Our sports law team has a long history of supporting some of the UK’s leading governing bodies, clubs and players on the most high profile, strategic and complex matters in sport. The team comprises leading lawyers with relevant expertise drawn from across the firm, from contract, employment and regulatory experts to litigators and trademark specialists. This expertise is combined with the team’s genuine passion and keen interest in the sports sector.
The sports sector is a major growth market. Over the last 15 years, sports and sporting events have become increasingly sophisticated and more commercially valuable. This brings huge opportunities, but also challenges for our clients. Sport is now a key public policy driver and subject to heightened regulatory and legislative intervention.
We understand the unique challenges that sporting organisations face and are supporting clients with all aspects of broadcasting, sponsorship, marketing and venues, as well as advising on high-profile disputes and sports-specific regulatory issues. Through our Sport Law Forum, a regular roundtable discussion attended by leading figures in the industry, we have a deep understanding of the issues that matter to our clients and tailor our advice accordingly. We work in genuine partnership with our clients, building long-term trusted adviser relationships with them to best understand their objectives and help them achieve their goals.
- Events and commercial contracts
- Broadcasting agreements
- Sponsorship/ endorsement/ strategic partnerships
- Marketing and PR
- Events services
- Stadium/venue projects/construction
- Regulation and governance
- Safeguarding requirements
- Investigating alleged rule breaches on behalf of governing bodies
- Representing players, officials, clubs and affiliated organisations in disciplinary proceedings before governing bodies
- Advertising compliance
- Governance structure
- Codes of conduct and policies
- Employment and equality law matters
- Equality considerations for sports associations and governing bodies
- Discrimination disputes
- Immigration and the impact of Brexit on sportspersons’ migration/travel
- Player contracts and employment terms
- Policy development
- Competition and regulatory advice
- Market impact of sporting rules and regulations
- Sports disputes
- Strategic dispute management advice
- Representing clients in sport arbitration proceedings
- Litigation and dispute resolution
- Corporate mergers
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Intellectual property and data protection
- Trade mark and brand protection
- Commercialising image rights
- Preparing data protection policies and compliance advice
- Data breach investigation, reporting and management of claims
- Real Estate
- Acquisition, funding, re-development, planning and construction
- Option contracts
- Strategies for and the disposal of surplus assets
- Leasing and occupational arrangements for a range of one-off events and longer-term arrangements
We understand the unique challenges that esports organisations face and are supporting clients with all aspects of broadcasting, sponsorship, marketing and venues, as well as advising on high-profile disputes and sports-specific regulatory issues.
Our team advises a number of international computer gaming and software development clients on a range of intellectual property matters. From employment and developer contracts through to high value publishing and licensing negotiations, our team understands the intellectual property issues arising through all phases of game development, launch and acquisition. Some of our recent experience includes:
- Advising on the acquisition of several UK-based video game developers.
- Advising a global video game developer operating in the UK, EU and USA on a range of intellectual property matters, from software licencing to contractual relationships with publishers and developers.
- Advising a world leading facial image capturing company based in the USA and UK on contracts with major USA based industry players.
- Advising a UK based games developer on the international licensing of its “pay-to-play” and “free-to-play” games to global betting companies.
Events and commercial contracts
Our team has extensive experience providing a wide range of support commonly required by clients organising large scale events, including in relation to ticketing, merchandise, construction and contract arrangements with suppliers and service providers. Our lawyers are accustomed to supporting rights holders negotiate broadcasting agreements, sponsorship arrangements and strategic partnerships to maximise the reach and impact of their event. Examples of recent client work include:
- Advising on legal and commercial issues arising from the cancellation of major sporting tournaments due to Covid-19 restrictions
- Advising major sporting tournament on ticketing and merchandise agreements, service contracts and partnership agreements
- Advising national sports body on a venue agreement for the potential hosting of international matches
International esports players and their personal or technical staff are permitted to visit the UK to participate in tournaments. For the purposes of their visit, players are classified as entertainers rather than sportspersons. We regularly advise on visit visa requirements and permissions and can guide visiting players and staff through the UK’s immigration rules.
We assist companies relocating or establishing a business in the UK, obtaining and maintaining a sponsor licence, and recruiting and retaining international staff coming to the UK to work for them.