Sport in Wales

Capital Law Limited

Capital Law Limited's multi-disciplinary sports team provides 'user-friendly and practical' advice to professional clubs, individuals and regulatory bodies across a wide range of sports, including football, rugby and cricket. The firm is sole legal advisor to Glamorgan Cricket Club and Cardiff City FC, and continues to advise the latter across a range of non-contentious and contentious matters, including the ongoing high-profile litigation with FC Nantes surrounding the tragic death of Emiliano Sala and the subsequent liability for the transfer fee. Commercial litigator and IP expert Wayne Beynon heads up the sports offering at the firm and is pivotal to much of the work handled for Cardiff City FC. David Lewis  is also a key contact for sports-related work and represents numerous high-profile sports individuals across a range of employment and general commercial contracts work.

Practice head(s):

Wayne Beynon

Other key lawyers:

David Lewis; Guto Llewelyn; Chris Coughlan; Mark Dowds

Testimonials

‘The team is hugely reliable, helpful, transparent, and willing to assist at the very last minute. The advice they provide is extremely user-friendly and practical.’

‘Exceptional understanding of the issues and challenges we faced as an organisation and a level of persistence and attention to detail that helped get our plans over the line, despite a significant level of obstruction from our adversaries.’

Key clients

Cardiff City Football Club

Praga Cars UK Ltd

UK Anti-Doping

Glamorgan Cricket Club

Halpin Sports

Pontypridd Town Association Football Club

FSB Technology Limited

Jonah Holmes

Dylan Hartley

Rhys Carre

Work highlights

  • Acting as Cardiff City Football Club’s sole legal advisors, on contentious and non-contentious work, including handling a myriad of legal matters arising from the tragic plane crash in which Argentine striker, Emiliano Sala, lost his life.
  • Advising Praga Cars on all aspects of its expansion into the UK, and as a launchpad for their expansion into other jurisdictions including Saudi Arabia; as well as its race team arrangements with VR Racing.
  • Advising former England rugby captain, Dylan Hartley on contractual issues following his career ending knee injury.

Loosemores Solicitors

Displaying a 'genuine commitment, passion for, and interest in Wales, the culture and sport', Loosemores Solicitors has developed an impressively strong client base in the sector, including among many national sporting bodies/organisations. Much of the success for the firm's prominence in the space is down to the skills and leadership of senior partner Mark Loosemore, whose 'specialist experience in sport and media work is highly valued across the sector'. Although he is involved at the sharp end of much of the key commercial work handled by the firm, Loosemore is perhaps best-known for his continued representation of the Football of Association of Wales across a range of matters including drafting and negotiating sponsorship and licensing contracts and media rights agreements. Other key practitioners include associate Rebecca McCarthy, who leverages her 'in-depth knowledge of charity law' to good effect, including on governance issues; 'very committed and hardworking' litigator Karl Thomas, who is regularly involved in significant sports disciplinary cases and regulatory disputes; and Siôn Tudur, who will 'go the extra mile for clients' engaged in corporate and commercial work in the sector.

Practice head(s):

Mark Loosemore

Other key lawyers:

Karl Thomas; Siôn Tudur; Rebecca McCarthy

Testimonials

The firm shows a genuine commitment, passion for, and interest in Wales, the culture and sport.’

Mark Loosemore’s specialist experience in sport and media work is highly valued across the sector.’

Karl Thomas is very committed and hardworking.’

‘Siôn Tudur goes the extra mile for clients.’

Key clients

Football Association of Wales

The FAW Trust

Sport Wales

Welsh Sports Association

Zest Sports Group

Christians In Sport

Welsh Athletics

Sports Injury Fix

H&C TV

Tennis Wales

Canoe Wales

Engage Holdings

The Stars Group

FourFive Group Ltd

Ioan Lloyd

Dan Biggar Ltd

Rugby Warfare Ltd

Live Like Louise Limited

Welsh Rugby Players Association

Work highlights

  • Advised the Football Association of Wales (FAW) on its victory in the High Court case brought against it by The New Saints FC in relation to the FAW’s decisions to award the Cymru Premier League title and a place in the UEFA Champions League to Connah’s Quay FC.
  • Advised H&C TV (Horse & Country TV) on its acquisition of US equestrian streaming provider, EQ Sports Net (EQSN).
  • Advised the Welsh Rugby Players Association on pay deferral and pay cut arrangements with the Welsh Rugby Union and the Regions for all 200+ men’s professional rugby union players playing in Wales due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dolmans

Headed by Adrian OliverDolmans' sports team handles a range of commercial, regulatory and litigation mandates, primarily for sporting bodies and individuals. Federation of Disability Sports Wales and Wales Commonwealth Games Council are both key clients of the firm and continue to generate a significant volume of work, including for the latter across a wide range of commercial, contractual and strategic and governance issues. Herself formerly a successful Welsh international triathlete, Clare Hoskins has an excellent perspective of the sector and effectively leverages this in her longstanding role as legal advisor on the board of The Commonwealth Games Wales. Hoskins is also one of many at the firm with expertise representing clients on litigation involving sports-related injuries.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Oliver

Other key lawyers:

Justin Harris; Clare Hoskins; Peter Bennett; Philip Bradley; Nicola Edwards; Tom Harris

Key clients

Federation of Disability Sports Wales

Wales Commonwealth Games Council

Aled Davies

Jordan Howe

Louise Hazel

Work highlights

  • Continue to advise the Commonwealth Games Wales on an ad-hoc basis across various commercial, contractual and strategic and governance issues.
  • Advise the Federation of Disability Sports Wales on issues relating to directors and employees, attendance at board meetings, constitutional changes generally and drafting and review of contracts.
  • Continues to represent a group of high-profile sports personalities from across the UK, with a core of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic and Commonwealth athletes, including gold medallists.

Geldards LLP

Led by litigator Paul Hopkins and drawing from the expertise of numerous practitioners from many different practice areas, Geldards LLP's multi-disciplinary offering provides an 'extremely knowledgeable' service to an impressive roster of sporting clients. Although the firm does handle some work for sports clubs, it is perhaps best-known for its representation of governing bodies and sporting charities, including Sport Wales and the British Boxing Board of Control. The firm also handles sports management work through Engagesport, the wholly owned subsidiary established in 2012.

Practice head(s):

Paul Hopkins

Key clients

British Boxing Board of Control

The Welsh Pony and Cobb Society

Sport Wales

Neath Rugby Limited

Engagesport LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising British Boxing Board of Control on multiple trade mark infringement and passing off matters.
  • Advising on constitutional, director and shareholder issues relating to the Ospreys regional rugby team.
  • Advising Sport Wales on employment issues and in relation to the implementation of a new pay and grading structure.

Harding Evans LLP

Harding Evans LLP has a particularly strong reputation among present and former professional rugby players, which the firm is able to advise across a range of their commercial ventures, employment matters, litigation and private client work-related work. Mike Jenkins heads up the firm's commercial department and continues to handle a significant volume and range of work for local professional rugby union club Newport Gwent Dragons.

Practice head(s):

Mike Jenkins; Ben Jenkins; Daniel Wilde; Laura Selby; Wyn Williams

Other key lawyers:

William Watkins

Key clients

Sam Warburton (former British and Irish Lions Captain)

Newport Gwent Dragons

The Vale of Glamorgan Hotel Limited T/A the Vale Resort

Davies Warburton Limited T/A SW7 Academy

Work highlights

  • Advising former Wales rugby union captain Sam Warburton on a commercial property dispute with a well-known fast food multi-national company.
  • Advising a professional rugby player in respect of the Administration of a company.
  • Advising a professional rugby player in respect of dispute involving the purchase of his luxury vehicle, whereby the engine had broken down and it is submitted the vehicle was sold and was not fit for purpose.

Hutchinson Thomas

With three of its partners appointed as World Rugby Judicial Officers, Neath-based firm Hutchinson Thomas has a market-leading reputation in relation to discipline and misconduct issues in the sport of rugby. Of these, Roger Morris is perhaps the best-known and he heads up a 'highly knowledgeable and supportive' team that also regularly handles a range of legal work for amateur sports clubs.

Practice head(s):

Roger Morris

Other key lawyers:

Rhian Williams

Testimonials

‘From a rugby and sports perspective, they are incredibly knowledgeable and supportive.’

‘The firm has three accomplished Judicial Officers with experience at international level. The lawyers are able and sensible, with the right level of game empathy.’

Key clients

World Rugby

Guinness 6 Nations

European Professional Championship

Guinness Pro 14

Welsh Rugby Union

CricketWales

Work highlights

  • Appointment as Judicial Chair to Rugby World Cup 2019 Japan.
  • Continuing to act as Chair of the Independent Disciplinary Panel and in that capacity advises the Guiness Pro 14 tournament generally in relation to discipline matters as they arise.
  • Continuing to advise multiple amateur sports clubs.

Thompson Darwin Limited

At Cardiff-based boutique firm Thompson Darwin LimitedDavid Thompson has a strong grounding in sports law, including in relation to commercial and regulatory matters, as well as in litigation and disciplinary issues that may arise. Thompson continues to act in his capacity as de facto in-house lawyer for the regional Welsh rugby club, the Scarlets, work which has recently included negotiating and drafting significant contractual changes (including player pay reductions) as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.

Practice head(s):

David Thompson

Key clients

Scarlets Regional Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising The Scarlets upon the multi-party contracts for the development, and use, of a rugby stadium as a 500 bed emergency hospital to deal with the Covid pandemic.
  • Advising The Scarlets upon the negotiation, drafting, and implementation of the Covid-19 restrictions and compromises for professional players and staff throughout Welsh rugby.
  • Advising The Scarlets upon, and documenting, an Elite Player Pathway to develop young rugby players through academic and sporting institutions into first team professional players.

JCP Solicitors

JCP Solicitors has a solid reputation for sports-related contractual work (including on kit supplier and retail arrangements), chiefly as a result of team head Andrew Meech 's longstanding and entrenched relationship with Italian sportswear manufacturer, Macron.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Meech

Key clients

Macron

Front Runner Events (previously known as Swansea Half Marathon)

Work highlights

  • Advised the Italian sportswear manufacturer, Macron, on a new six and a half year Technical Partner and Retail Services Agreement with the Welsh Rugby Union.
  • Advised Macron on the extension of its existing technical kit supply and retail services agreement with the Scottish Rugby Union.
  • Advised Macron on its technical kit supplier agreement with Bolton Wanderers FC commencing for season 2020/21.

Morgan LaRoche

Overseen by corporate partner William Barletta  and leveraging expertise from the firm's wider property, litigation and employment teams, among others, Morgan LaRoche deploys a multi-disciplinary approach to work in the sector. Carmarthen-based corporate and commercial partner Christopher Evans is a key contact, and is adept at advising local sports teams and governing bodies across a range of issues, including the recent 'invaluable advice' he provided to a local amateur rugby union club on its decion to incorporate as a company.

Practice head(s):

William Barletta

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Evans

Testimonials

‘As an amateur rugby union club we made the decision to incorporate, something very much encouraged by the Welsh Rugby Union. We approached the firm for an initial consultation on this process and engaged the services in late 2019. Their advice and guidance on a number of areas has been invaluable.’

‘Our principal contact has been Chris Evans and we are extremely pleased with his invaluable advice, service and communications.’