Partner and Chair, Sports & Entertainment Philanthropy
Andrew Morton is a Partner at Handler Thayer LLP and Chair of the firm’s Sports & Entertainment Law Group, serving a client base of professional athletes, Olympians, actors, entertainers, artists, chefs and other public figures who wish to maximize their social impact. His innovative practice operates at the intersection of celebrity and philanthropy, encompassing all aspects of high-profile philanthropic engagement and branding – from the initial formation of a tax-exempt organization, to ongoing oversight, compliance, governance and reporting consistent with legal requirements and best practices. With a deep understanding of nonprofit legal structures, Andrew often recommends alternative solutions when appropriate, such as establishing a fiscal sponsorship or donor advised fund (DAF). Andrew’s breadth of experience in 501(c)(3) governance enables him to intervene at the eleventh hour to support crisis management strategy, and remedy operational issues that may threaten an organization’s tax-exempt status. Over the past decade, he has successfully obtained numerous retroactive reinstatements of tax-exempt status revocations, and waivers of IRS penalties for tax filing deficiencies. Based in Washington, DC, Andrew also has led the development and execution of public policy efforts, ranging from organizing and overseeing highly-visible appearances before congressional committees, to arranging targeted private meetings with key members of Congress and the Administration. Leveraging his depth of experience and relationships within professional sports leagues, Hollywood and Washington, Andrew helps clients navigate the political landscape and integrate public policy into his clients’ long-term business strategies. A frequent public speaker, Andrew has testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and he regularly contributes as a philanthropy law expert to a number of national media outlets including CNN, ABC World News Tonight, Bloomberg, National Public Radio (NPR), The New York Times, TIME Magazine and the Washington Post. For his extensive advocacy on behalf of nonprofit clients, the D.C. Bar Association honored Andrew as “Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year,” and he received the “Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award” from the Legal Aid Society. Andrew earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was a member of the Board of Editors of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Co-Editor in Chief of The Bluebook, and Co-Chair of the Equal Justice Foundation. He received Penn Law’s “Alumni Achievement Award” for outstanding contributions to the development of law and the legal profession, as well as the “Benjamin R. Jones Award for Law and Humanity,” the Law School’s most prestigious public interest recognition. Andrew also attended the University of Maryland, earning an M.P.P. in international security and economic policy from the School of Public Affairs, and a B.A., magna cum laude, in economics and Spanish. Andrew currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the Giving Back Fund, the Alliance to Stop Slavery & End Trafficking (ASSET), and OneBlue, as well as the Law Alumni Society of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the Advisory Board of the Penn Law Public Service Program.