Lewis Silkin supports Ladies Professional Golf Association on creation of joint venture that will enable “women’s golf to reach new heights”
31 January 2020
Lewis Silkin LLP has advised the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) on the establishment of a joint venture with the Ladies European Tour (LET), which is set to provide a major boost to women’s golf.
The joint venture, entitled Ladies European Golf Venture Limited (LEGV), was formed with the aim of increasing playing opportunities for women golfers in Europe. LEGV will now operate the LET, providing a significant revamp to women’s professional golf with a record-breaking €18 million of prize money to be won in 2020 (an increase of €4.5 million on 2019) on an expanded 24 tournament tour which will feature seven new events.
The LEGV is led by a Board of Directors consisting of four Directors from the LPGA, six Directors from the LET, one Director from the R&A and one Director from the European Tour. The Board will be chaired by the LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.
Lewis Silkin advised the LPGA on a range of legal issues in order to facilitate and realise the joint venture with the LET, including: property, competition, employment, corporate, intellectual property and commercial law matters. The firm has worked with the LPGA since 2017 concluding with the launch of the LEGV on 8 January 2020.
The Lewis Silkin team advising the LPGA consisted of a range of specialists drawn from across the firm’s practice groups, led by Sports Business Group partners Alex Kelham on Commercial and IP matters and Karish Andrews on Corporate issues. The team also included:
- Partner James Storke (Employment)
- Partner Emily Meredith-Hardy (Real Estate)
- Partner Fergus Payne (Corporate)
- Senior Associate Oliver Fairhurst (Competition)
- Trainee Solicitor Kayleigh Williams
Alex Kelham, partner at Lewis Silkin, commented:
“It’s been very rewarding to be involved in a deal which has such obvious and tangible benefits for women’s golf. This joint venture is a great example of how, by working together, organisations can become stronger and capitalise on the growing appetite for women’s sport.
“The Ladies European Golf Venture will oversee an unprecedented expansion in tournaments and funding for women’s golf in Europe and allow the sport to reach new heights.”
Karish Andrews, partner at Lewis Silkin, added:
“It has been a real pleasure to finally complete such an innovative transaction for the LPGA. Since they first engaged with us in the summer of 2017 it was clear that a relationship with the Ladies European Tour was possible, but there were many hurdles to overcome. We were able to provide the client with multiple disciplines, including corporate, commercial, intellectual property, employment, competition and property expertise, to structure a joint venture relationship that worked for both parties.
“We are very excited to see what the future now holds for women’s golf in Europe. I’m sure the newly released 2020 schedule is just the start.”
Liz Moore, Chief Legal Officer at the LPGA, commented:
“Since 2017, the team at Lewis Silkin have provided valued and respected expertise for the LPGA Tour that helped lead to the creation of the historic joint venture between the LPGA and Ladies European Tour. We are proud that with their support, the Ladies European Golf Venture Limited showcases a successful collaboration focused on further strengthening opportunities for women in professional golf.
“The LPGA Tour is thankful for Lewis Silkin’s contributions through the joint venture process and are looking forward to the future accomplishments of the LEGV.”