Sport in South East

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell's cross-practice team advises sport sector clients that include private individuals, companies, associations and governing bodies and the firm's private client team assists prominent sports figures and managers. Its comprehensive offering ranges from disputes and medical negligence to contracts, IP and wealth planning. Outside of the realm of professional sports the firm also acts for clients in the leisure facilities industry.  Dispute resolution specialist Hannah Clipston heads the team, while Michael Taylor is a key contact for tax, trusts and estates matters.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Clipston; Tom Barnard; Michael Taylor

Testimonials

Michael Taylor has excellent attention to detail and client care.’

The team is specialised, knowledgeable, and accessible.’

Key clients

Nuffield Health

Greenwich Leisure Limited

English Table Tennis

British Association of Sport & Exercise

British Athletics Commission

Sheffield City Trust

7 Hills Leisure Trust

International Netball Federation

Giles Long MBE

Jess Varnish

Julia Regis (founder of Cyrille Regis Legacy trust)

Work highlights

  • Represented a national governing body in a disciplinary matter and subsequent overhaul of its policies and procedures.
  • Represented a sports agency in a dispute with a departing employee and former client.
  • Acting for a former England Womens rugby player challenging a decision of the RFU to “capture” her for England.
  • Acting for sports personalities in a dispute with the trustees of various pension funds.
  • Advising Julia Regis on the creation of the Cyrille Regis Legacy Trust and associated endorsements and licensing to protect Cyrille’s name and likeness.

Moore Law

The sports law team at Moore Law has recently been boosted by the arrival of consultant solicitor Mike Townley from an in-house position with the International Paralympic Committee, with Townley now heading up the firm's sports offering. The firm acts for several sports associations and governing bodies, along with management agencies. The firm also works with clients at the intersection of sports and media. involving areas such as E-sports.

Practice head(s):

Mike Townley

Other key lawyers:

Tris Moore

Key clients

British Triathlon Federation

British Bobsleigh & Skelton Association

Welsh Triathlon Association

National Sporting Club

Insignia Sport International

Technogym UK

Rebel FC/Callum Airey (Calfreezy)

Lewes FC/Equality FC

Work highlights

  • The firm provides a ‘general counsel’ retained service to the British Triathlon Federation.
  • The firm is retained by the British Bobsleigh and Skelton Association.
  • Advised on the GB Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball men’s and women’s teams hosting contract with the City of Uraysul (Tokyo).
  • The firm is retained by the Welsh Triathlon.
  • Supporting Insignia and its players with contract issues, disputes, image rights and sponsorship agreements on an ongoing and ad hoc basis.

Stevens & Bolton LLP

Advising on commercial and IP matters, the team at Stevens & Bolton LLP act for a wide range of sports clients, including high-profile sports clubs, agencies, and events organisers. Charles Maurice is the key contact for sports clients seeking commercial advice, and acts for some of the firm's most high-profile clients. On the IP side, Tom Lingard takes the lead, and has strong experience in litigation as a solicitor-advocate.

Practice head(s):

Charles Maurice; Tom Lingard

Key clients

Feinberg Hansen LLP (on behalf of consortium of US investors)

Jenahura Limited

Jenahura Players Limited

Brighton and Hove Albion FC

Tyrrell Promotions Limited

Intelligent Health

Tough Mudder Incorporated

Work highlights

  • Acting for Jenahura in connection with its golf player management business, advising in connection with all aspects of its arrangements with tournament professional golfers, from player representation deals to sponsorship contracts.
  • Advised Tyrrell Promotions on licensing the design and plans for the manufacture of new reproductions of the P34 racing car.
  • Advising Premier League football team, Brighton & Hove Albion FC, on trade mark and brand protection matters, having launched a formal brand protection and anti-counterfeiting programme.
  • Acting for Jenahura Players (separate to Jenahura), in connection with its establishment of the UK’s first tournament professional golfer academy.
  • Representing international endurance event company Tough Mudder in a variety of brand and trade mark enforcement matters, both in the UK and abroad.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises its sports sector clients on areas including corporate, commercial, real estate, and employment. The team is overseen by founding partner Ian Wood-Smith who has significant experience in the sport sector, following 21 years of service as a director of Reading Football Club. Wood-Smith is noted for his expertise in transactions and other corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Ian Wood-Smith

Rainer Hughes

A prominent, Essex-based sports law practice, Rainer Hughes handles a wide range of matters for sports organisations and individuals alike. The firm is particularly notable for its reputation management work, obtaining injunctions to protect sports personalities, as well as providing licensing, sponsorship, and media advice.

Practice head(s):

Sanjay Panesar

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP is well-known for its sports law work, particularly in Sussex - acting for a range of grassroots clubs, charities, and governing bodies within the county. The firm is particularly notable for its work with a large number of local rugby clubs on various commercial, HR, and property matters. Department head Bruce Hayter has significant commercial experience and is particularly focused on grassroots sports.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Hayter

Testimonials

Everyone at Rix and Kay is knowledgeable and takes time to understand my needs but what makes them stand out is their friendly approach, manner and ability to explain everything comprehensively.

Bruce Haytor is friendly, knowledgeable and has been a great help, offering support where needed.

 

Key clients

The Russell Martin Foundation

Active Sussex

Sussex Football Association

Seaford RFC

Canterbury RFC

Hellingly RFC

Brighton and Hove Sea Serpents

Crawley RFC

Ansty Cricket Club

Sussex RFU

Work highlights

  • Providing day to day employment law advice for Active Sussex, assisting with a reorganisation following a change to the charity’s funding structure, and providing detailed advice in connection with DBS checks and updates to the charity’s safeguarding policy.
  • Instructed to prepare contracts of employment for Canterbury RFC’s coaches, who had not, to that point, been subject to any form of written contract of employment.
  • Providing governance advice and training to Sussex RFU
  • Instructed to assist Hellingly RFC with incorporating a CIC with special provisions within the articles of association allowing for it to move to a community amateur sports club in due course.
  • Retained by The Russell Martin Foundation in relation to employment matters, property matters and commercial contracts and agreements; recently prepared a sponsorship agreement for the company

Verisona Law

The Sports Law practice at Verisona Law handles business law matters for sports sector companies including employment, finance and property matters. With particular expertise in the football and golf sectors, the firm is a prominent name in the Hampshire market. Practice head Michael Dyer specialises in corporate and transactional work, while Sue Ball is the key contact for employment issues.

Practice head(s):

Michael Dyer

Other key lawyers:

Sue Ball

Testimonials

I have always received excellent service.

Sue Ball is a pleasure to work with, very helpful and communicative, and has great attention to detail.

We have built very good relationships with the Verisona team, and uniquely they have a very good local understanding of how  clubs work with the city stakeholders and local council.

Mike Dyer is very responsive to all of our needs and requirements and if we require an area of expertise not within his remit then he connects us with a member of his team that can assist.

Key clients

Portsmouth Community Football Club

Scott Gregory (professional golfer)

Hampshire PGA

Warners Solicitors

Warners Solicitors' unique offering relates to country sports; it serves as the South-East panel firm for the Hunting Office and provides civil, regulatory, and criminal law advice to its country sports clients. Practice head Michael McNally specialises in civil litigation and employment issues, and is particularly notable for his work on animal liability cases, while Tim Ryan specialises in criminal and regulatory matters relating to country sports, farming, wildlife, animal welfare and firearms licensing.

Practice head(s):

Michael McNally

Other key lawyers:

Tim Ryan

Key clients

Masters of Foxhounds Association

Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles

All hunts within South East (under the Hunting Office legal expenses policy)

J M Osborne & Co Limited

William Powell Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Masters of Foxhounds Associationon governance issues.
  • Advising Sports Agency J M Osborne & Co on regulatory and employment issues.
  • Advising Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles on governance issues.
  • Successfully defended a Hunt Master against claims made by a hunt saboteur.
  • Successfully defended the owner of a large grouse moor against prosecution brought by the RSPB.