Wesley A. Zirkle

Wes is a former General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of domestic and international companies having had an interesting and diverse career representing celebrities, advising Fortune 1000 companies on their sponsorship programs, growing a small business into a global leader in its field, and leading marketing agencies.

He has extensive experience as a trusted advisor to owners of privately-held companies, guiding entrepreneurs on growing their companies responsibly to maximize value. As General Counsel to the world’s largest motorsports sponsorship agency, he was part of a five-member leadership team who sold a portion of the company to a private equity group, more than doubled its value during the Great Recession, and successfully executed a sale to an English-based publicly-held company. After the sale, Wes oversaw the administration of the parent company’s US-based holdings and served on its Board of Directors.

As part of his international practice, Wes advises US-based companies desiring to open foreign offices and is especially adept at counseling on nuances of English law including the Bribery Act and TUPE.

Wes also is highly skilled in the legal issues of motorsports marketing, having negotiated more than $1 billion in sponsorship and marketing programs across all racing series including in NASCAR, Formula 1, INDYCAR, NHRA, World Rally, Formula E, and International and Domestic sports car series.

Wes graduated from Wabash College with a degree in Religion and a minor in Economics. He also studied Comparative Religion at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He received his law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Wes is an adjunct professor of transactional law and contract writing at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Wes is a member of various associations and boards, including the Board of Directors of the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana. In 2008 he co-founded The Racing Attorney Conference (TRAC), a group dedicated to facilitating learning and networking among attorneys practicing in the various motorsports series. He is a frequent speaker at law schools and at legal seminars regarding the issues surrounding motor racing and sponsorship.


Areas of Legal Expertise

  • General Counsel Services
  • Transactional Deal Negotiation
  • Sponsorship
  • Representing Agencies
  • Sports Marketing
  • Corporate Secretary Services
  • Celebrity Licensing and Endorsement
  • Intellectual Property
  • Employment Law
  • Doing Business in the UK
  • Investment Acquisitions


Areas of Business Expertise

  • Organizational Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Human Resources Leadership
  • Finance
  • P&L Management
  • Global Development Growth


Honors and Awards

2014 Forty Under 40, Awarded by the Indianapolis Business Journal, February 2014

2011 Presidents Award for Service to the Profession, Awarded by the Indianapolis Bar Association, November 2011.


Selected Publications

Quoted in IndyStar, “Experts: New name would pay off for Noblesville concert venue”, September 24, 2017

Featured in Modern Counsel magazine, “Insights from a Career-Defining Letter”, Oct/Nov/Dec 2015, at 22-23

Featured in The McKinney Lawyer, “More Than Just a Game: Alumni Mix Law and Sports”, Winter 2014-2015, at 10-11

Featured interview on Race Talk Radio’s Track Source Radio program, April 2013

Quoted in “Conflict Resolution: Addressing Disputes Between Sponsors and Properties,” IEG Sponsorship Report, July 23, 2007 (Vol. 26, No. 14)

Co-author of “Spreading its Wings and Coming of Age: With Indiana’s Law as a Model, the State-based Right of Publicity is Ready to Move to the Federal Level,” Res Gestae, November 2001 (Vol. 45, No. 4)


Outside the Office

Wes and his wife have three children. In his free time Wes enjoys carpentry and often has a project going somewhere in his house. He also loves traveling with his family, cooking on his Big Green Egg, and playing golf (badly). Wes and his family are members of the Promise United Methodist Church in Fishers, Indiana.