Ira A. Finkelstein
Ira Finkelstein has represented a wide range of equestrian organizations and entities, including Olympic equestrian governing bodies, racing associations, racetracks, equine breed registries, equestrian competition sponsors, venue and arena owners, racing partnerships, joint ventures, syndicates, and individual owners, breeders, and trainers in both litigation and transactional matters.
An experienced trial and appellate attorney, he has litigated equine-related disputes in courts throughout the United States, and in regulatory agencies and arbitration tribunals throughout the world, including matters involving the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Federation Equestre Internationale, the English Jockey Club and its successor racing authorities, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Mr. Finkelstein has served as counsel in more than 100 equine medication and participant disciplinary cases. His litigation services include both initiating and defending civil proceedings related to equine-related disputes, such as the purchase, sale and leasing of horses, disputes between and among owners and trainers, and liability matters. He takes a proactive approach toward enhancing protection of clients in their equine transactions, and resolving conflict, thus minimizing litigation. Transactional matters include business formation (corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies), racing and breeding syndications, sales, leases, insurance, and regulatory and license-related compliance issues.
Mr. Finkelstein has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Equine Attorneys (ACEA) (one of fewer than 20 attorneys nationwide so-designated,) and he is a member of the ACEA Board of Directors and one of its three Stewards. He is a long-time member of the Planning Committee of the Annual National Conference on Equine Law, an intermediate-to-advanced continuing legal education program for equine lawyers, conducted by the University of Kentucky College of Law. He has presented or co-presented four programs at the Conference.
The Firm recognizes that many of its clients’ equine activities are international in scope. Ira A. Finkelstein, P.C. is a member of US-European Equine Lawyers, a strategic alliance of independent law firms in Europe and the United States practicing in the area of equestrian law, with its head office located in the Netherlands.
Mr. Finkelstein successfully defended the Toronto Raptors and one of their drafted European players, in the first-ever arbitration under an agreement between the NBA and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), against a money damages claim by the player’s former European team for the loss of his player contract services.
Mr. Finkelstein is a member of the American Horse Council and the Sports Lawyers Association. He was a founding member of the Sports Law Committee of the New York City Bar, and has served on the Sports Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association, in both of which he has made presentations on Olympic sports law.
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In addition to representing clients in business litigation, Mr. Finkelstein has been defending the former CEO of KPNQwest (which was the largest fiber optic cable network operator in Europe) in several complex legal proceedings and investigations in the U.S. and abroad. He has defended a European bank in the Bernard Madoff Investments/Fairfield Sentry feeder-fund litigations in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Finkelstein advised the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, an industry trade group, as its General Counsel in antitrust, regulation, legislation and lobbying.