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Alan M. Rifkin, Managing Partner of RWL, founded the firm in 1989 after serving as Counsel and Chief Legislative Officer to former Governor William Donald Schaefer and after previously serving in the same capacity to the Senate of Maryland.

Alan is chair of the firm’s Sports Law, Gaming and Facilities practice group and a member of the Business and Commercial Transactions, Complex Civil and Commercial Litigation and Administrative Law and Regulatory Compliance practice groups.  He is a well-recognized commercial and business attorney who has represented many national and international corporations and institutions for over three decades.  His current areas of practice include business and commercial transactions, complex civil and commercial litigation, sports franchise and media rights, class action suits, and false claims act cases.

Alan is recognized by Chambers International as among the highest rated sports lawyers in America and has also been recognized by Martindale Hubble as AV Preeminent Rated and for Lifetime Achievement in Litigation.  He has also been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, US News and World Report, Super Lawyers and others in the areas of Sports Law and Civil Litigation.

Alan served as chairman of SCG Legal, an international network of prominent law firms with members in every state capital, many commercial cities, and over 80 countries worldwide, in 2014-2015.  Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors for the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, the Aspire Foundation, and Ripken Enterprises, LLC.  Previously, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Board, Loyola University, the Howard County Hospital Foundation, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Collegiate Baseball League, and other civic institutions.

Notable Representations

  • Led a negotiating team for the Maryland Jockey Club, The Stronach Group and the Preakness Stakes® for a $375 million public/private partnership for the rebuilding of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park
  • Represented Ripken Enterprises, LLC in a sports facilities deal with the Disney Corporation for the establishment of “The Ripken Experience™ at Disney World®” for the hosting of youth baseball tournaments and facilities
  • Contributed as a consulting witness and expert for the Baltimore Orioles and the Mid-Atlantic Sport Network in an arbitration matter before Major League Baseball
  • Represented the Maryland Jockey Club and The Stronach Group, owners of the Pimlico Race Course and the Preakness Stakes® in eminent domain litigation involving Baltimore City
  • Represented Tufton Professional Baseball, Inc. in negotiations with a local municipal government concerning improvements to the City of Aberdeen’s Minor League Baseball Stadium, home of the Aberdeen Ironbirds
  • Provided consultative legal services to a Canadian Olympic equestrian rider in defense of an alleged doping disqualification before the Court of Sports Arbitration
  • Outside counsel to various professional sports franchises and sports networks, including: the Baltimore Orioles, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN®), Maryland Jockey Club and the Preakness Stakes®, among others
  • Represented the Baltimore Orioles in negotiations with Major League Baseball concerning compensation for the Orioles in connection with the relocation of the Washington Nationals to Washington, D.C.
  • Negotiated the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training stadium development authorization and funding with Sarasota City and County in Florida and matters related to the development of the Ed Smith Stadium and practice facilities
  • Negotiated numerous media rights and sponsorship agreements for professional sports teams and enterprises
  • Represents the Maryland Jockey Club, owners of the Preakness Stakes® and Pimlico Race Course in a wide variety of commercial, regulatory and litigation matters
  • Retained for advice and counsel to the Prince George’s County government with respect to discussions with the Washington Football Team and matters relating to the retention of the NFL franchise in the County and potential
  • Represented the Washington Football Team on a variety of matters, including the proposed relocation of the franchise from Washington, D.C. to Laurel Park, Maryland
  • In the area of complex civil and commercial litigation, represented the widow of one of the U.S. Postal workers who died as a result of contact with the now-infamous “anthrax letters” mailed to the United States Congress
  • Represented numerous business, commercial and institutional interests in actions involving the state of Maryland and its agencies
  • Represents numerous business and commercial interests on a wide variety of matters


  • Recognized by Chambers and Partners in Sports Law (USA-Nationwide) 
  • Recognized by The Daily Record as an “Icon Honors” awardee (2020)
  • Recognized by the Baltimore Business Journal as “Who’s Who in Law” (2020)
  • Recognized as a Lifetime Achievement Recipient by America’s Top 100 Attorneys (2020)
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)
  • Recognized by The Daily Record as one of 50 “Influential Marylanders” and one of the five most influential lawyers (2007, 2019)
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Rated AV Preeminent Attorney – Judicial Edition by Martindale-Hubbell (2024)
  • Acknowledged by Martindale-Hubbell as one of Maryland’s “Top Litigators” for lifetime achievement (2015)
  • Recognized as one of Maryland’s best lawyers by Super Lawyers® Magazine every year from 2008 (Rifkin Not Ripken – Maryland Super Lawyers 2011)
  • Recognized by Legal Leaders® magazine every year since 2010
  • Elected Chairman of SCG Legal international law network by peers from law firms around the world (2014/2015)
  • Awarded Governor’s Salute to Excellence (1989)
  • Honored by Shock Trauma Associates, P.A., Morgan State University, the Economic Forum of Howard County, the Chimes and others

Publications & Presentations

  • Adjunct professor, “Sports and the Law”, at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (2018-2022)
  • Panel moderator for “Discussion of NCAA v. Alston” Faculty Webinar Series, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (2021)
  • Moderator and panel presenter on “Cracks in the Armor – Recent Legal Challenges to Professional and Collegiate Sports Governance Associations” at the SCG Legal annual international law conference (2016)
  • Panel presenter on “Convergence of Law and Arbitration” before the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA)  annual convention (2015)
  • Guest lecturer for the “Sports Law Symposium” for the Maryland Carey Law Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Association at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (2016)
  • Guest lecturer at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law on negotiating strategy and commercial transactions (2014)
  • Guest lecturer before the Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers (MICPEL) on sports law (2007)
  • Former adjunct professor of State Government and Constitutional Law, Loyola University

What Clients and Others Say About Alan...

“Alan Rifkin, Arnold Weiner and the members of their firm are outstanding attorneys. They practice law like professional chess players – blending the natural instincts of litigators with the talents of very sophisticated business lawyers.”

– Peter G. Angelos, Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos and Baltimore Orioles Owner