Sports Law

Our sports lawyers advise UK governing bodies, clubs, and athletes on some of the most high-profile, strategic, and complex matters in sport.

Why choose us?

For over 25 years, we’ve helped some of the biggest names in sport navigate the unique challenges that they face. We understand our clients’ objectives and the landscape within which they operate.

We provide nuanced, straightforward commercial advice on all aspects of broadcasting, sponsorship, marketing, and venues, as well as handling prominent disputes and sports regulatory issues to help clients achieve their goals.

Our experienced sports lawyers

Our sports team works with clients from across the sports industry, with many having hands-on sports governance experience themselves. This gives us a true understanding of the issues sportspeople face, and this experience is combined with a genuine passion and keen interest in the sector.

Read our sports law guides

IMMIGRATION IN SPORT

There are a range of visa options to choose from for sportspeople. Understand which one might be best for you.

ESTATE PLANNING FOR SPORTSPEOPLE

Sportspeople have a unique set of circumstances that require unique estate planning measures.

DATA PROTECTION IN SPORTS

All organisations, and as such all sports organisations, must comply with data protection regulations and ensure they're hitting all the relevant requitements.

How can we help you?

Regulation and governance

Our sports lawyers understand the delicate balance that governing bodies must achieve in order to both develop sport and provide an entertaining product, particularly with an increased court and legislator appetite for sports regulation. We have experience in:

  • Advertising compliance
  • Governance structure
  • Development of policies and codes of conduct
Intellectual property

We manage world-wide trademark and brand portfolios for both national and international sports organisations. We support their merchandise operations and enforce brand protection around the world.

Disciplinary procedures

We support governing bodies who are investigating alleged rule breaches. Our team has an increasing role in representing many entities in disciplinary proceedings, including:

  • Players
  • Officials
  • Clubs
  • Affiliated organisations
Competition and regulatory advice

Our informed understanding of the market impact of sporting rules and regulations means that we are well-placed to provide you with bespoke competition and regulatory advice.

Sports disputes

We provide strategic dispute management advice and represent clients in sport arbitration proceedings and in litigation. We regularly help clients to identify and resolve disputes at a very early stage to avoid the need for formal dispute resolution. When a dispute does arise, our team has a proven track record of successfully representing clients in a wide range of matters. 

Equality law matters

We understand the unique equality law issues within sports. Our services include advising on equality considerations for sports associations and governing bodies and representing clients in discrimination disputes.

Our team can:

  • Provide guidance on the impact of Brexit on sportspersons’ immigration and travel
  • Offer assistance with player contracts and employment terms to ensure fair treatment
  • Aid with policy development, helping our clients to create and implement policies that promote equality and fairness in the sports industry
Sporting events

We can guide clients in successfully hosting sporting events, inclusive of managing:

  • Broadcasting agreements
  • Sponsorship deals
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Ticketing
  • Event services
  • Stadium and venue development projects, including construction

Sports header

Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL)

Successfully representing the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) in the high-profile unfair prejudice petition and subsequent arbitration brought by Heart of Midlothian and Partick Thistle following the decision to end the 2019/20 season due to the impact of COVID-19.

The R&A

Advising The R&A, the world governing body for golf outside the United States and Mexico, in relation to the legal and commercial issues arising from the cancellation of The Open in 2020, which was due to be held at Royal St George’s, as a result of UK COVID-19 restrictions.

Scottish Rugby

Working with Scottish Rugby in connection with the preparation, publication and communication of the Gammell-Murray Report following the independent corporate governance and business review of the Scottish Rugby Union.

Former football agent of an international footballer

Representing the former agent of an international footballer in claiming damages for the termination of the agency agreement in an FA Rules arbitration. The dispute focused on governing law, the conduct of the agent in negotiating a transfer, and the value of the agency agreement at its termination. We secured litigation funding for the client and successfully negotiated a settlement.

P+J Live

Advising The Event Complex Aberdeen (now P+J Live), a new £333 million complex, in relation to applications for a premises licence (liquor), a theatre licence, and a market operator’s licence.

The R&A

Supporting The R&A on the implementation, administration and governance of the Word Handicap System (WHS) in collaboration with the USGA.