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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Anglia > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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The national sports team at Mills & Reeve LLP is led from Manchester and London but the Cambridge and Norwich offices house significant expertise in regulatory matters, image rights, tax and private client matters. The firm acts for high-profile sports personalities and teams, particularly in football, and gained new clients in 2018 in cycling, golf, rugby league, tennis and mountaineering. Tax partner Chris Belcher commercial and IP partner Greg Gibson and IP principal associate Richard Plaistowe are the key contacts.

Other key lawyers:Chris Belcher; Richard Plaistowe; Greg Gibson; Edward Hadcock

Key Clients

The Rangers Football Limited

The Court of Arbitration for Sport

The Professional Footballers’ Association

Laffer Abogados

James Milner

League Football Education

Great Manchester Sports Partnership

OmniSports Limited

Super League

Manchester County FA

Preston North End FC

Pro Legal Agency

White Rose Sports Ventures

Entertainment Today

British Cycling

Work highlights

  • We carried out a detailed review of the operational activities and governance of the MTT group to ensure current compliance with relevant aspects of charity law and best practice.
  • We advised the Club’s new owners on the exit of former CEO, Jez George.
  • We provide on-going advice to HTFC regarding image rights deal with certain players; this includes acting for HTFC in negotiations with the players’ legal representatives, agents and/or accountants.
  • Advising CUFC in relation to the proposed redevelopment of its current stadium to include a new larger stadium with new homes to help build a new community in this part of Cambridge.
  • We were instructed jointly by the International Hockey Federation, in Lausanne, Switzerland and the World Grand Masters Association to facilitate the merger of two worldwide hockey competitions into one new body, World Masters Hockey.

Niche intellectual property boutique Stobbs IP joins the ranking this year thanks to its impressive roster of clients in the sports sector, for which it handles IP and brand management matters. Litigation principal Geoff Steward counts a number of Formula One teams among his clients. Founder Julius Stobbs, senior solicitor Chris Sleep and solicitor Richard Ferguson are among many who handled recent matters for high-profile clients including UEFA.

Other key lawyers:Geoff Steward; Julius Stobbs; Richard Ferguson

Key Clients

UEFA

FIFA

Liverpool FC

Tottenham Hotspur FC

England & Wales Cricket Board

World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association

World Snooker Federation

SRO Motorsports Group

Ringside Boxing

Work highlights

  • Stobbs was selected to assist UEFA in the acquisition of domain names for the EURO2020 football competition.
  • Brand protection and trade mark litigation.
  • Brand strategy and management.
  • Advising the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association in relation to the establishment of its newly created division World Snooker Federation (WSF), established to bring together amateur and professional snooker within one organisation as part of a formal bid for snooker to be recognised as a sport within the Olympic and Paralympic programme.
  • Acting on behalf of the SRO motorsports group, the FIA backed motorsport organisation involved in the promotion, support, and organisation of the various national and international auto racing series around the world.

Leathes Prior has a national presence through its Full Contact online portal, which provides a range of services for sports clubs, regulatory bodies and sporting professionals. Dan Chapman is one of the region's few dedicated sports lawyers and his disputes work has seen him act for leading names in football and motorsport. He is one of the few solicitors nationwide who is an active FA Registered Intermediary.

Practice head(s):Dan Chapman

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