Longtime WWE Attorney Jerry McDevitt Retiring, Off MLW Lawsuit, Comments On Vince McMahon

(Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Post & Gazette)

Jerry McDevitt, a long-time WWE attorney, is now able to retire.

McDevitt, who has worked as WWE’s lawyer and personal counsel to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon for nearly four decades, stated in a January 2022 interview that he was “headed into retirement. But because of my longstanding relationship with WWE, I continue to represent them, although I keep telling Vince I do want to retire.”

McDevitt has confirmed to Wrestlenomics that he is no longer defending WWE in the ongoing federal anti-trust complaint launched by MLW since he is retiring.

McDevitt stated that he hopes to complete his legal career by the end of 2023, but that the MLW – WWE litigation will last until at least 2025. He has encouraged WWE to secure new lawyers as the action moves into the discovery phase, and new solicitors have already entered the case. The claim was rejected in mid-February, but the judge authorised MLW to re-file in early March.

McDevitt also stated that he may be called as a witness in the anti-trust litigation.

“As you may know, since early 2022 I have been working towards retirement,” McDevitt told Wrestlenomics. “I had hoped that the Court would again dismiss MLW’s lawsuit as it did the first time. When it did not, and it became obvious that the case would run into at least 2025 in all probability, I advised my client that I would be wrapping things up by year-end and that it would make sense for them to secure counsel who can go the distance on the case now that discovery will be starting. There is also the chance that I might be a witness given the allegations. I will be 74 this January and it just seems like the right time to make necessary transitions.”

WWE will now be represented in the litigation by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. The firm filed today, and the following attorneys will represent WWE: Walter Brown, Karen Dunn, William Michael, and Brette Tannenbaum. They are replacing K&L Gates lawyers, including McDevitt. WWE has already benefited from the new firm’s recent work, including advice on the Endeavour acquisition.

McDevitt told Wrestlenomics that he’s had a fantastic time with McMahon and WWE and is really happy of what they’ve accomplished. He also stated that he will continue to assist them in any manner he can.

“We have worked with Paul[,] Weiss on other matters and they are an excellent firm who I will be helping get up to speed,” McDevitt added. “It has been a great 36-year run with a great Company and Vince [McMahon], and I am very proud of all that we accomplished during that time, and I will continue to help them any way I can.”

McDevitt has defended McMahon and WWE in numerous legal situations, including the 1990s steroids trial, Owen Hart’s tragic death, the recent concussion claims, and McMahon’s 2022 controversy, which included a multi-million dollar settlement with former referee Rita Chatterton. McDevitt and his business have handled McMahon’s estate plan, tax returns, and trust work, among other things, for WWE in addition to lawsuits. The business also designed an inheritance planning device for The McMahon Family and twice assisted Vince in establishing the XFL.

In the 2022 interview, AD McDevitt, who has made multiple media appearances for WWE over the years to highlight various legal concerns in the headlines, discussed his relationship with McMahon.

“Most relationships nowadays with lawyers and publicly traded companies are at the general counsel level. Outside lawyers work with the general counsel of the company and never with the CEO or Chairman of the board. But my contact and my relationship is directly with and to Vince. It always has been. It always will be. That’s kind of a unique relationship in the landscape of the law these days for the outside counsel to have that sort of direct relationship,” he said.