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
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
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
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
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
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 sublicense 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 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
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
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 and sponsorship
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