Ellen Mathews practices in the firm’s commercial litigation and intellectual property groups. In the intellectual property realm, she negotiates, reviews, and drafts license agreements, endorsement agreements, sponsorship agreements, social media influencer agreements, and non-disclosure agreements. Those agreements regularly include provisions relating to the use of one’s name, image, likeness, as well as the right of publicity more generally, and the ownership of intellectual property rights arising out of such use. Ellen also assists clients in obtaining trademark and copyright registrations, monitoring registered and unregistered trademarks and copyrights, and engaging in enforcement efforts relating to those rights. Ellen’s litigation practice involves litigating trademark, copyright, and patent infringement claims, claims of misappropriation of one’s right of publicity (and related torts), and claims for breach of licensing agreements.

In the sports industry, Ellen has counseled student athlete and sports agent clients regarding licensing and regulatory issues relating to the name, image, and likeness of athletes, and licensing issues relating to trademarks owned by universities. Ellen has also drafted, reviewed, and advised on name, image, likeness contracts, and has advised on the parameters of state laws outlining a student athlete’s right to profit from his or her name, image, and likeness.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Mid-South Super Lawyers "Rising Star," Business Litigation (2016-2021)
  • Alabama Super Lawyers "Rising Star," Business Litigation (2009-2015)
  • Business Alabama, Alabama's Outstanding Young Lawyers (May 2011)
  • Award of Excellence for Best Issue Editor, TYL Editorial Board (2010)
  • Listed In The Best Lawyers in America®️ Commercial Litigation since 2023


Professional & Community

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association
  • Birmingham Venture Club
  • American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Division
  • Birmingham Bar Association Young Lawyers Division


Legal Practice Assistant

Erika Cockrell
(205) 458-5311

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About Burr & Forman Sports Law

The Burr & Forman Sports Law team includes attorneys from a variety of legal and college athletic backgrounds, who provide counsel on marketing, licensing and other agreements. The team, which includes NFLPA certified contract advisors, has represented professional athletes in marketing and other deals, negotiated NIL contracts with NCAA coaching legends, represented professional sports organizations, and negotiated deals with major sporting television networks.

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