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Who Represents Who

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Field Seymour Parkes LLP handles the full spectrum of sports law matters, from corporate and regulatory advice to real estate, licensing and employment. In addition to acting for a number of regional cricket, golf and athletics clubs, the firm has been developing a strong relationship with Get Berkshire Active, the Sport England authority based in Berkshire, which has opened the practice up to assisting a number of amateur sports clubs and associations on issues including their corporate status and the tax implications of their choice of structure. Other highlights included acting for Foremost Golf on reviewing the agreements underpinning a loyalty card scheme for professionals nationwide, and assisting Marlow Rowing Club with plans to expand its operations commercially without compromising its charitable status. Ian Wood-Smith leads the practice, which includes Jeremy Parkes. Bettina Phillis left the practice in January 2018 for an in-house role at Oxford University Press.

Irwin Mitchell acts for international and national governing bodies, sports clubs, funders, agents, operators of leisure facilities and individual sports personalities on the full spectrum of sports law matters, with an emphasis on regulatory and governance advice. In 2017, practice head Hannah Clipston acted for the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science on a review of the appeals policy through the Sport and Recreation Alliance Legal Panel, which then evolved into conducting a full review of all the association's policies. In another key mandate, employment partner Simon Fenton is acting for former British Olympian Jess Varnish following her removal from the British Cycling Olympic programme. Other key figures include Michael Taylor, who provides tax advice to sports personalities, and commercial contracts expert Stuart Padgham.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP has established a firm following among regional cricket, football and rugby clubs, in addition to acting for sporting charities such as Active Sussex, and a number of high-profile sports personalities. Recent highlights include acting for Hellingly Regby Football Club on its company incorporation, and acting for the Ansty Village Centre Steering Committee on the merger of the activities of the cricket club, football club and other entities and their respective assets and charitable activities into a new charitable incorporated organisation, as well as assisting with the construction of a new sports and social centre and the demolition of the existing centre. Firm chairman and sports department head Bruce Hayter has an extensive track record working with grass roots sports teams and clubs. Also recommended are Richard Cripps, who focuses on sports-related corporate transactions, and Alan Zeal, who regularly acts for amateur rugby clubs on governance issues.

Moore Law has established a firm following among sports clients for its expertise in commercial contracts matters, in addition to its ability to advise on the intersection between digital, media and sports. The practice recently acted for Lewes FC, a community-owned and not-for-profit football club, on an initiative in support of gender pay equality, which involved negotiating and drafting the structure, form and content of an overarching umbrella agreement to govern commercial relationships with prospective new sponsors. Other clients include advising longstanding client Technogym UK, for which it handles its sponsorship and endorsement agreements. Tristram Moore has an extensive track record acting for sports personalities, clubs, organisations, rights holders and retailers.

Rainer Hughes has a particular focus on acting for Premiership footballers and other sports personalities, and also acts for West Ham Ladies Football Club. Its areas of expertise cover sponsorship, licensing, merchandising, sports image rights,  broadcasting and new media rights, in addition to sports-related disputes and regulatory matters. Recent highlights include assisting Ramanus Navardauskas, a professional cyclist for Team Bahrain Merida, with drafting, settling and negotiating a commercial agreement related to a business investment, and acting for England cricketer Ravi Bopara on a variety of sports contracts and sponsorship agreements. Sanjay Panesar heads the team.

Stevens & Bolton LLP's full-service sports law practice has been particularly active in commercial and IP matters throughout 2017 - recent highlights include assisting Tyrell's Potato Crisps with drafting the sponsorship agreement connected to is sponsorship of the Tyrrell's Premier 15s league, the UK's premier women's rugby competition in the UK . It also handles contentious matters, and recently acted for personal trainer and online fitness blogger, Ross Dickerson, in a dispute arising from a commercial book publication agreement. Other clients include Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Tough Mudder Incoporated. Charles Maurice and Tom Lingard are the key figures. Tom Collins is also recommended.

Verisona Law 'punches above its weight' when it comes to sports matters, with clients rating the practice for its 'excellent service and extremely helpful industry knowledge'. It is singled out for its expertise in footballing matters, and acts for clubs, players and other other individuals on governance and regulatory matters, as well as employment and real estate issues. Key clients include Portsmouth Community Football Club, for which it continued to advise on the sale of the club, which completed in August 2017, as well as advising on the extension of the club's occupation of its training ground. The practice also acts as advisers to the Hampshire Professional Golfers Association, and assisted professional golfer Scott Gregory with drafting an agreement with Octagon, a sports and entertainment agency in sports marketing, sponsorship and athlete and talent representation, to represent him. Michael Dyer heads the team and is noted for combining 'experience and knowledge with a sensible, practical approach'. The 'excellent' Sue Ball is also recommended.

Country sports are the primary focus for Warners Solicitors' sports law practice, which acts for a number of country sports organisations and sporting estates on issues relating to game shooting, hunting, competitive and recreational riding and fishing. Clients include the Masters of Foxhounds Association, the governing body for hunts in the UK, and the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles, for which it handles constitutional affairs, disciplinary proceedings against hunt officials, and employment matters relating to hunt staff. Michael McNally, Tim Ryan and Russell Brinkhurst are the key figures.

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