Clifford Chance‘s sports team is experienced in handling contentious and non-contentious matters. It is regularly entrusted to advise major sport leagues, governing bodies, clubs, event organisers and broadcasting companies on domestic and international matters. Counsel and former Paris managing partner Yves Wehrli, who is a specialist in corporate and commercial contracts, leads the team. Litigation is another key area of practice for the team, which regularly acts for its reputable clients in a broad range of disputes, a recent example being its representation of Ligue de Football Professionne in relation to TV scheduling changes resulting from Covid-19; Thibaud d’Alès is the key names in this space.
Media and entertainment: Sports in France
Other key lawyers:
Thibaud d’Alès; Gauthier Martin
Fédération Française de Football
Ligue de Football Professionnel
Fédération Française de Tennis
Fédération Française de Rugby
- Representing the LFP in a very sensitive dispute regarding the TV broadcasting rights of the Ligue 1 championship, following the default of the main broadcaster, Mediapro, in the wake of the difficulties faced by the football industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Representing the LFP in the context of a sensitive commercial litigation initiated by Groupe Canal+, in relation to the rescheduling of several football games from December 2018 to March 2019.
Louis de Gaulle, Serge Lederman, Jean-François Vilotte, who leads on many of the team’s most complex matters, and Agnès Macaire head the practice at De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés. The group's workload involves advising a broad range of notable clients on the full spectrum of matters in the space; it is assisting with the competition and sports law considerations concerning the organisation of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and is a popular choice to advise on international events. Additionally, a significant portion of its workload includes advising on the formation and negotiation of relevant contracts and agreements.
Louis de Gaulle; Serge Lederman; Jean-François Vilotte; Agnès Macaire
‘Jean-François Vilotte has an in-depth knowledge of the sport industry and provides top-notch strategic advice in order to make sure our project is running smoothly.’
ASSOCIATION SPORTING CLUB BASTIAIS
CAISSE DES DEPOT ET CONSIGNATIONS
ILE DE FRANCE MOBILITÉS
AMAURY SPORT ORGANISATION (TOUR DE FRANCE, DAKAR)
FRENCH NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (CNOSF)
FRENCH TENNIS FEDERATION (ROLAND-GARROS, DAVIS CUP, FED CUP, ROLEX MASTERS)
UEFA (EURO 2016, CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, EUROPA LEAGUE)
MOHAMMED BEN SULAYEM (FIA PRESIDENT)
The sports law team at Joffe & Associés is led by the experienced Romain Soiron. The group is experienced in representing a wide-range of clients, particularly in the football area, including domestic federations and leagues as well as local organising committees and football clubs, in complex cases concerning ticket resale disputes, the sale and purchase of clubs, cross-jurisdictional sponsorship deals, and commercial contract negotiations. It is also well-equipped to act for its well-known individual clients in contentious matters relating to the alleged mismanagement of funds and image rights, among other areas. Counsel Alvyn Gobardhan has significant expertise in the area.
Other key lawyers:
Fédération française de football
Ligue de football professionnel
Fédération française d’athlétisme
Fédération française de tennis
Paris Saint-Germain Football
Paris Saint-Germain Handball
- Advised the Fédération Française de Football on its proceedings regarding disputes with ticket resellers.
- Advised 777 Partners on the acquisition of the Red Star Football Club.
- Advised the Ligue de Football Professionnel on disputes relating to commercial contracts and the non-authorised use of Ligue de Football Professionnel’s assets.
Neil Robertson heads the sports practice at Bignon Lebray, which acts for sports clients, clubs, professional sportsmen and event organisers. The group advises on the creation, structuring and day-to-day operation of sports companies and clubs, sponsorship agreements and employment contracts, predominantly concerning golf, football and rugby. It has a strong focus on defending individual sportspeople at disciplinary hearings.
Golf de Maisons-Laffitte
Racing 92 Rugby Club
- Advising Brive Rugby on a significant investment by a foreign investor in the club.
- Advising the Argentinean professional rugby player Juan Cruz Mallia, in a disciplinary hearing by the Disciplinary Committee of the EPCR.
- Defended professional rugby player Kurtley Beale in a disciplinary hearing before the Federation Française de Rugby.
Klein Wenner‘s team is co-led by national and international sports competition expert Eve Derouesné; experienced sports lawyer François Klein, IP and digital specialists Laurent Badiane and Mathieu Bourgeois; and public law expert Marc De Monsembernard. It is frequently sought after to represent clients in disciplinary proceedings and also handles employment, finance and player transfer issues as well as related litigation. It also assists high-profile sportspeople with the management of their assets. Associate Gratiane Kressmann provides additional support.
Eve Derouesné; François Klein; Laurent Badiane; Matthieu Bourgeois; Marc De Monsembernard
Other key lawyers:
Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard («FC Sochaux»)
Ligue Réunionnaise of Football (LRF)
Sportfive (ex Lagardère sport)
Le Mans Football Club («Le Mans FC»)
- Advising FC Sochaux in day-to-day questions involving disciplinary matters, employment law, litigations, financial investments, players transfers and relationships with intermediaries.
- Defended the Ligue Réunionnaise de Football (LRF) before the Bordeaux Administrative Court of Appeal, to obtain the annulment of the decision that Vaovao SC should integrate the departmental 2 championship for the 2018 season.
- Assisting an Olympic French swimming champion in the management of his assets and, in particular, of his brands, recently conducting a preliminary prior trademark search for the launch of a blockchain-based digital sports sponsorship platform.
Paul Hastings LLP
The team at Paul Hastings LLP is experienced in assisting a range of, predominantly football-related, sports clients with a variety of high-value matters. It is regularly entrusted to handle cross-jurisdictional acquisitions and also has a core focus advising on the sale of broadcasting rights; in recent work it assisted The Ligue Nationale de Rugby with the finalisation and execution of its TV broadcasting agreement with Canal +. Jean-Louis Martin heads the team.
The Friedkin Group
The sports group at AYACHE has a clear focus on tax-related legal issues in relation to sports. The team consistently advises clients, which consists of noteworthy football, basketball and volleyball clubs, on tax, legal and contractual issues relating to image rights, player transfers, and the management of sports clubs. Jacques Messeca leads the team.
STADE RENNAIS FC
TOULOUSE FOOTBALL CLUB
AS ST ETIENNE
GIRONDINS DE BORDEAUX
RACING CLUB DE LENS
CLASSICO SPORT MANAGEMENT
TOTAL DIRECT ENERGIE
DWF (France) AARPI
DWF (France) AARPI's sport practice is headed by specialist Emmanuel Durand, who joined the firm in 2021 from De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, and provides ‘an exceptional quality of legal advice’ in the sports area. The team is well-equipped to advise on a variety of matters involving the negotiation of partnerships and agreements, frequently involving mergers and sponsorships.
‘Emmanuel Durand is particularly savvy in media and sport. He is business-friendly and very attentive.’
‘Emmanuel Durand specialises in topics related to contract law and sports law. Emmanuel has systematically demonstrated a significant and appreciated responsiveness to our needs and requests, demonstrating great pedagogy and real expertise overall.’
‘Emmanuel Durand is an essential lawyer in the sports industry; he knows the sector, its specificities and actors. This allows him to deliver an exceptional quality of legal advice.’
FRENCH PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
FRENCH PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE
PARIS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2024 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES
FRENCH TENNIS FEDERATION
The sports group at FIDAL is led by Sophie Dion and recently promoted partner Simon Darricau. It is developing a reputation as a go-to firm for sports organisations. The team's workload includes advising on a range of matters, including on high-value sponsorship deals, organisation, governance and compliance issues, and competition cases. Notably, it is assisting with the creation of the Athletes’ Village for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games.
Sophie Dion; Simon Darricau
Paris 2024 (Organization Committee of the Paris 2024 Olympics)
CNOSF (French Olympic Committee)
Consortium||Nexity, Eiffage Immobilier, CDC Habitat