Kate Porter received her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in Villanova, Pennsylvania and an LL.M. in International Sports Law from Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE)  in Madrid, Spain. Prior to law school, Kate graduated from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with a B.A. in Communications and Spanish.

Prior to joining Vela Wood, Kate spent nearly a dozen years as an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York where she represented clients in sports-related disputes. During her time at Skadden, Kate also served as clerk and ad hoc clerk to arbitration panels in sports-related arbitrations before CAS, under both the ordinary and appeal arbitration procedures. Her work on CAS matters includes disputes relating to the international transfer of players, the interpretation and application of an international federation’s rules, and anti-doping matters. Kate also has represented large corporations in international arbitrations before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) and International Centre for Settlement of lnvestment Disputes (ICSID).

Kate is a frequent speaker on sports law-related matters, and has lectured to law students at Columbia University, ISDE, Football Business Academy and St. John’s University. She is a member of the Editorial Board, North America Panel of LawInSport, a member of Women In Sports Law (WISLaw), a member of the Board of Advisers of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law, a member of the Investigatory Body of the Aquatics Integrity Unit of the Fédération internationale de natation (FINA), and a member of the Dallas Cup’s Board of Directors. In 2022, Kate was listed as a Who’s Who Legal Sports & Gaming Global Leader.

Select Representations

  • Professional soccer team in connection with league investigation into allegations that rival team tampered with several of its players
  • Qatar Football Association in successfully defending against a protest filed by the U.A.E. Football Association that sought to overturn Qatar’s historic victory in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup
  • Asian Football Confederation and Qatar Football Association Vice President in overturning discipline imposed by the FIFA Ethics Committee, which is thought to be the first time the Appeal Committee had overturned a decision of the Ethics Committee
  • “Big Four” U.S. professional sports league in internal investigation relating to alleged violation of league rules
  • Organizing committee for major international sporting event in connection with internal investigatory proceedings commenced by the sporting organization
  • Sports marketing company in breach of contract dispute concerning the commercial rights to South America’s most popular football tournament
  • Men’s professional golf tour in dispute with its member arising out of the administration of the tour’s anti-doping program

Fun Facts:

  • While in high school, worked as a team attendant for the Washington Wizards and Mystics
  • Avid sports fan, and her favorite teams include Manchester United, Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the Washington Football Team
  • Can name all 197 countries of the world
  • Won a national highway safety poster contest as a fifth grader; her artistic skills have gone downhill since then.


  • Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE), Madrid, LL.M.
  • Villanova University School of Law, J.D.
  • Wake Forest University, B.A.