Soon, there will be a new lawyer in charge over at Madison Square Garden — but that doesn’t mean the entry ban being enforced against attorneys litigating cases adverse to James Dolan’s entertainment properties will be going away any time soon.
On February 20, Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. and Sphere Entertainment Co. will welcome Laura Franco as their new general counsel. Franco will be leaving dating app Bumble, where she currently serves as chief legal and compliance officer and takes in a pay package of roughly $5 million. It looks like she’ll be receiving about the same pay at MSGE. Bloomberg Law has additional details:
Franco takes over a top legal role previously held by Jamal Haughton, who left MSGE in November to become general counsel for Charter Communications Inc., owner of the cable brand Spectrum. MSGE paid more than $1.7 million last year to Haughton, who also received about $3 million that same year in his role as the top lawyer at Sphere, according to securities filings.
Now, back to that lawyer ban…
A source briefed on the matter said that with the appellate ruling in its favor toward year’s end, MSGE’s policy remains in “full effect.” All lawyers impacted by the policy have been notified that upon resolution of any underlying litigation they will be welcomed back into company venues, the source said.
As noted by Bloomberg, the offending policy only affects about 0.8% of the lawyers in New York City (i.e., a few hundred of them). Planning a night out at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, or the Beacon Theatre? Apparently all they need to do is wrap up their litigation and they won’t get kicked out.
Congratulations to Laura Franco on her new role. Maybe she’ll be able to convince her boss to do away with this petty lawyer ban policy during her time as GC of MSGE.
Madison Square Garden Welcomes New GC Amid Ongoing Lawyer Ban [Bloomberg Law]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.