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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Sport clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Burges Salmon LLP acts for national and international sporting federations, and assists international teams and athletes with anti-doping matters; its client roster includes The Racecourse Association, Virgin Sport and Unicorn Products. The team has particular expertise in advising football, motorsports and horsing clients on regulatory matters, including constitutional and governance issues, anti-doping, financial regulation and financial fair play, as well as acting for football clubs on stadium safety, stewarding and policing matters. It has a solid track record of success in cases before disciplinary panels, the High Court, Court of Appeal and Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). In 2016, Laura Claydon acted for Jockey Club Racecourses in High Court proceedings defending a dispute with bookmakers in respect of betting areas at Cheltenham Racecourse; employment specialist Roger Bull advised a football club with the avoidance of a threatened litigation following the dismissal of the club’s manager; and Helen Scott-Lawler advised a group of independent racecourses on their media rights mandate with Arena Racing for the launch of a new TV channel. Well-regarded practice head Jeremy Dickerson is advising a global sports kit manufacturer on a number of player contract issues as well as sports helmet safety issues.

Ashfords LLP is a recognised leader in sports regulations. It acts for defendants and regulatory bodies, with a focus on race-fixing and doping allegations; it also represents a number of jockeys in respect of failed doping controls both in the UK and overseas and represents jockeys, trainers and owners before regulatory panels across all equestrian sports disciplines. Practice head Rory Mac Neice, a former professional National Hunt jockey, ‘leaves no stone unturned’, supported by Joanne Saye. Neice’s recent work highlights include acting for a jockey in a successful appeal to the disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority against the finding of local stewards claiming improper riding, representing a professional jockey following a positive control for cocaine taken at a racecourse and assisting the British Harness Racing Club with two doping appeals. Andrew Braithwaite joined from Thrings LLP in April 2017.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s ‘knowledge of the current professional sports landscape is exceptional’; the team demonstrates ‘the flexibility to tailor its advice to the needs and understanding of the client’. ‘Very experienced’ practice head Kevin Jones, who splits his time between Bristol and Southampton, can ‘dissect and evaluate the key issues quickly’ and provides ‘rock-solid employment advice that you can rely upon’. He is supported by senior associate Tim Copplestone, who ‘knows what professional sports clients’ needs are and can relate to the client in a way that few other lawyers can’. The team acts for a large number of professional sports clubs and organisations including Bristol Rugby, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, Wasserman Media Group and The Rugby Players’ Association. Recent highlights include advising a club on the purchasing of a new training ground and handling professional player exit issues.

Foot Anstey is a key adviser to Bristol Sport; associate Mark Searle advised it on the negotiation of a proposed rugby shirt sponsorship, assisted with its arrangement with Ashton Gate Stadium, which included licensing, intellectual property rights and health and safety considerations, and represented it in its dispute arising from the termination of the relationship with its stewarding support partner and the subsequent setting up of its in-house stewarding function. Commercial law team head Jonathon Oddy is a key name to note for sports and stadia matters; he advised Bristol Sport on its ticketing technology platform SRO4, a remote software solution devised in conjunction with Top Tix Sport. Commercial property specialist Richard Sutton advised Plymouth Argyle GC owners Akkeron Group on a £503m mixed-use development.

Royds Withy King has experience in handling sports-related commercial disputes and personal injury claims as well as acting for sports sector clients on intellectual property matters. Representative clients include Bath Rugby, Retraining of Racehorses, Racing Welfare, Qatar Racing and Qatar Bloodstock. Within the team, Richard Brooks and Oxford-based Andrew Chalkknow the horse racing industry inside out’ and are well respected in the regulatory field. Chalke jointly leads the sports team with commercial litigator Chris Kane, who is ‘a good operator with a good commercial approach’. Jessica Bent and Philip Banks-Welsh are further names to note.

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