Tapping into ‘incredible connections’, the result of many years’ involvement in the sector, and displaying a ‘true commitment to their clients’, which include regional football (Cardiff City FC), rugby (Pontypool Rugby) and cricket (Glamorgan CC) clubs, Capital Law Limited remains one of the leading firms in the space. The nature of the work for the firm’s sports clients is broad and cuts across many different practice areas, including litigation, commercial, IP, regulatory and employment. ‘Astute and hardworking’ team head Wayne Beynon remains particularly active on the contentious front (including for sports clubs in arbitral proceedings) although he has also recently been busy advising sports clubs in their dealings with the Welsh Government and governing bodies regarding spectator attendance at stadiums in light of Covid-19 restrictions. David Lewis is also recommended and handles a range of employment and immigration work for players, coaching staff and management of professional sports clubs.
Sport in Wales
Other key lawyers:
‘The leading firm in Wales for sports law. Incredible connections and commitment to their clients.’
‘Chris Nott is incredibly commercial and thinks outside the box to find solutions.’
‘Wayne Beynon is astute, hard working and committed to achieve brilliant results.’
‘Carrie Gwyther is 100% committed to her clients.’
‘Celine Jones is forceful, authoritative and reliable.’
Cardiff City Football Club Limited (CCFC)
Praga Cars UK Ltd
Glamorgan Cricket Club
Pontypridd Town Association Football Club
FSB Technology Limited
Peter Halpin t/a Halpin Sport Sponsorships
Pontypool Rugby Limited
- Defending Cardiff City Football Club and its majority shareholder, Vincent Tan, a contractual dispute against the club’s former chairman, Sam Hammam, and a former Panamanian creditor, Langston Group Corporation.
- Advising Cardiff City Football Club in relation to a myriad of legal issues arising from the death of footballer Emiliano Sala in 2019.
- Advised a large number of high-profile sports stars regarding their contract negotiations and terms of exit from their roles in the last 12 months.
Cardiff-based boutique Loosemores Solicitors has a 'strong understanding of the sports sector and the relevant governance and law underpinning it' ensuring that it is well-positioned to advise stakeholders from across a tremendous breadth of activities, including football, rugby, squash, tennis and atheletics. Although the firm does handle some work for individual sports professionals it has become best-known for its representation of sports associations, including National Governing Bodies, which are appreciative of the firm's 'awareness of the challenges of working between commercial and public sector bodies'. Team head Mark Loosemore displays 'unparalleled knowledge, commitment and support to the sports sector' and is able to tap into a vast knowledgebase as a result of many years' experience negotiating major commercial agreements for clients including Football Association of Wales. Other recommended practitioners include Karl Thomas , who is 'exceptional at applying HR law to the sporting landscape' and 'diligent, professional and responsive' associate Rebecca McCarthy , who excels at advising on matters sitting at the intersection of charities and sports law.
‘They have a strong understanding of the sports sector and the relevant governance and law underpinning it.’
‘Well connected with a deep understanding of the sports sector in Wales.’
‘Intimate experience of the sport sector – awareness of the challenges of working between commercial and public sector bodies.’
‘Mark Loosemore has been particularly supportive across our various commercial opportunities. It is helpful to be given both a legal and commercial perspective when reviewing our contracts and new engagements and he has provided this balanced view every time we have needed it.’
‘Mark Loosemore’s knowledge, commitment and support to the sports sector is unparalleled. Mark upholds strong values of confidentiality, integrity and professionalism when advising clients.’
‘Karl Thomas is also exceptional at applying HR law to the sporting landscape, particularly professional sport.’
‘Rebecca McCarthy is diligent, professional and responsive.’
Welsh Sports Association
Football Association of Wales
Welsh Rugby Players Association (WRPA)
Wales Women’s Rugby Players
Live Like Louise (now trading as Trtle)
George Kruis & Dominic Day (FourFive Group)
Table Tennis Wales
Christians in Sport
- Advised long standing client the Welsh Rugby Players Association (WRPA) on a long-term extension and variation of its agreement with the Welsh Rugby Union covering both (a) the Wales men’s senior national squad; and (b) the WRPA’s player support activities.
- Advised new client Elfyn Evans on his new driving contract with Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT for the FIA World Rally Championships 2022.
- Advised long-standing client the Football Association of Wales on long-term renewals of its major sponsorship contracts with both adidas (as official kit partner) and JD Sports (as official retail partner and title sponsor of both the Cymru Leagues and the Welsh Cup).
Led by Adrian Oliver, Dolmans has developed a strong reputation in the sports sector, primarily as a result of its work for numerous national governing bodies, including Federation of Disability Sport Wales and Wales Commonwealth Games Council. Herself a former professional triathelete, Clare Hoskins has an excellent understanding of work in the sector and continues to advise Team Wales as it readies itself for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Work for individual sports professionals includes advice on personal injury matters (one of the core areas of focus for the firm as a whole) and on sporting contracts ranging from sponsorship agreements to image rights.
Other key lawyers:
Federation of Disability Sport Wales
Wales Commonwealth Games Council
- 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.
Headed by Paul Hopkins, Geldards LLP regulary advises governing bodies, sports-based charities and professional clubs across a range of commercial, regulatory and contentious matters. Hopkins is also a director of Engagesport, a sports management subsidiary wholly-owned by the firm, which also refers legal work on an ad-hoc basis, including recently in relation to various rugby player contracts. 'Conscientious, well prepared and thoughtful' litigator Jonathan Griffiths also has considerable experience handling sports-related disputes, including a number of recent mandates for the British Boxing Board of Control.
Other key lawyers:
‘Jonathan Griffiths is excellent – conscientious, very well prepared and thoughtful.’
British Boxing Board of Control Ltd
The Welsh Pony and Cobb Society
Neath Rugby Limited
The Cardiff Blues Community Foundation
The Cardiff Blues Benevolent Trust
- Continue to advise British Boxing Board of Control Limited (BBBofC) (the governing body of professional boxing in the UK) in relation to multiple trade mark infringement and passing off matters related to unauthorised advertising and marketing of replicas of BBBofC’s championship belts and related merchandise appearing online and in stores across the UK.
- Continue to provide advice and support to sports management company Engagesport in relation to a range of projects. The firm also provides advice in relation to various rugby player contracts under management by Engagesport.
- Advising Sport Wales with ongoing general employment issues including on the pay and grading structure and grievances.
Harding Evans LLP
Drawing upon the expertise of practitioners spread throughout the firm's full-service offering, Newport-based firm Harding Evans LLP provides a one-stop-shop service to a growing number of clients in the sports sector. The firm has, however, gained most acclaim for its representation of rugby players (including current and former Wales internationals), including on their personal business and property interests. Head of the firm's commercial department, Mike Jenkins has a strong reputation in the field and continues to handle work for Newport Gwent Dragons professional rugby team.
Other key lawyers:
Sam Warburton (former British and Irish Lions Captain)
Newport Gwent Dragons rugby team
The Vale of Glamorgan Hotel Limited T/A the Vale Resort
Davies Warburton Limited T/A SW7 Academy
- Advising Sam Warburton in a commercial property dispute with a well-known fast food multinational company with over 5,000 sites.
- Advising a Welsh rugby union international in respect of the high-profile administration of companies.
- Advising a Welsh international rugby player in respect of the purchase of a defective vehicle.
Led by corporate partner Gerallt Jones and drawing upon the expertise of lawyers from across a number of the firm's business services practice areas, Hugh James' multidisciplinary team handles a range of work for professional bodies and sports clubs. Jones is the relationship partner for longstanding client Welsh Rugby Union, with recent work including advice to it on its collaboration with Celtic Manor on the Parkgate Cardiff, the city’s premier luxury hotel which opened in November 2021. Litigation head Richard Locke is adept at handling sports-related disputes including for rugby players in disciplinary hearings subsequent to dangerous play.
Welsh Rugby Union
British Boxing Board of Control
- Continue to advise longstanding client Welsh Rugby Union on a range of matters, including in 2021 its collaboration with Celtic Manor on the Parkgate Cardiff, the city’s premier luxury hotel which recently opened.
- Represented Cardiff Blues players Ray Lee-Lo, Owen Lane and Lloyd Williams in separate high-profile disciplinary proceedings.
- Advised the national governing body, Welsh Gymnastics, in relation to the Whyte Review, established by UK Sport and Sport England to investigate allegations of historical abuse in the sport of gymnastics.
Thompson Darwin Limited
The ‘small and dynamic‘ team at Thompson Darwin Limited, which is headed by the ‘very personable’ David 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 as effective in-house counsel to the Scarlets, acting for the regional rugby club across a range of matters, including on coaches’ and players’ contracts.
‘They have a strong ability to draw reasonable and logical assumptions from limited information. They have great research skills, analytical skills, leadership skills, persuasive skills and communication skills.’
‘The practice is small and dynamic. I have always found them to be contactable and responsive to our needs. They have worked to fully understand our business and the challenges we face.’
‘David Thompson remains calm in crisis situations, which is strongly appreciated by clients. He is very personable and easily gains the trust of his clients.’
Scarlets Regional Limited
- Remain the in-house counsel for the Scarlets, and continues to provide day-to-day advice on all legal and commercial matters associated with operating an elite level rugby club.
- Advised a racing stable on a professional negligence claim in relation to the treatment of a thoroughbred by trainer and veterinary surgeon.
At Swansea-based firm JCP Solicitors , Andrew Meech continues to advise core client Italian sportswear company, Macron, across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including on kit and sponsorship matters.
Front Runner Events (previously known as Swansea Half Marathon)
Headed by William Barletta and regularly drawing upon the expertise of practitioners throughout the firm's full-service offering, Morgan LaRoche provides a one-stop-shop service for a range of professional and amateur sports clubs and organisations. Carmarthen-based partner Christopher Evans leverages his overarching corporate and commercial expertise to good effect on behalf of a number of sporting organisations, including rugby clubs and governing bodies with work ranging from drafting sponsorship agreements to advice on constitutional matters and governance.
Other key lawyers: