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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Sport clients in East Midlands 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


Browne Jacobson LLP assists clients with a broad range of corporate, commercial, employment, real estate and insurance work. Key figures in Nottingham include joint practice heads Nigel Blackwell and Peter Jones as well as commercial property practitioner Sarah Parkinson. In a major highlight, Parkinson recently led on the multimillion-pound sale of Donington Race Track by Wheatcroft Properties to Motorsport Vision, successfully obtaining the necessary competition clearance and putting in place various leases, options and underletting grants while also ensuring the transfer of various trade marks, corporate assets and commercial and event contracts. Leicester Tigers Rugby Club is also on the client roster.

The ‘very efficient, responsive and supportive’ team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP impresses with an ‘excellent’ service level. The practice’s gamut of expertise includes corporate and commercial work, employment matters, private client instructions and dispute resolution mandates. The group has a clear focus on clients from the football and rugby sectors, with sports governing bodies as particularly frequent clients. A testament to the group’s strong commercial expertise, the duo leading the practice consists of Nottingham’s Ed Wright, who specialises in non-contentious intellectual property and IT law, and of Leicester’s Martin Noble, an expert in contentious intellectual property work. Wright led in assisting Milltek Sport with the creation of a selective distribution model to safeguard the reputation of the brand. Long-standing client Dame Kelly Holmes Trust instructed the team for a wide range of employment matters as well as for contractual arrangements with a third party regarding a programme roll-out in Northern Ireland. Sport England and  Ultra Sport Europe also feature on the client list.

Since the arrival of Jamie Goldberg as new department head from Onside Law Limited, Geldards LLP has significantly boosted its sports practice and assists sports clients with high-profile corporate and commercial transactions. Advice on M&A transactions, sports governance and regulation is as much part of the team’s portfolio as sponsorship, partnership, and licensing and media rights agreements. Endorsements and representation agreements for athletes and defamation and sports injury assistance are other core strengths.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited is ‘excellent in every way’ and assists regional companies in the sports sector with corporate, commercial, employment and commercial property matters. With the promotion of Leicester’s Harpreet Sandhu to partner, the team around Nottingham-based practice head Duncan Taylor has bolstered its commercial, intellectual property and IT expertise. Other key advisers are the ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘methodical’ Martin Jinks in Derby and Andy Jamieson in Nottingham. Chesterfield Panthers Rugby Union Football Club mandated the firm to advise on the lease of a piece of land adjacent to the Club’s rugby pitch.

Smith Partnership acts for sports clubs, sport governing bodies and athletes, with core sports expertise in commercial work, ranging from sponsorship and endorsement agreements to partnership agreements, intellectual property and IT work, employment and insurance work as well as regulatory work. James Johnson leads the team from the Derby office. In addition to advising a newly promoted Championship team on employment contracts for managing and coaching staff, Johnson also assisted Burton Albion Football Club on relation to the departure of First Team Manager to Queens Park Rangers and the appointment of Nigel Clough and new coaching staff. Fraser Cunningham, also in Derby, recently advised Derby County Football Club on a partnership agreement with the University of Derby, aimed at facilitating a Sporting degree. Other clients include Burton Hockey Club and Mickleover Football Club.

Spearing Waite LLP’s sports practice acts for a large spectrum of clients, from major clubs to national sports governing bodies all the way to community-based sports teams. With Andrew Rowell at the helm, the caseload has a strong employment imprint, but the practice also assists with the protection and management of intellectual property portfolios and the drafting and enforcement of commercial contracts. Recent highlights include supporting Leicester City Football Club with day-to-day employment advice on top of assisting Leicestershire County Cricket Club with employment law issues and changes to the club’s corporate governance structure. The practice also acted for The Leicester Tigers on the club’s trade mark portfolio. Rothley Park Cricket Club is also a client.

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