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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Sport clients in Yorkshire and the Humber 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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McCormicks ‘sits at the top of the list for a reason’ thanks to the ‘unparalleled experience’ of Peter McCormick ; ‘the god of sports law’ according to clients, McCormick is ‘totally unflappable and commercially astute’ with ‘a wealth of knowledge and experience in the football world that simply can’t be matched’. The Premier League is a key client for the team; recent work includes advising it on the approvals process in applying the Owners’ and Directors’ Test when a club takeover or acquisition occurs, defending it in litigation against Doyen Sports relating to allegations that the league’s banning of the third party ownership of players is anti-competitive, and assisting it with West Ham United’s move to the London Stadium. The department also assisted Leeds United FC with contractual arrangements with its manager and coaching team, acted for the Premier League Charitable Fund on multiple sponsorship contracts, and handled governance issues, sponsorship work and commercial transactions for the Isthmian Football League. The firm also acts for The Ryman League, McLaren Formula One, Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Leeds Rhinos RLFC and a number of shoot proprietors. other key figures include Philip Edmondson, who is the key name for litigation, and corporate specialist Jon Healey, who joined from Walker Morris LLP in 2018.

‘A leading firm in Yorkshire for sport law’, Walker Morris LLP provides ‘a superior service with high-grade individuals who have a strong reputation in the market’. Clients single out team head David Hinchliffe as ‘a standout lawyer who is incredibly streetwise and knows how to put a deal together and deliver a completion’. The ‘knowledgeable, approachable and pragmatic’ Hinchliffe focuses on football work and advises various clubs and investors; he recently advised NF Football Investments on its purchase of Nottingham Forest Football Club, acted for Renhe Sports Management on its purchase of a 75% stake in The Reading Football Club and assisted Nigel Travis and Eagle Investments 2017 with its purchase of a majority stake in Leyton Orient Football Club. The team also handled sponsorship and fight agreements for Amir Khan relating to his career comeback in 2018. Director Alistair McHenry and senior associate Liz Coley are rated as ‘a pair of first-rate litigators’. Also recommended are senior associate Katie Reed (‘an outstanding young lawyer’) and 'excellent' associate Geoff Cunningham, who is ‘attentive to clients' needs’.

Recent highlights for Clarion's David Cunningham included advising Yorkshire County Cricket Club on a sponsorship agreement with Emerald Group for the naming rights to Headingley Stadium. The cross-department team also includes senior corporate partner Richard Moran, whose expertise encompasses the purchase, sale and funding of football and rugby clubs, stadium acquisitions and brand issues; insolvency specialist Ryan Millmore; litigators Simon Young and Dominic Higham; and commercial lawyer Matthew Hattersley.

Blacks Solicitors LLP is ‘truly committed to the sector’ and is a key name in the region for assisting sportsmen and women with contract reviews, immigration issues and disciplinary matters. Other clients include sports clubs, sports associations, sports manufacturers and retailers. Managing partner Chris Allen leads the group, which includes David Paterson and solicitor James Farad. Andrew Boyde joined Consilia Legal in 2017.

HLW Keeble Hawson's cross-departmental team primarily acts for sports clubs and counts Chesterfield FC and Doncaster Knights RUFC as key clients. Giles Searby leads the group and regularly handles issues in the football and rugby sectors. Other key individuals include Barry Warne, who provides employment and contract advice to professional footballers; and associate Andrew Broadbent, who focuses on contentious work. Recent highlights include advising Sheffield Sports Stadium on its trainer retention agreements for its greyhound trainers. Mallorca Bike Hire is also a client.

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