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Brabners LLP advised the Rugby Football League (RFL) on a range of matters from the application of salary cap regulations to successfully resisting defamation claims against the RFL and members of its management. It also advised International Sports Management and several of its high-profile clients including Lee Westwood on various sports-related issues. The ‘very experienced’ Jason Smith and team headMaurice Watkins are recommended. Matthew Bennett, Edward Canty and David Bentham left to establish boutique practice Centrefield LLP.

Gateley Plc has a team of ‘strong advisers that is trusted across the board by clubs, players, regulators and commercial stakeholders’. It was recently appointed as key legal adviser to Sport and Recreation Alliance. Other clients include Everton FC and International Netball Federation. John Burns has a ‘real presence in the market’ and heads the ‘excellent, dynamic and well-connected’ team.

At Mills & Reeve LLP, team head Mark Hovell sits as an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Carol Couse is ‘very well regarded for her work with Spanish and South American clients’. Matthew Chantler is recommended for his work on doping cases. Key clients include the Professional Footballers’ Association.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has particular expertise in sports injury work and acts for an impressive client base that includes Manchester United, Sir Bradley Wiggins and former Everton player James Hall. Jan Levinson is highly regarded.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s multidisciplinary team focuses on sports contracts, litigation and regulatory matters with a focus on rights, reputation and brand management for clubs, promoters and athletes. The ‘vastly experienced’ Richard Green ‘gets things done and successfully resolves disputes quickly’. Geraldine Ryan is also singled out for praise.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, Julian Diaz-Rainey acts for major football clubs, sporting bodies and leading individuals on a broad range of issues from contractual disputes, disciplinary proceedings to sponsorship agreements. Samantha Livesey is also singled out for praise for her experience in sports law and equine matters.

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