Bruce Wilson

Bruce S. Wilson

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Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 5400



  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1986
    • Order of the Coif
  • University of Virginia, B.A., 1981
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. Pasco M. Bowman, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1986-1987

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Bruce Wilson is a senior corporate and M&A lawyer with extensive transactional experience in the industrial, sports, life sciences, media and branded consumer goods sectors.  Mr. Wilson represents clients around the globe in a wide range of cross-border matters, both public and private, including acquisitions, project and related financings, marketing initiatives and other commercial transactions.  He has advised a host of U.S. and global companies in acquisition and post-merger integration matters, leading the integration efforts for some of the most complex international mergers in the last decade.  Mr. Wilson has advised companies in structuring responses to hostile takeover bids and has extensive experience in media and brand development transactions and in technology licensing.

As the head of the firm’s Middle East practice, Mr. Wilson is also a principal transaction advisor to international companies, government agencies, and project sponsors operating in the Middle East and North Africa.  Mr. Wilson is also a long-time acquisition and financing advisor to the professional sports industry, advising leagues, teams and investors in sports businesses and facility development, including the National Football League, NASCAR, National Hockey League, and the National Basketball Association.

Representative Matters

  • Represented Merck as the head of the external legal support team for the multi-year global merger integration following the company’s 2009 merger with Schering-Plough.
  • Represented OCP, S.A. of Morocco in the negotiation of US, Indian, Indonesian, South American, and Canadian joint venture and commercial supply arrangements.
  • Represented Barclays Bank in the negotiation of facility naming rights and sponsorship transaction with the New Jersey Nets for the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York.
  • Represented the Economic Cities Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the development of legal and regulatory infrastructure for the Kingdom’s Economic Cities project.
  • Represented the independent directors of Certegy, Inc., and Beverly Enterprises, Inc. in connection with sell-side merger transactions.
  • Negotiated multi-year broadcast rights and sponsorship agreements with ESPN, CBS, NBC, FOX Sprint/Nextel, Yahoo, and Sirius Satellite Radio on behalf of the National Football League.
  • Represented NASCAR in media negotiations with ESPN, Turner, FOX and other television broadcast and new media partners.
  • Advised New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson on his purchase of the New Orleans Hornets franchise of the National Basketball Association.
  • Negotiated the relocation and stadium development agreement with Major League Baseball and the former Montreal Expos on behalf of the Washington, DC, Sports and Entertainment Commission.
  • Handled the bankruptcy sale of the Buffalo Sabres hockey franchise to Tom Golisano on behalf of the National Hockey League.
  • Negotiated on behalf of the NFL, a five-year interactive media rights agreement with America Online, CBS, and Sportsline, Inc.

Previous Experience

  • Bacardi Limited, General Counsel (1995-1997) 
  • Rep. Steven L. Neal, U.S. House of Representatives, Legislative Assistant (1981-1983)

Honors and Rankings

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Washington Sports Lawyer of the Year (2012)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Mergers & Acquisitions (2013-2016); Sports Law (2009-2016)
  • Chambers USA, Sports Law (2006-2015)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Entertainment & Sports (2010-2015) 
  • Who's Who Legal, Sports & Entertainment (2015)
  • Recognized by Legal 500 US for Sports (2007-2008, 2014-2015)
  • PLC Which Lawyer? Highly Recommended, Corporate/M&A (2008)

Publications and Speeches

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