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D 816.572.4638
F 816.753.1536
  • Education
    • J.D., University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, 1982
    • B.B.A., cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1979

Kevin Sweeney has more than 35 years of experience leading complex financial, business, and strategic transactions for major business clients, primarily in the amateur sports and life sciences industries. He serves as a legal advisor to his client’s C-Level executives and boards of directors, providing business-oriented advice backed-up by deep industry contacts and knowledge as an integral part of helping his clients achieve their business, financial and strategic goals.     

Sports Industry Practice

Since the mid- 1980s, Kevin has advised major collegiate sports conferences and other organizations in the sports industry, helping guide the legal strategy for amateur sports in the U.S. As Chair of Polsinelli’s Sports Industry Group, he has assisted conferences through:

  • Formation
  • Negotiation of billions of dollars of media agreements
  • Threats and opportunities of conference realignment
  • Ongoing redefinition of the relationship between the NCAA and its members
  • Legal challenges to the amateur sports model, including antitrust, NLRA, FLSA, personal injury, athlete “name, image and likeness” rights, nonprofit taxation and federal and state public policy fronts.

Kevin also has represented a number of post-season collegiate football games in their formation, operation and sale; a national high school sports organization in the formation and financing of the first national digital outlet for disturbing of telecasts high school championship sporting events and several sports entities in managing their executive search and CEO transition processes and negotiations.

Using his broad and deep long-time contacts in the sports industry to keep ahead of breaking developments, Kevin routinely coordinates with legal counsel of other conferences and universities, and is a frequent speaker at national sports conferences, including the annual Sports Lawyers Association convention.

The complex legal issues raised by his clients’ sports businesses require Kevin to coordinate with firm attorneys across many other disciplines, including complex antitrust, personal injury and labor and employment litigators (including in complex MDL and class actions), intellectual property rights, nonprofit tax, federal and state public policy legislative initiatives, real estate development, insurance, governmental and internal investigations and corporate finance and transactional matters.

Life Science Industry Practice

Kevin also represents emerging, growth and established for-profit companies and nonprofit entities in the life science industry, primarily in human health and animal health areas, including medical devices, drugs and therapeutics and diagnostics. He provides strategic and proactive “life cycle” advise to life science clients related to optimizing corporate structures, throughout their early stage, institutional venture capital financing and growth equity and debt financing stages, to their “exit” transactions, including merger and acquisition, joint venture and licensing transactions and preparing companies for IPOs.

He maintains his deep industry contacts by serving on a number of boards and organizations in the life science community, including his current role as Chair of the Board of BioKanas, the national BIO affiliate in the state of Kansas (for which he has also served as chair of its Public Policy committee among other roles).

Chambers USA, the world's leading guide to the legal profession, has included Kevin in its rankings for the past several years, most recently in 2021. In interviews with clients during research for the rankings, the following remarks were made regarding Kevin's work at the firm:

  • "Sources say he is 'bright, intelligent and leaves no stone unturned when dealing with large, complex transactions.'"
  • "Sources praise 'the ease and speed in which he identifies core issues.'"
  • "An impressive negotiator who is said to 'always strive to get the best outcome for his clients.'"
  • "Clients have been effusive in their praise of Kevin Sweeney, lauding him as 'superior on strategy' and a formidable force around the negotiating table."
  • "His work is described as 'very focused and detail-oriented,' yet retaining 'uncanny creativity.'"

Life Science Industry 

  • Sale of a medical device company to a national medical products distributor for over $500 million
  • With Dr. Sydney Brenner, led the development of the Molecular Sciences Industry in Berkeley, California, one of the first multidisciplinary basic scientific institutes focused on predictive biology
  • Led acquisition of a British diagnostics company by a US biothreat detection company
  • Representing a consortium of leading animal health research companies in a collaborative nonprofit scientific development joint venture
  • Developed and implemented a financial and operating structure for a medical device development company and two spin-out technology commercialization companies
  • Managed the phased acquisition of a pandemic vaccine manufacturing facility as a joint venture project of two Japanese multinational corporations
  • Led acquisition of a French CRO by a public US cancer vaccine therapy company
  • Member of a team that led the representation of Marion Laboratories, Inc. in sales to Dow Chemical and then (as Marion Merrell Dow) by Hoechst AG, including leading the combination with Hoechst’s French subsidiary Roussel Uclaf S.A.
  • Leading angel and venture capital financing rounds, providing hundreds of millions of dollars of early stage funding for numerous emerging and growing life science companies
  • Merger of two human health medical device companies and preparation for sale to a strategic industry leader for PAC-IPO
  • Represent a foreign joint venture of two leading technology multinationals in purchasing a pandemic vaccine manufacturing company
text icon Publications & Presentations
May 17, 2019
text icon Publications & Presentations
May 17, 2019
text icon Publications & Presentations
May 16, 2019
text icon Publications & Presentations
Guest Lecturer in Sports Law
Guest Lecturer, University of Texas School of Law
Sep 01, 2017
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NCAA, Conferences, and Institutions: Roles and Responsibilities in Governance
Panelist, Sports Lawyers Association 43rd Annual Conference
May 18, 2017
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Briefing on Pending College Sports Antitrust Litigation
Speaker, Division 1 Athletic Directors Conference - Dallas, Texas
November, 2016
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Guest Lecturer in Sports Law
Guest Lecturer, University of Oklahoma
Fall 2016
text icon Publications & Presentations
Recent Legal Developments Involving College Sports
Panelist, Kansas Bar Association, Sports Law Conference
text icon Publications & Presentations
NCAA Conference Counsel Roundtable
Panelist, Sports Lawyers Association 42nd Annual Conference
May 12, 2016
text icon Publications & Presentations
Guest Lecturer in Sports Law
Guest Lecturer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Fall 2015
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