Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe public finance of counsel Susan Barry in Seattle is advising the city itself on the deal to build the new indoor sports arena, along with Hogan Lovells corporate partner Tyler Harvey and government and legislative affairs partner Craig Umbraugh in Denver. Hogan Lovells has previously handled legal work for the National Football League's Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Sounders of MLS. (The firm also has a close relationship with AEG, which runs KeyArena in a partnership with the city of Seattle.)
Foster Pepper, Seattle's longtime bond counsel, is also advising the municipality through partners Hugh Spitzer and Marc Greenough. (Foster Pepper has been busy this week with work of interest to local denizens. The firm is currently advising another investor group called Global Baristas, which is led by actor Patrick Dempsey, on its proposed $9.15 million purchase of bankrupt coffee chain Tully's.)
Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantineboth of whom are lawyersare also expected to take leading roles on any deal aimed at bringing the Kings to the Pacific Northwest. Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes, who took office in 2009 after an election that focused heavily on the Sonics' departure, is also likely to be a key player in any potential agreement.
On the outside looking in is the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia, which earlier this month suspended a bid to lure the Kings with plans to build a new 18,500-seat arena for the team. Virginia Beach City Attorney Mark Stiles, who did not respond to a request for comment, authorized the payment of roughly $30,000 to retain Williams Mullen as bond counsel for the project. Leading the Williams Mullen team working on the plan to build a new arena in the Hampton Roads region is CEO Thomas Frantz.
As for Hansen, who founded San Franciscobased hedge fund Valiant Capital Management in 2008, he's already reportedly purchased all of the land he needs in Seattle on which to build a new arena for a revitalized Sonics franchise.