Sport in London Bar
Blackstone Chambers 'really is the go-to set for sports work'. Kate Gallafent QC and Tom Cleaver represented The FA, a cornerstone client for Gallafent QC, in FIFA disciplinary proceedings concerning Chelsea FC's recruitment of youth players, which raises issue of national football associations' liabilities for actions by clubs. Adam Lewis QC, who represented the club in that matter, also advised World Rugby on issues concerning European qualification to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, after several national teams had points penalties applied for fielding ineligible players. Turning to tennis, Cleaver and Jane Mulcahy QC represented Ilie Năstase in disciplinary proceedings and an appeal following an on-court tirade in a Fed Cup tie directed at both the Great Britain team and the umpire; Năstase's ban was reduced on appeal by eight months.
A set with a 'a very good reputation in the sports field', 4 New Square is active in sports discipline and anti-doping matters. 2019 silk appointment Daniel Saoul QC represented then-Toronto Wolfpack rugby league player Ryan Bailey, who was found to not be at fault for refusing a post-match drug test; the player suspected that bottles of water provided by the Canadian anti-doping authorities may have been interfered with. Kendrah Potts acted as sole counsel defending England cricketer Alex Hales in ECB disciplinary proceedings after his highly publicised involvement in a brawl after he and team-mate Ben Stokes intervened in a homophobic attack; Stokes was acquitted of affray in a criminal case arising from the same incident. Notably, a number of the set's members have experience of elite sport themselves –Saoul QC is a former elite rowing cox, Graeme McPherson QC has had success as a race horse trainer, and Diarmuid Laffan is a former U21 Ireland rugby union international loose forward.
Littleton Chambers has a particular strength at the interface of sports and employment law. David Reade QC and Lydia Banerjee represented former Great Britain cyclist Jess Varnish in an employment tribunal case over alleged sex discrimination, with many issues turning around the status of funded athletes as employees; an appeal is planned. Turning to governance issues, John Mehrzad chaired an independent review into the governance of the British Equestrian Federation, the umbrella body for most equine sports other than horse racing.
Monckton Chambers' members' sports law work load is often focused around competition issues in the sports arena. Motorsport, however is also a notable area for the set: Paul Harris QC and Fiona Banks represented TDS Racing in the FIA Court of Appeal after one of its cars, which had won the LMP2 class on the track at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, was disqualified after modifications to its refuelling system were discovered.