SECTORS

Sport - Media - Entertainment

SPORT

Talent Representation

We represent players and athletes, their agents and management companies around the globe. We operate at both the elite level, advising a host of global icons and household names, through to the grassroots, helping promising athletes at the outset of their careers.

  • Playing contracts with clubs, teams and leagues, participation in events and funding agreements
  • National and international player transfers and associated issues such image rights, immigration and tax
  • Intermediary, agent and manager representation contracts and advice on intermediary and agents regulations
  • Contracts with coaches, physios, nutritionists, caddies and other members of the player’s or athlete’s team
  • Sponsorship / endorsement, media appearance, publishing and merchandise contracts and licensing programmes
  • Athletes’ personal sponsorship rights portfolios and the interplay with club, international or event rights
  • Production, development and sales contracts for film, documentary and animation projects
  • All legal issues relating to digital and social media channel management, social influencer and online advertising contracts

Sports media

We advise governing bodies, agencies, broadcasters and digital platforms on all aspects of the creation, acquisition, exploitation and protection of sports media rights.

  • Tender processes for domestic and international sports media rights
  • Broadcasting and digital sports media rights licence agreements
  • Pan-regional/global rights acquisition agreements, template sublicence agreements and sales
  • Advice on impact of EU law and Brexit on licensing and exploitation of sports media rights
  • Host broadcast and content production agreements (and related talent, facilities and tech arrangements)
  • Exploitation of sports content in social and digital media
  • Broadcasting, sponsorship and advertising regulation (including virtual advertising)
  • Resolution of sports media rights disputes by negotiation, arbitration and litigation
  • Copyright infringement / anti-piracy monitoring and enforcement

Sports Disputes

We represent a wide range of clients on all manner of disputes in sport, from commercial, regulatory and disciplinary disputes before national and international sports dispute resolution bodies through to civil litigation and mediation.

  • Advising and representing clubs, intermediaries and players in all manner of disputes before The FA, the Premier League and Managers Arbitration Tribunals, FIFA Players Status Committee and FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber and other sports governing bodies’ dispute resolution forums
  • Representing a wide range of clients before the Court of Arbitration for Sport
  • Representing clubs before the Professional Football Compensation Committee (including securing the highest ever compensation sum for an out of contract player in the history of professional football)
  • Representing clients in High Court commercial litigation, from complex high-value commercial litigation through to straightforward debt claims
  • Mediation of sports disputes
  • Experienced in obtaining third party litigation funding

Sports Regulatory and Governance

We advise international federations, national governing bodies, leagues, event organisers, clubs, individual athletes and their representatives on a wide range of sports regulatory matters, both contentious and non-contentious, and sports governance issues.

  • Organisational and governance structures within federations, governing bodies, leagues and clubs
  • Implementation of rules and regulations
  • Advising leagues, clubs, players and intermediaries on all national and international regulations governing the football industry
  • Regulatory policies and procedures for individual initiatives, from athlete funding programmes to codes of conduct
  • Advising on the regulation of agents and intermediaries in numerous sports
  • Advising on regulatory and governance issues affecting the ownership, acquisition and sale of football clubs

Image Rights, Brand and Reputation Management

We advise a wide range of players and athletes on image rights structures, the commercialisation of their image and reputational management, from numerous global stars at Champions League clubs through to promising young players and athletes at the outset of their careers.

  • Set-up and management of image rights structures
  • IP creation, including registration of athletes’ brands as trade marks, image protection and exploitation
  • Negotiation of image rights and commercial arrangements with clubs, teams, leagues or events
  • Advising on HMRC investigations
  • Libel, defamation and privacy issues, be it from social media posts to articles in newspapers
  • Dealing with identity theft and fake social media accounts

Club / Player Representation

We are regarded as leading experts in the football industry and other team sports, advising clubs / teams and players on a wide range of regulatory and commercial issues.

  • Player transfers and loans, both nationally and internationally
  • Player contracts and all associated documentation, appointment of managerial and coaching staff and work permit issues
  • Termination of player contracts, including under Article 17 of the FIFA Regulations, and settlement agreements
  • Training compensation and solidarity contribution issues
  • Compensation claims in respect of young and out of contract players in England (including before the Professional Football Compensation Committee)
  • International transfer of minors under the FIFA Regulations
  • Agent and intermediary issues, including advice on operating under the FIFA and FA Regulations on Working with Intermediaries

Sports Disciplinary

We represent clients in a wide range of disciplinary matters in sport.

  • Disciplinary investigations, charges and proceedings concerning intermediaries and clubs
  • Selection disputes
  • On- and off-field disciplinary matters
  • Representing all manner of clients before disciplinary panels
  • Drafting rules and regulations concerning disciplinary matters and procedures

Sports Events

We have considerable experience in advising on the organisation and management of, and creation of commercial rights programmes around, sports events and competitions, be they high profile one-off events that are regular fixtures in the international sports calendar, the staging of multi-team leagues and mass-participation events.

  • Event hosting and management agreements and appointment of key staff and rights agencies
  • Funding agreements, tenders, host city and venue agreements
  • Drafting and development of all event rules and regulations
  • Participation agreements with athletes, clubs and teams
  • Identification and exploitation of all the event’s commercial revenue streams, rights protection and ambush marketing
  • Marketing, advertising and data capture issues
  • Regulatory, sanctioning and competition law issues

Sports Marketing

We have extensive experience advising clients on using the platform of sport to deliver brand messaging and enhance brand awareness.

  • Endorsement, ambassador and appearance contracts
  • Sponsorship and partnership agreements with clubs, teams, events, sports bodies and other rights holders
  • PR, agency and consultancy contracts
  • Branded content agreements using all digital platforms and digital sponsorship
  • Merchandising agreements and development of national and international licensing programmes
  • Implementation and management of anti-infringement programmes and measures
  • Advice on regulatory issues, such as the ASA and CAP codes

Sports data

We advise event organisers and sports data companies throughout the sector on the collection, commercialisation and protection of data across a wide range of sports.

  • Tender processes for collection services and distribution of official sports data
  • Live match data supply agreements to betting and media markets
  • Match video analysis and performance data supply agreements for clubs and federations
  • Integrated audiovisual streaming and data services agreements for betting
  • Agreements for the development and commercialisation of data integrity products
  • Agreements for the maintenance and commercialisation of current and historic sports databases
  • Resolution of disputes concerning collection and use of sports data by negotiation, arbitration and litigation

Sport - Media - Entertainment

MEDIA

BROADCASTING

We provide legal support and advice to broadcasters, producers and distributors of media content.

  • Channel carriage and distribution agreements
  • Production agreements (and related agreements with talent and suppliers)
  • Programming sales and marketing agency agreements
  • Disputes and litigation in the broadcasting industry
  • Copyright infringement / piracy of broadcasts and programming
  • Format rights – creation, protection, licensing and disputes
  • Broadcast regulation, including regulation of content, competitions, advertising, sponsorship and product placement

CONTENT DISTRIBUTION

Distribution of content lies at the heart of many of our clients’ businesses. Our expert lawyers advise upon:

  • Content licence and distribution agreements
  • Rights sales and marketing agency agreements
  • Output deals and studio agreements
  • Distribution in digital and social media, OTT distribution
  • Invitations to tender for sale of media rights
  • In-flight and on-board licensing agreements
  • DVD, DTO/DTR and other fixed media licensing, production and distribution agreements

DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA

We provide expert legal services to content rights owners, creators, developers, influencers and platforms in digital and social media.

  • Content licensing agreements on digital and social platforms
  • Terms and conditions, privacy and cookie policies and acceptable use terms
  • Marketing campaigns in social media: advising on deals, issues and disputes
  • Data protection and privacy for companies and individuals
  • Reputation management and defamation
  • Development and licensing agreements for software, apps, websites and platforms
  • Notice and takedown actions for copyright infringement and other unlawful uses of content

MARKETING, ADVERTISING AND SPONSORSHIP

Our lawyers provide in-depth legal advice in the fields of marketing, advertising and sponsorship.

  • Commercial, agency and sponsorship agreements
  • Regulation of sponsorship in sensitive brand categories
  • Virtual advertising: technology supply, production and regulation
  • Advertising content clearance and related disputes
  • Advertising regulation and compliance across different media
  • Complaints to regulators
  • AdTech agreements and related commercial legal advice

REPUTATION MANAGEMENT AND PRIVACY

We protect the reputations of high profile personalities, organisations and companies.

  • Takedown of false and damaging allegations in digital and social media
  • Retractions and apologies for published false statements
  • Tackling threats to publish inaccurate and damaging information
  • Obtaining emergency injunctions and unmasking orders
  • Complaints to regulators, ISPs and publishers
  • Defamation proceedings
  • Taking action against infringements of rights to privacy, misappropriation of personal data and misuse of private information

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

We provide a full range of intellectual property services to our clients.

  • Trade mark registration and enforcement
  • Passing off actions
  • Image rights / rights of publicity: protection, enforcement and licensing
  • Copyright protection and enforcement
  • Domain name registration, transfers and recovery
  • Patent advice, protection and licensing
  • Database creation, protection and licensing

DATA PROTECTION

Data protection, privacy and cyber-security are key concerns for businesses operating in today’s digital world. Our expertise includes:

  • Compliance strategies and planning
  • Collection, processing and transfers of personal data
  • Investigations, breaches and complaints
  • Data protection disputes and subject access requests
  • Ownership and licensing of databases
  • Freedom of information requests and responses
  • Advice on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation

Sport - Media - Entertainment

ENTERTAINMENT

Live events

We advise promoters and companies involved in staging major live events in sport, culture, business and entertainment.

  • Venue hire agreements
  • Event management contracts and arrangements, including ticketing
  • Sponsorship, marketing partnership and endorsement agreements
  • Broadcast, streaming and digital media agreements, including production and distribution arrangements for event-related apps, content and programming
  • Presenter, talent and appearance agreements
  • Participation agreements and arrangements
  • Dispute resolution services, including brand protection and enforcement

Celebrities, Presenters & Talent

We provide individuals from the worlds of sport and entertainment with a range of expert and confidential legal services.

  • Commercial negotiations and agreements for presenters, performers and talent
  • Sponsorship, brand ambassador and endorsement agreements
  • Merchandising, licensing and publishing agreements
  • Image rights structuring, protection and enforcement
  • Defamation, reputation management and privacy services
  • Dispute resolution services
  • Legal services for leading social influencers and YouTubers

Video Games

We provide legal and business advice to developers and publishers of video games across all formats and media, and to licensors of IP rights from the worlds of sport and entertainment. We also advise clients in relation to eSports (see below).

  • Video games production, development, publishing and distribution agreements
  • Platform, game-engine and software licensing agreements
  • Licensing agreements for brands, characters, names, images and other IP for video games
  • Regulation of advertising and marketing relating to video games
  • Betting and gambling laws and their application to video games
  • End user licence agreements, privacy policies and other terms and conditions
  • Dispute resolution services in video games and eSports

eSPORTS

We have the know-how and experience to advise clients in the fast-growing world of eSports.

  • event management agreements
  • regulatory and constitutional documents
  • advice for leagues and governing bodies
  • commercial agreements
  • joint venture agreements
  • player and participation agreements and issues
  • eSports broadcasting / streaming and sponsorship agreements

Television

We provide expert legal services to production companies, broadcasters, suppliers and talent from all areas of the television industry, both in the UK and internationally.

  • Development, production and co-production agreements
  • Format rights protection and exploitation
  • Distribution of channels and content across broadcast platforms, digital and social media
  • Broadcasting regulation, content clearance, compliance and licensing issues
  • Agency / representation agreements for talent, formats and programmes
  • Character merchandising and brand extension
  • Copyright advice, including fair dealing, anti-piracy and rights enforcement

Film

We advise investors, producers, distributors and talent (and their representatives) in the film industry.

  • Film finance arrangements
  • Development and production agreements
  • Talent agreements including actor, director and composer agreements
  • Supplier agreements, including studio and facilities deals
  • Distribution of film content across traditional and digital media
  • Regulation of film content / compliance
  • Film rights option agreements for literary and dramatic works, ‘life-stories’ of prominent athletes, entertainers and renowned individuals, teams and events

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