Tyrone "Ty" Thomas is an executive compensation and employment attorney in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office and serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Sports Industry Team. Mr. Thomas focuses on matters concerning C-suite executives across for profit and non-profit employers including educational institutions, trade associations, and sports organizations. He has handled high profile investigations involving allegations of workplace misconduct, fiscal impropriety, and violations of NCAA and professional league rules for over 20 years.
Mr. Thomas represents clients on complex legal issues in athletics. In intercollegiate athletic matters, his experience includes laws and athletic regulations for name/image/likeness deals and programs, enforcement investigations, and appeals of penalties assessed to institutions, athletics staff and student-athletes. He advises colleges on Title IX, privacy issues, employment contracts and policies for athletics personnel. In professional sports matters, he has experience advising teams on league compliance issues and other legal matters.
Mr. Thomas advises boards, presidents and other senior executives on employment, consulting and separation agreements. In providing compliance assessments on governance issues, he advises boards and compensation committees on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations governing intermediate sanctions, incentive programs and Form 990 reporting. In the scope of his practice, he has advised on executive employment arrangements and transitions involving over 250 academic institutions.
In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Thomas is a frequent speaker for various associations in higher education on presidential compensation and executive searches, including the American Council on Education (ACE), National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). He is nationally recognized for his experience in sports matters and has served as a legal analyst for The New York Times, ESPN, Forbes, Bloomberg, Sports Illustrated, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sports Business Journal, and University Business. He was recognized by Sports Business Journal with the distinction of "Power Players: Outside Counsel" in 2021. In 2022, he received the Chambers North America award for "Diversity and Inclusion: Outstanding Contribution."