Sport in London Bar
Blackstone Chambers is the ‘top chambers for sports work’ with ‘a wide variety of silks and juniors operating at a high level’. In Adam Lewis QC and Nick De Marco QC, the set contains two silks solely dedicated to sports law. The pair were involved on both side of Scottish’s Rugby’s dispute with World Rugby concerning the cancellation of a game against Japan at the 2019 Rugby due to a typhoon; Lewis representing the sporting body and De Marco acting for the national team. Lewis QC also worked with Ravi Mehta on the Russian Athletics Federation's challenge against the International Association of Athletics Federations decision not to reinstate its full membership. Meanwhile, Jane Mulcahy QC has been leading the internal investigation by Manchester City into child abuse allegations surrounding a junior football coach, while Kate Gallafent QC continues to act for the FA, most recently against former England footballer Peter Beardsley who used racist and abusive language towards players while coaching the Newcastle United U23 team. Also of note, new silk James Segan QC acted for Chelsea whose fans were accused of disruptive behaviour during a game against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
4 New Square is described as ‘a good sports law set of barristers’ which has a particular focus on disciplinary issues. The set is home to one of the leading silks in horse racing, Graeme McPherson QC, who regularly acts for the British Horseracing Authority as well as a number of high profile jockeys. Daniel Saoul QC also acts on disciplinary matters and has been active on disputes concerning football, athletics and boxing. Richard Liddell's 2020 appointment to Queen's Counsel strengthens the set at the senior end; his workload consists of commercial, regulatory and anti-doping issues. At the junior level, the 'extremely hardworking' and 'down to earth' Kendrah Potts receives considerable praise for her client care skills, and, in a recent case of note, she advised footballer Daniel Sturridge in his case against the FA concerning a breach of betting rules. Diarmuid Laffan and Pippa Manby are both names to note for anti-doping-related work.
Employment is the key strength of Littleton Chambers in the sporting context, with additional expertise in contractual and regulatory issues. Paul Gilroy QC often acts for elite football managers in disputes with their respective football club of employment. David Reade QC primarily represents athletes on employment issues, most notably on Jess Varnish's sex discrimination case against British Cycling and UK Sport. Other key names include Nicholas Siddall QC, who focuses on anti-doping cases, and newly appointed silk John Mehrzad QC, head of the set's sports group, who is advising Cardiff City FC in its financial dispute with FC Nantes concerning the sudden death of footballer Emilano Sala. At the junior level, Sam Neaman acted for the former Head of Medical at Watford FC in a discrimination claim arising from the club's Italian owners hiring only Italian backroom staff.
Monckton Chambers has a strong reputation in competition law in the sporting context, thanks to the work of Paul Harris QC, Ronit Kreisberger QC, and Fiona Banks. Harris has acted in litigation and arbitration concerning football, rugby, swimming and racing; Kreisberger has been particularly active in competition law disputes concerning media and broadcasting rights; Banks is an expert in competition and commercial disputes, and most recently acted for Liverpool FC in its sponsorship dispute with Winlink.