademark litigation, sports)
  • Attorney, Boughey, Garvie & Bushner (successor to Dorr, Cooper & Hayes, later merged with Wilson, Elser, et al.), San Francisco & Honolulu, 1993-1996 (insurance coverage and defense, general liability, commercial litigation, admiralty, maritime)
  • Legal Intern, Lloyd's of London Claims Office, 1992
  • Pepperdine University Law School Straus Institute’s “Mediating the Litigated Case” course
  • M.B.A., University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Ross School of Business, 2006
  • J.D., University of Texas School of Law (Austin), 1993 (Officer, Board of Advocates; Technical Editor, The Review of Litigation)
  • Certificate, EU, Marine Insurance, and International Trade Law, University of London Queen Mary Faculty of Laws (1992)
  • B.A., University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) (Political Science), 1990

Disclaimer

This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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