Sports Law and Employment Investigations Attorney Joins Stinson in DC
Stinson LLP is pleased to welcome Naima Starks to the firm's Washington, DC office. Starks, who has held in-house roles with Varsity Brands and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), joins the firm as a partner in its Labor, Employment & Benefits (LEEB) Practice Division.
Starks has over two decades of experience serving as a trusted advisor to corporate and nonprofit legal departments. Her practice will focus on handling litigation, compliance, governance and transactional matters relating to employment laws and practices across a variety of industries, with a particular emphasis on higher education and sports and entertainment.
"We are very fortunate to have Naima join the firm. Her unique experience with the NCAA and Varsity Brands will be a valuable addition to our employment and sports law practices," Stinson's LEEB Practice Division Co-Chair Stephanie Scheck said. "We are excited for Naima to collaborate with our clients to leverage her specialized legal and regulatory knowledge as well as support clients in high stakes investigations."
Starks has extensive in-house legal and leadership experience. As senior vice president and deputy general counsel to Varsity Brands, Starks established a compliance function to meet legal and regulatory requirements, advised business partners on privacy considerations and served as a legal partner to human resources, business partners and stakeholders to apprise them on updates to employment laws and practices. Starks also operated in a variety of senior legal counsel roles for the NCAA for 13 years, advising on Name Image and Likeness (NIL), student-athlete health and safety, and sports wagering, among other matters. She also served as the NCAA's first ever Vice President of Hearing Operations, the primary liaison to the voluntary adjudicative bodies that heard cases related to NCAA infractions and responsible for protecting the integrity of college sports.
Prior to her in-house experience, Starks was a corporate and securities attorney, advising public and private corporations in transactional matters involving securities regulations, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions. She is also a frequent speaker on topics ranging from sports law to diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession.
"I am excited to join the firm and to have the opportunity to work alongside exceptional attorneys with a passion for helping clients," Starks said. "I look forward to adding my experience to the firm's deep bench as we navigate cutting edge legal issues."
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