Horseracing and regulatory mandates constitute particular specialist areas for the sports practice at Ashfords LLP, where the firm acts on behalf of sporting regulators, clubs and retailers, as well as individuals. Adept at handling both contentious and non-contentious matters, the team is led by Rory Mac Neice, who is well versed in race fixing and anti-doping issues, among others. ‘Absolutely superb’ associate Joanne Saye also specialises in equestrian sports, and is frequently sought out by clients for her knowledge of governance, anti-doping and integrity issues. With regard to other sports, the firm is also active in the swimming, football and golf arenas.
Sport in South West
Rory Mac Neice
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Braithwaite; Joanne Saye
‘Joanne Saye was absolutely superb in every way. Her knowledge of the sport and all the intricate details that are associated with it, meant that at every stage of the process she was able to advise in the best way possible to reach the outcome we set out to achieve.’
The Professional Jockeys Association
The Racecourse Association Limited
The National Trainers Federation
Dan Skelton – Racehorse trainer
The Joint Measurement Board Ltd
- Acted for Sir Mark Todd in connection with the BHA’s regulatory investigation and inquiry regarding video footage which was widely shared online.
- Acting for leading racehorse trainer Dan Skelton and his trading company in respect of a claim regarding the sale of a high-value racehorse.
- Acting for racehorse owner Amo Racing Ltd following the decision of the racecourse stewards at Royal Ascot not to disqualify the first past the post following substantial interference being caused to the Amo Racing horse and other horses.
Burges Salmon LLP has considerable experience in motorsport, polo, and horseracing work. Under the leadership of Jeremy Dickerson, the Bristol-based practice frequently advises on matters pertaining to media rights, regulatory and governance issues, and sponsorship agreements. In the contentious space, it is also known for its work in relation to integrity and anti-doping issues, where the team handles cases before the High Court, Court of Appeal, and disciplinary cases. IP and media rights are a particular focus for Helen Scott-Lawler, while senior associate Neil Connor-McLaren stands out for his work on sponsorship agreements and commercial contracts.
Other key lawyers:
Helen Scott-Lawler; Neil Connor-McLaren
Trivela Group LLC
PGA European Tour
Racecourse Technical Services Limited (RaceTech)
The Racecourse Association
- Acted for Trivela Group LLC on its acquisition of a majority interest in Walsall Football Club.
- Acted for PGA European Tour on the employment aspects of two commercial projects: a collaboration agreement with a sports marketing agency relating to tickets, hospitality, consumer experience and associated marketing/technology, and a services agreement for the provision of contact centre and associated customer support in connection with ticket sales for their tournaments.
- Acted for Fakenham Racecourse on its new multi-year, media rights arrangements with Racecourse Media Group.
Clarke Willmott LLP‘s advisory offering in the sports sector encompasses the full range of major disciplines, as well as a broad variety of other mandates including employment law matters, stadium planning work and commercial litigation. Championship footballers, managers and professional athletes form part of the group’s client roster, which also includes professional sports organisations and governing bodies. Practice head Tim Copplestone is hailed as an ‘absolute superstar in the sporting space’ and specialises in sports-related employment matters. Structuring, governance, finance, and corporate acquisition work are core areas of expertise for Robert Ridd.
Other key lawyers:
Robert Ridd; Philip Roberts; Anna Youngs
‘Clarke Willmott are a tremendous firm, who deliver outstanding results.’
‘Tim Copplestone – an absolute superstar in the sporting space, being able to deliver results for clients, be they individual athlete or clubs.’
The Rugby Players’ Association
Wasserman Media Group
The Football Association – Club Wembley
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
Somerset County Cricket Club
- Advising sports agency Wasserman on corporate acquisitions, growing its group of sports agencies e.g. acquisition of Esportif group.
- Advising the Rugby Players Association and its members on player protection matters, including advising the players regarding the insolvency of former Premiership teams Worcester and Wasps.
- Acting for Premier League football managers and Premier League players in relation to employment contractual matters.
Stadium clients regularly turn to Foot Anstey for the firm’s experience advising on operations and events, including trade mark protection advice, planning issues and construction work, as well as IT and data analytics mandates. The practice is also popular with a variety of other sports clients such as football clubs, entertainment companies and sports retailers. Nathan Peacey is the key contact and specialises in regulatory matters.
‘Great at understanding our business – very high quality throughout the team. Really enjoy working together.’
English Football League
Football Safety Officers’ Association
Ashton Gate Ltd
Exeter City FC