Next Generation Partners

Sport in South East


The Dentons team in Milton Keynes has established itself as a go-to market leader for organizations behind large sports events worldwide. In a recent highlight, the team fronted by Nick Harrison assisted the Esports Awards with hosting their event in Arlington, Texas. Harrison is a specialist in retail and sports matters particularly where they intersect with IT. In disputes clients may rely on seasoned litigator James Fairbairn who handles all forms of commercial dispute resolution. A rising star within the team is associate Rose McDowall, particularly noteworthy for her experience with commercial contracts, especially in media distribution.

Practice head(s):

Nick Harrison

Other key lawyers:

James Fairbairn; Rose McDowall

Work highlights

  • Advised Silverstone Circuits Limited in relation to staging of the 2021 Formula 1 British Grand Prix in July 2021 amidst the on-going Covid restrictions regarding large-scale events; bringing the event within the Event Research Programme’s requirements.
  • Advised Saracens RFC on their agreement with StoneX Financial to become principal sponsor of the men’s rugby team and the naming rights holder in respect of the now StoneX Stadium.
  • Advised Silverstone Circuits Limited on its agreement with Goose Live Events for the staging of a new experimental motoring event “Switch Live”.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell is deeply entrenched in the football industry, acts for governing bodies in rowing and rugby, advises individual athletes as well as sportswear brands, and in a recent highlight represented a successful rugby player in a case concerning clinical negligence. The practice is led by Tom Barnard, who counsels clients on contractual and regulatory matters, Michael Taylor , who advises athletes in their capacity as private client, and Hannah Clipston , a seasoned litigator. Aurelia Butler-Ball has recently made partner and her practice focuses on the media and sponsorship side of sports.

Practice head(s):

Tom Barnard; Michael Taylor; Hannah Clipston

Other key lawyers:

Aurelia Butler-Ball; Ted Powell; Naomi Findlay


‘Clear, well considered and knowledgeable advice, delivered in a timely and professional manner.’

‘Thomas Barnard – exceptional in all areas.’

Key clients

The Rugby Football Union (RFU)

British Rowing Limited

Premiership / International rugby player

Special Olympics Great Britain

Sweaty Betty

British Wheelchair Basketball

Moore Law

Mike Townley leads the sports practice at Moore Law which advises a range of sporting organizations such as the National Sporting Club, as well as management companies and their clients including Insignia Sport International. A seasoned and renowned lawyer, Townley acts as retained general counsel to the British Triathlon Federation and in a recent highlight advised Ice Hockey UK on the establishment of a new independent governing body for Scotland. Managing partner Tris Moore regularly works alongside Townley, particularly on the commercial side and where sports intersect with media.

Practice head(s):

Mike Townley

Other key lawyers:

Tris Moore

RWK Goodman

A ‘go-to‘ firm for all issues arising in the sport of horse-racing, RWK Goodman represents organizations, companies, as well as owners, jockeys, and trainers. Renowned practitioner Andrew Chalk leads the team and is retained by The Professional Jockeys Association to advise its board on all issues. Richard Brooks focuses on dispute resolution and regulatory matters and in a recent highlight represented equestrian Lisa Ford before the Court of Appeal. Additionally, Charlotte Ebbutt is highly active in the team and comes recommended particularly for her expertise in racing and bloodstock contracts.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Chalk; Richard Brooks

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Ebbutt


‘A great team, with Andrew Chalk and Richard Brooks really understanding the horse racing world.’

Key clients

The Professional Jockeys Association

Qatar Bloodstock Limited

Qatar Racing Limited

Archie Watson Racing Limited

Retraining of Racehorses

Work highlights

  • Advised Archie Watson Racing Limited in respect of the appeal by Archie Watson (trainer) against the decision of the Stewards in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
  • Advised a member of stable staff who suffered career ending injuries after being thrown by a horse.
  • Advised Retraining of Racehorses in respect of anti-doping matters following their Championship Show.

Stevens & Bolton LLP

Deeply embedded in the football, golf, motorsport, and horse racing sectors, the team at Stevens & Bolton LLP advises on a variety of issues but has particularly noteworthy expertise in branding, IP, and corporate matters as well as complementary fields such as broadcasting and retail brands. Charles Maurice heads the practice and leverages his expertise from other sectors to service clients on emerging markets such as immersive gaming. His colleague Tom Lingard  represents clients in contentious matters before all levels of the UK courts. Associate Tom Collins advises on issues concerning IP as well as commercial and reputation management.

Practice head(s):

Charles Maurice

Other key lawyers:

Tom Lingard; Tom Collins

Key clients

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club

Crystal Palace Football Club (CPFC Ltd)

Drivex Business Solutions SL

Euretco B.V.

Immersive Group Gaming Ltd (t/a Electric Gamebox)

Jenahura Ltd/Jenahura Players Ltd

NEP Group Inc

Papa John’s (GB) Ltd

The Pitch Performance LLC

Tyrrell Promotions Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Premier League football team Brighton & Hove Albion FC on trade mark and brand protection matters.
  • Advising Jenahura Ltd, a professional golf management business, on strategic matters connected to the activities of DP World Tour players.
  • Advising a centrally contracted England international cricketer on the exploitation of his image rights.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP has particular expertise in employment law as it pertains to sport and, alongside clubs, also advise charities connected to football and rugby, as well as organizations and individuals undertaking expeditions into extreme territories. Practice head Bruce Hayter advises grass-roots sports teams on strategic development. In his personal capacity advisory board member of Canterbury RFC, Richard Cripps  counsels sports organizations on general corporate and commercial property matters. Amy White provides ongoing guidance on employment issues in the sector to multiple charities.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Hayter

Other key lawyers:

Alan Zeal; Richard Cripps; Amy White; Angela Arnold


‘Diligent, understanding, happy to listen, thoughtful.’

‘Richard Cripps and Amy White stand out.’

‘Rix & Kay have for a number of years played a key role in helping to promote community sport. The organisation has also given great support to our charity.’

‘Bruce Haytor has worked extremely well with us in helping us to develop our organization in community sport’

Key clients

Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club Limited

Conservation Without Borders

Canterbury Rugby Football Club

The Russell Martin Foundation

Ansty Village Centre Steering Committee Trust

St Peters Cricket Club

Tom Hicks

Seaford Rugby Football Club

Active Sussex

Crawley Town Community Foundation

Balls for Brains

Work highlights

  • Advised Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club Limited on its sale to Thomas Sandgaard, owner of Charlton Athletic FC.
  • Advising Conservation Without Borders with regards to their project Round Britain Climate Challenge in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow.
  • Advising the Russell Martin Foundation on a new flagship acquisition and development of Southwick Football Club ground.