Williams & Connolly law partner Jim Tanner has left the firm to launch his own sports agency, Tandem Sports & Entertainment, which will be based in Arlington.
Tanner, 45, who was at Williams & Connolly for 16 years, has taken a big chunk of the law firm’s sports practice with him, including Helen Dooley, who will be his senior vice president and general counsel at Tandem; Terese Whitehead, senior vice president for marketing; Shana Martin, senior vice president for business operations; Graham Boone, director of basketball operations; and Kenyon Redfoot, who heads brand strategy.
“I’ve been at Williams & Connolly for the past 16 years, and there’s not a finer law firm in the world,” Tanner said. “But the more I thought about where I wanted to go with the practice, it made sense to leave and have a singular focus on sports and entertainment.”
Tanner said his last day at the firm was Oct. 11. His new practice starts Oct. 15.
Longtime agent Derrick Powell, formerly of New York-based Excel Sports Management, has also joined Tandem as vice president for player representation. Also joining Tandem is Matt Laczkowski, who will be director of athlete representation and staff counsel.
Tanner’s tenure at Williams & Connolly began in 1997, when he was brought in to assist then-partner Lon Babby, who had begun the athlete representation practice at the firm with his first client, Grant Hill.
Tanner became a partner at the firm in 2003 and assumed a large part of the practice when Babby left to become president of basketball operations of the Phoenix Suns three years ago.
Tanner has signed several athletes in the ensuing years, including high-profile NBA guard Jeremy Lin and John Henson, a North Carolina graduate who plays forward for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Additionally, Meredith Geisler and her independent sports communications practice, Meredith Communications, will now be integrated into Tandem where Geisler will serve as senior vice president of communications. Prior to establishing Meredith Communications in 2001, she was the public relations director at Fila, Advantage International (now Octagon Worldwide) and Total Sports.
Tandem’s client roster includes Harvard graduate Lin, Reston native Hill, former NBA MVP Tim Duncan, Miami Heat guard Ray Allen, and former WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings.
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