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Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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Headed by Wayne Beynon, Capital Law LLP's sports team leverages the strength of its litigation, commercial and IP departments, in particular, to provide a 'very strong service' to numerous sports clubs including Cardiff City Football Club (CCFC). Recent highlights include Beynon's ongoing representation of CCFC in a high-profile contractual dispute with the club's former chairman, Sam Hammam.

Now headed by corporate and commercial partner Gerallt Jones,¬†following Gareth Williams' retirement from the partnership (he remains a consultant of the firm), Hugh James¬†handles the full spectrum of sport-related legal work, from disciplinary and doping hearings to the construction of sports stadia, major contractual agreements, funding requirements and the governance of sporting bodies. Jones handles a raft of work for marquee client, The Welsh Rugby Union, including on its borrowings, and loans and guarantee facilities to the Welsh regions and member clubs. On the contentious front, Tracey Singlehurst-Ward¬†has handled numerous matters for the British Boxing Board of Control¬†(BBBofC) including recently successfully securing summary judgment against a former boxing manager and promoter following his attempt to set aside the BBBofC's decision to withdraw his licence for conduct contrary to its disciplinary rules. Other clients include Welsh Gymnastics, Celtic Manor Resort and UK Sport Framework.  

Headed by the 'knowledgeable and approachable' Mark Loosemore, boutique firm Loosemores Solicitors provides a 'value-for-money service' to a growing roster of sports clients across a range of commercial work, corporate governance and regulatory matters, in particular. Praised for his 'considered and practical approach' and 'ability to work well with all parties to an agreement', Loosemore handles a raft of work for the Football Association of Wales (FAW), and as well as advising it on a plethora of commercial agreements in the lead up to the UEFA Champions League Final played at Cardiff in 2017, he also represented it on the commercial agreements relating to the production and release of the BAFTA nominated film, Don't Take Me Home - chronicling the experience of the Welsh team and fans during the 2016 Euros in France. As well as offering employment law expertise to clients in the industry, Karl Thomas also has experience advising on regulatory disputes and disciplinary cases; he recently defended FAW against disciplinary charges brought by FIFA relating to the display of poppies at a FIFA World Cup qualifying football match in late 2016. Consultant Michael Culley has vast experience at handling corporate governance and regulatory matters, and solicitor Rebecca McCarthy is developing a niche advising on work at the intersection of charities law and sports. Other clients include Sport Wales, Welsh Rugby Players Association and Zest Sports Group.

Headed by Adrian Oliver, Dolmans is particularly well-known for its work on behalf of Welsh sporting bodies, including The Commonwealth Games Council for Wales and the Federation of Disability Sports Wales, across a range of commercial, contractual and governance matters. In addition, the team represents a growing stable of Parasports personalities, including David Weir and Aled Davies, which the firm represents across a range of sponsorship and contractual matters.  Leveraging the firm's expertise for personal injury work, the team also regularly handles work on behalf of sporting bodies and sports persons in relation to sports injuries. Clare Hoskins and Nicola Edwards are recommended.

'At the top of its game in all respects', Geldards LLP¬†draws upon lawyers from its litigation, corporate, employment, property and charities teams to provide a multi-disciplinary service to numerous sports governing bodies and sports clubs including British Boxing Board of Control, Sports Wales and Cardiff Devils Ice Hockey. Team head Paul Hopkins¬†offers a 'very personal service', and leveraging his 'considerable litigation skills' is best-known for handling contentious work within the sector. Hopkins recently secured a favourable settlement on behalf of the Elite Ice Hockey League (the professional ice hockey league in the UK) in a contractual dispute with the governing body of ice hockey in the UK, Ice Hockey UK, regarding a proposal to reduce the numbers of overseas players to boost home nation capability. The 'very responsive'¬†Giselle Davies¬†regularly handles work at the interface between sports and charities law including her recent representation of¬†FAW Football in the Community which she has been advising¬†on an agreement with Prospect Training Services (Gloucester) relating to the development and supply of an online training system and related services.¬†The firm also handles sports management work through Engagesport, the wholly owned subsidiary established in 2012.  

With Roger Morris, Simon Thomas and Rhian Williams all regularly appointed by World Rugby to act as independent judicial officers, Hutchinson Thomas is particularly recognised for its  'excellent reputation at handling rugby discipline matters'. The firm also has significant expertise advising local amateur sports clubs and in this regard senior partner Robert Williams has a particular speciality in obtaining Community Amateur Sports Club status thereby conferring significant financial advantage for those clubs.

JCP Solicitors's practice is headed by  the 'responsive, proactive and articulate' Andrew Meech and acts for Italian sportswear manufacturer Macron on a range of matters, including representing it on a new five-year retail services agreement with Llanelli Scarlets.  Christian Edwards joined Douglas-Jones Mercer.

Thompson Darwin Limited provides an 'outstanding service' to a sizeable and growing roster of sports clients. Name partner David Thompson is the primary practitioner handling sports work and is appreciated for his 'calm and methodical approach' and 'excellent business judgement' across the commercial, regulatory and disciplinary aspects of the industry. Thompson is particularly well-known for his rugby-related work where his clients include Scarlets Rugby Club and Pro Rugby Wales. Recent highlight include advising Pro Rugby Wales on contractual terms relating to the renewal of the BT sponsorship agreement with the four Welsh Regions.

Darwin Gray LLP has a strong reputation for handling employment-related sports work, particularly within the rugby arena. Team head Damian Phillips has an excellent reputation acting for rugby players and coaches on negotiating and drafting the terms of their contracts and on negotiating exits from clubs. Senior associate Owen John is developing a burgeoning reputation for football-related matters and is also registered with the Football Association of Wales to act as an agent for football players in the UK and abroad.

The recent arrival of Christian Edwards from JCP Solicitors has substantially enhanced Douglas-Jones Mercer's credentials for handling sports-related work given his expertise across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Edwards continues to handle work for Swansea Stadium Management Company, the company responsible for running and operating the Liberty Stadium, including representing it in a claim for defects arising out of the construction of the stadium.

Morgan LaRoche acts for national, regional and local sports organisations at both a professional and amateur level across a range of commercial work, including advising on sponsorship agreements, constitutional and governance advice, and issues relating to player contracts. Employment head Timothy Jones acts for West Wales Football Association on disciplinary matters and appeal proceedings, as well as on corporate governance matters. Corporate head William Barletta is also recommended and has recently advised Shimano UK on sponsorship and advertising issues involving anglers and angling events.

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