Sport in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP works with sporting venue operators, sports clubs, local councils, and sporting bodies on a wide range of work, handling development matters, contract disputes, procurement, regulatory issues and much more. Insurance specialist Kevin Lawson is a key name in Birmingham, while the team includes a number of ‘excellent team players’ in the Nottingham office, including real estate partner Sarah Parkinson and public law specialist Laura Hughes.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Lawson

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Parkinson; Laura Hughes


‘Without exception, all members of Browne Jacobson’s sports law team I have worked with are excellent team players – they work well with each other and provide the highest level of service to their clients.’

‘I have now worked with Kevin Lawson at Browne Jacobson for a number of years on a number of different cases, including on a particularly difficult and long running sports law case. They are all excellent team players and are a pleasure to work with. The quality of the work they do in the sports law sphere is excellent and they have an exceptionally good relationship with their insurer clients.

‘Kevin Lawson is excellent from a strategic point of view. He always has a laser-like focus on obtaining commercial and pragmatic solutions for his insurers clients who are incredibly loyal as a result.’

‘Kevin Lawson is exceptionally good at considering problems from all angles and values input from all members of his team, associates and counsel alike.’

Key clients

Motorsport Vision Limited

Sherwood Forest Golf Club

East Suffolk Council

UK Sport

Sport England

Hiscox Insurance

Work highlights

  • Advised Motorsport Vision Limited on significant redevelopment of premises at Donington Park race track.
  • Advised Sherwood Forest Golf Club regarding a potentially significant construction dispute.
  • Advised East Suffolk Council in respect of the appointment of a leisure operator to provide key services.

Geldards LLP

The Derby-led team at Geldards LLP has been busy of late advising Derby County Football Club on a variety of contentious and regulatory matters stemming from the club's ongoing financial struggles. Disputes specialist Jonathan Butler has led the firm's work here; he works in tandem with highly regarded commercial contracts and corporate lawyer lawyer Jamie Goldberg. The firm's work also incorporates advice on trade marks, contracts and endorsements for a range of major sporting clients.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Goldberg

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Butler; Simon Davers

Key clients

Derby County Football Club Limited

British Boxing Board of Control Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Derby County Football Club to successfully defeat an attempt by Middlesbrough Football Club to intervene in an appeal by the EFL and bring in its own appeal against a Decision of Disciplinary Commission under the Profit & Sustainability Rules.
  • Successfully defended Derby County FC in part before an Arbitral Appeal panel against the EFL’s attempt to overturn a Disciplinary Panel Decision in August 2020 under the Profit & Sustainability Rules relating to the Club’s accounts treatment of Player Registrations, before defeating the EFL at a Sanctions Hearing in July 2021 at which the EFL unsuccessfully pressed for the Club’s relegation.
  • Advising the British Boxing Board of Control Limited (the governing body of professional boxing in the UK) in relation to multiple trade mark infringement and passing off matters related to unauthorised advertising and marketing of replicas of BBBofC’s championship belts and related merchandise appearing online and in stores across the UK.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

The Nottingham team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP is led by head of sport Ed Wright , working in tandem with employment disputes specialist Rhys Wyborn . The firm works with professional sports clubs, governing bodies and commercial clients on a range of issues; Wright's focus is on commercial matters, both contentious and non-contentious, including issues relating to contracts, intellectual property, corporate governance and data protection.

Practice head(s):

Ed Wright; Rhys Wyborn

Key clients


British Orienteering

My mHealth Ltd

Sheffield and Hallamshire Football Association

Incus Performance

Grassroots Football Media Limited

Purpose Media


Work highlights

  • Advised Replay Maintenance in relation to redrafting standard software licence terms for their maintenance software package/product, preparing appropriate preliminary heads of terms and template software licensing agreements for third party arrangements in Australia and US and negotiated the terms of an appropriate US intellectual property rights licence agreement.
  • Advised Incus Performance on product-consistent terms and conditions of supply, a number of template agreements and a collaboration agreement to act as a contractual framework for a range of ongoing collaborative project(s) with the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO).
  • Advised British Orienteering on trademark licensing issues in developing the client’s Xplorer product for organisations like schools and sports centres.