The members of our sports law group have a thorough understanding of the sports industry and the legal and commercial issues faced by both individuals and organisations operating within it.
Our clients include governing bodies, commercial stakeholders, investors, sporting clubs and associations and professional sports men and women. We also frequently provide bespoke legal services to a variety of professional and amateur sporting organisations and institutions and advise clients in relation to both contentious and non-contentious trading issues, including partnership, shareholder and corporate governance matters including directors' duties.
We advise organisations on constitutional regulatory issues including the drafting and interpretation of regulation in relation to sports and governing bodies, including Disciplinary Tribunals and Appeals for professional and amateur sports.
We advise in relation to Intellectual Property Rights including brand protection by way of both criminal and civil jurisdictions.
We have provided employment law advice to organisations and individuals.
We have provided advice to not for profit organisations in relation to the drafting and constitution of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of organisations and continued advice to individual directors of Not for Profit organisations.
We provide legal advice to professionals on personal tax and cross-border estate planning liaising with individuals, professional sports agencies and individual agents.
Matters we have dealt with include:
- instructed by Chelsea Football Club as independent Counsel to conduct an emergency review of the evidence and the Club's procedures relating to Diversity and Equality and FA rules. We interviewed all relevant Chelsea players and staff including the Chairman and Chief Executive. We advised and represented both the Club and individual players that were interviewed by the Football Association in relation to their enquiries following the report by a player of racial abuse from the match referee, Mark Clattenberg. The advice given to the Club also incorporated employment law, diversity and equality statute and regulations. The outcome of the matter was that the Club's actions were totally vindicated.
- representing Tottenham Hotspur FC to advise and assist in ongoing investigations by the Metropolitan Police into the bidding process employed by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) and various parties including West Ham United FC and Leyton Orient FC - and a Judicial Review Process that resulted. We also advised the Club as to civil claims made against them by other parties involved in the bidding process.
- representing Newcastle United Football Club on a permanent standard retainer and dealing with a range of legal issues affecting the Club including all issues of media relations, privacy and reputation management. Dealing with 'on-field' related issues with regard to players and the Club including Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Joey Barton. Assisting specific players with regard to general media issues. Instructions involved dealing with social media sites such as Twitter, pitch invasions and the banning of media organisations from the Sports Direct Arena/St James' Park.
- London Olympics 2012 Pro Bono Legal Service Panel - the London 2012 Pro Bono Service provided free of charge legal advice and representation for accredited athletes, coaches, team officials, National Olympic Committees, National Paralympic Committees, International Federations and International Paralympic Sporting Federations during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The service included a fast track sports advocacy service which provided representation for parties before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and other expedited sports hearings held during the Games. Advice was given to the Chef de Mission of a National Team as to enquiries relating to Olympic tickets.
- instructed by Blackpool Football Club in relation to media issues and defamation matters on behalf of the Club and senior Directors
- acting on behalf of Charlton Athletic Football Club in relation to player issues and general media advice and representation to the Club itself in dealings with national media outlets
- advising broadcasters including British Sky Broadcasting as to Intellectual Property Rights issues including brand protection and exploitation, advice on the areas of design copyright, trade mark and service mark, domain names and other Intellectual Property Rights matters.
- advising British Water Ski Federation Limited on updating Memorandum and Articles of Association in relation to their 'not for profit' status; at the same time advising the organisation on the processes required to update their Disciplinary Procedures. We also advised in respect of various disciplinary appeals that were ongoing.
- instructed by Chelsea Football Club to advise and represent both the Club and individual players that were required for questioning by the Metropolitan Police in relation to the police investigation and subsequent criminal proceedings into allegations of racially aggravated abuse of Anton Ferdinand by John Terry. Representation of Club and player interest, excluding Mr Terry, throughout the police and Football Association enquiries, further advice was provided with regard the criminal trial and final FA Disciplinary hearing.
- advising Tottenham Hotspur FC and the Club's Board in respect of matters arising from complaints lodged with the Metropolitan Police - and highly publicised in the media - relating to Tottenham Hotspur fans referring to themselves through chants as the "Yid Army" and issues through any Diversity, Equality Act and racial abuse.