Sport in West Midlands

Beswicks Legal

Beswicks Legal has a particular focus on football and boxing, advising players as well as clubs, agencies and gyms on transactions, contracts and dispute. Practice head Sean O'Toole is well-connected in the world of boxing, while Tim Bailey predominantly acts for football and cricket players and clubs. Gary Mellor has broad expertise in transactional work.

Practice head(s):

Sean O’Toole

Other key lawyers:

Gary Mellor; Tim Bailey; Gareth Wilkinson

Key clients

Stoke City FC

Jay Rodriguez

Callum Smith

Port Vale FC

Steel City Boxing Gym


Callum Johnson

Joe Gallagher

Joe Gallagher’s Boxing Academy

UCFB College of Football Business Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing world champion Callum Smith on all his boxing affairs, recently advising in relation to the scheduling of the contest against Nieky Holzken in Germany following delays and ensuring that the team had security over the selection of judges.
  • Advised the Premier League striker in relation to an allegation of racism on the field of play.
  • Advised on the establishment of the Joe Gallagher Boxing Academy.
  • Providing management services to boxers for boxing promoter Nisse Sauerland.
  • Acting for rugby agency Esportif in relation to matters arising from its business and clients, including the structuring of image rights and drafting of commercial sponsorship agreements.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP advises clients across a wide range of sporting disciplines, including gambling, football, golf and tennis, handling both contentious and non-contentious employment, corporate and regulatory matters. Team head - and former professional tennis player - Richard Santy is an employment specialist who also handles work relating to match-fixing. Phil Hutchinson, who was recently promoted to senior associate, has a particular focus on football litigation.

Practice head(s):

Richard Santy

Other key lawyers:

Phil Hutchinson

Key clients

Rangers FC

Professional Footballers’ Association

Garry Monk (Manager of Birmingham City FC)

Omnisports Ltd (football agency)

Michael Anderson (Vice Chairman of Gillingham FC)

Gambling Commission


Birmingham City FC Community Trust

Luke Hawkes

Genting Casinos

In Touch Games

British Cycling

Work highlights

  • Advising the Gambling Commission on general employment matters, including several recent departures.
  • Representing former Lincoln City footballer Bradley Wood in proceedings filed by the FA relating to bets placed by the player personally, as well as by individuals linked to the player.
  • Advising Rangers Football Club in relation to a dispute with Sports Direct over a retail agreement for the supply of replica kit and merchandise.
  • Assisting England Golf with a number of HR matters, as well as on equality and GDPR issues.
  • Advising the British Cycling Federation on the status of self-employed contractors in order to determine whether they were self-employed, workers or employees.

Squire Patton Boggs

With a strong track record in the football sector, Squire Patton Boggs advises on major M&A transactions, marketing, sponsorship, termination of contracts, disciplinary proceedings, intellectual property and real estate matters. David Hull, who relocated from London to Birmingham, is well known for having advised on a number of major football club takeovers, while Charlie Frost specialises in employment law. The team is also active in the motor racing sector.

Practice head(s):

David Hull

Other key lawyers:

Charlie Frost


The firm has a good knowledge of the football industry and has a range of relationships with football’s governing bodies

The team has a unique experience in professional sports, with very precise knowledge and business-oriented recommendations

Partners are very reactive and have a business-oriented approach. It is always a pleasure to work with them and their expertise is much appreciated

Key clients

Aston Villa

Wigan Athletic FC

Project 11

Sheffield Wednesday

Renault Sport Racing

Leicester City

West Bromwich Albion

Work highlights

  • Acting on the acquisition of Wigan Athletic and Wigan Athletic AFC by Hong Kong-based client International Entertainment Corporation.
  • Advised sports marketing agency Project 11 on agreements for digital advertising in relation to high profile Premier League and La Liga clubs.
  • Advising Renault Sport Racing on a range of merchandising, promotional and sponsorship contracts.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP advises a range of sports clients in horse riding, football, gymnastics, polo and tennis. Richard Lane focuses on acting for national governing bodies such as British Dressage regarding member discipline, safeguarding and sporting regulation, while Kelly Tomkinson specialises in immigration law and sponsorship.

Practice head(s):

Richard Lane

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Tomkinson

Key clients

British Showjumping

British Dressage

Archery GB

Premier Sports Holdings plc

Joint Measurement Board

Bowls Development Alliance

English Schools’ Football Association

Southam Rugby Union Football Club

Wasps RFC

Old Leamingtonians RFC

Work highlights

  • Advised Old Leamingtonians Rugby Football Club on an extensive suite of contract documentation regarding the leasing of a new training facility by Wasps RFC.
  • Advising British Dressage and British Showjumping on an independent review commissioned by UK Sport and Sport England into an alleged breakdown in the relationship between British Equestrian Federation, and British Dressage and British Showjumping.

Holborn Adams

Led by Adam Rasul in Stratford upon Avon, the sports team at Holborn Adams has particular expertise in contentious work as well as the negotiation of boxing contracts. On the contentious side, Rasul represents sports coaches and professional players in disciplinary proceedings, sports injury cases and criminal litigation. In other work, the team advises on sponsorship and endorsement contracts.

Practice head(s):

Adam Rasul