The team at Ashfords LLP stands out for its impressive expertise in horseracing and regulatory work, although it is often also instructed on matters pertaining to football and golf. Clients include a wide range of individuals, sporting regulators and associations, as well as clubs and retailers. With 'outstanding knowledge of all aspects of horseracing', Rory Mac Neice heads the department, with added expertise in anti-doping regulations and issues arising from race-fixing allegations. 'Effective' associate Joanne Saye has developed a practice in equine sports work, particularly in relation to contractual and negligence matters.
Sport in South West
‘Very strong team with expert in-depth knowledge and experience in horse sale disputes. My ‘go to’ people for disputes over sales of horses.’
‘A sports law team outside London with genuine experience and expertise and a strong client base.’
‘Rory Mac Neice has leading expertise in racing cases. He has outstanding knowledge of all aspects of horseracing – horseracing regulation, personal injury, sales disputes. Very good at putting you at ease and speaking the same language.’
‘Rory has real knowledge and experience in equine sports law. Joanne is a dedicated and effective associate.’
The Professional Jockeys Association
The Racecourse Association
The British Show Horse Association
The British Harness Racing Club
Paul Nicholls – champion racehorse trainer
Dan Skelton – leading racehorse trainer
The Joint Measurement Board
John Velazquez (USA Hall of Fame Jockey)
Oisin Murphy – Champion Jockey
Exeter City Football Club
- Veterinary professional negligence matter for a premier racehorse owner related to the death of a valuable (c£500k) racehorse whilst in the care of an equine veterinary hospital.
- Providing a number of updates to a leading national golfing association’s constitution and regulations, such as new policies reflecting an updated attitude to diversity.
- Acted in a range of matters for Exeter City F.C., from organising the lease of the club’s training ground to securing a renewal of the club’s stadium, St. James Park.
Led by Jeremy Dickerson, the team at Burges Salmon LLP handles matters relating to football, motorsports, and equine sports, particularly focusing on regulatory work, including rule drafting, constitutional and governance issues, as well as anti-doping and financial regulation. Drawing on Helen Scott-Lawler's expertise, the group is also able to advise on the exploitation of IP, media rights and data in a sports setting.
The Racecourse Association
The Queen’s Club
Gunn & Moore
Racecourse Technical Services
Play Sports Group
Scottish Premier Football League
- Advising Scarlets Regional in relation to a competition law and contractual dispute with the Welsh Rugby Union over the distribution of funds
- Advising Racecourse Technical Services on contractual arrangement for broadcast rights and related services in the horse racing sector.
- Advising Virgin Sport on multiple partnership deals, most notably on all aspects of its multi-year agreement with Nike and Virgin Sport’s Hackney Festival of Fitness, including in branding and merchandising aspects.
'Very linked-in, commercial and hard-working', Clarke Willmott LLP's team is noted for representing and advising Premier League and Championship football managers, elite athletes, sports executives and professional sporting bodies, on commercial and employment matters. The group is led by 'unflappable' sports-sector employment lawyer Tim Copplestone, who has experience before the Premier League tribunal. Philip Roberts leads on debt recovery for sporting associations and retailers in the sector. Kevin Jones retired in 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘A leading firm in the South West in sport without a doubt. Very linked-in, commercial and hard-working. Produces excellent outcomes for clients. Very personable too.’
‘Tim Copplestone is a real gem, unflappable and wears his intelligence lightly.’
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
Somerset County Cricket Club
The Rugby Players’ Association
Wasserman Media Group
The Football Association – Club Wembley
St Enodoc Golf Club
Somerset Cricket Board
- Advising Wasserman Media Group and its athletes, players, and managers on employment and corporate sports law matters.
- Advising the trade union for all elite Premiership rugby players, The Rugby Players Association, on contractual disputes and all player protection legal matters.
Foot Anstey's sweet spot is advising stadium clients on all aspects of running their operations, including commercial support, brand protection, regulatory, health & safety and licensing advice. The group is led by Nathan Peacey.
Football Safety Officers’ Association
Ashton Gate Limited
Arena Racing Corporation
Exeter City FC
Stadium For Cornwall and Threemilestone Project