May 1, 2020

LA Clippers Resolve MSG’s Opposition in Battle Over Clippers Arena

After a two-and-a-half year legal battle with Madison Square Garden Company, Steve Ballmer, owner of the LA Clippers—with support from Munger, Tolles & Olson—bought the Forum concert venue in Inglewood, CA on May 1, 2020, paving the way for the Clippers to build their very own arena.  

Munger, Tolles & Olson attorneys have played a lead role in helping the Clippers overcome the numerous legal obstacles to the new arena, which is scheduled to open in 2024. While that work continues, eliminating Madison Square Garden Company’s (MSG) opposition is a huge milestone for the multi-year project.  

In the summer of 2017, the Clippers announced plans to build an arena in Inglewood approximately one mile south of The Forum, which is owned by MSG. MSG immediately began efforts to block the project, filing or encouraging others to file numerous lawsuits against the City of Inglewood.

Munger Tolles stepped in 2018 with partner John Spiegel leading a team of attorneys that went on offense against MSG, serving 30 sets of discovery, taking numerous depositions, and briefing and arguing more than a dozen discovery motions—and winning the bulk of them. The Munger Tolles team filed a powerful summary judgment motion, and not long thereafter the parties reached an out-of-court resolution. In the settlement that became final on May 1, 2020, Steve Ballmer bought The Forum and MSG is dropping all opposition to the Clippers arena.

Partner John Spiegel led the Munger, Tolles & Olson team which included: Joseph Lee, David Fry, Matthew MacDonald, Eric Tuttle, Robyn Bacon, Bradley Schneider, Craig Lavoie, Jennifer Bryant, Alison Karol Sigurðsson, Rowley Rice, John Maher, Gina Elliott and Mari Saigal.