Bob Latham Elected to International Rugby Board Executive Committee

Jackson Walker partner Bob Latham recently became the first American elected to the International Rugby Board Executive Committee in the organization’s 125-year history.

Dallas, TX, January 14, 2012 --( It is a significant achievement for Mr. Latham, who joins an elite group of 10 who direct the activities of the International Rugby Board. Based in Dublin, the IRB is rugby’s international governing body. Mr. Latham’s election is also a milestone for American rugby, which gains an important voice at the highest levels of the organization. The other members of the Committee hail from England, Ireland, France, Italy, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

“This is a tremendous honor, and I am very excited about working with other members of the Executive Committee and the IRB Council, all of whom are people I’ve admired for many years,” Mr. Latham said. “I hope to provide an added perspective to international rugby governance.”

Mr. Latham was elected at the Council’s Interim Meeting on Dec. 15 in Los Angeles, California. Just a few months prior to being named to the Executive Committee, Mr. Latham became the first American to serve as a voting member of the International Rugby Board Council, which consists of 26 representatives from 18 unions and regional associations.

Since retiring as a rugby player, Mr. Latham has demonstrated tireless dedication to advancing the sport. He is the past Chairman and current Vice Chairman of the United States of America Rugby Football Union and is President of the North America Caribbean Rugby Association. In October, in Auckland, New Zealand, Mr. Latham accepted the International Rugby Board’s Developmental Award on behalf of USA Rugby for the organization’s Rookie Rugby program, which introduces young people to the sport.

In addition to helping raise the profile of rugby in the United States, Mr. Latham played an important role in the effort to see rugby once again recognized as an Olympic sport. Mr. Latham served as a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Olympic Committee from 2000-2004 and remains a member of the USOC General Assembly. In 2009, the International Olympic Committee voted to include rugby in the program for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. The inclusion of rugby sevens, a variation of the game, in the 2016 Summer Olympics will mark the first time the sport has been played in the Olympics since 1924.

With his election to the IRB Executive Committee, Mr. Latham becomes one of only a handful of Americans to serve on the board of the international governing body of any Olympic sport. “It takes time to get to the decision-making level of an international federation,” he said. “I’ve managed to stay around long enough for this to happen because I care deeply about the success of rugby in the United States and beyond.”

Mr. Latham’s practice at Jackson Walker includes intellectual property litigation, commercial litigation, and media law.

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