Sport in West Midlands

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has a strong practice across all areas of sports law, with football being a particular area of strength. Leveraging considerable expertise nationally, the team has won new instructions in football, sailing, boxing, golf, SportsTech and Esports. Employment partner Richard Santy regularly acts for national and international football clubs, assisting them with managing and coaching hires and acting in employment disputes. Senior associate Phil Hutchinson is a name to note for sports litigation and regulatory matters, with a well-developed practice advising clubs on international player transfers.

Practice head(s):

Richard Santy

Other key lawyers:

Phil Hutchinson

Testimonials

‘Their profile in the sports sector is rising and rising.’

‘Phil Hutchinson is clever, hard working and fabulous with clients.’

Key clients

Professional Footballers’ Association

Rangers FC

Gymshark

England Golf

Work highlights

  • Represented a footballer in relation to charges brought against him by the Football Association under the FA Betting Rules.
  • Advising Rangers FC and Rangers Women’s FC on a number of transfers during the summer 2019 and January 2020 transfer window.
  • Acting for Rangers Football Club Ltd in its litigation with Sports Direct arising out of a dispute in relation to the agreement under which Sports Direct had a licence to sell Rangers replica kit and other merchandise.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs has full-service capabilities in all aspects of sports law, encompassing corporate and commercial advisory matters, employment issues, contentious work and regulatory mandates. David Hull has niche expertise in sports M&A and has advised on the sell side of various take-overs of leading football clubs. Simon Jones, who has particular experience in the motor racing sector, regularly advises on the digital rights of televised motor racing, cricket, golf and football events. Employment lawyer Charlie Frost is also of note.

Practice head(s):

David Hull

Other key lawyers:

Charlie Frost; Simon Jones

Testimonials

‘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

Sheffield Wednesday FC

Renault Sport Racing

International Entertainment Corporation

Aston Villa FC

Project 11

Work highlights

  • Advised Wolverhampton Wanderers on a £50m debt financing deal.
  • Advising Renault F1 Sport Racing on all aspects of UK employment matters.
  • Acting for Sheffield Wednesday Football Club in various charges brought by the English Football League in respect of breaking EFL’s profit and sustainability financial rules relating to the sale and leaseback of Hillsborough stadium.

Beswicks Legal

At Beswicks Legal, Tim Bailey advises professional clubs, athletes and corporate bodies on sports-related contractual, regulatory and commercial issues, predominantly in the football and cricket spheres. Practice head Gary Mellor has extensive experience in handling the commercial aspects of athletics, snooker and golf events and tournaments, including arranging international players for high-profile events.

Practice head(s):

Gary Mellor

Other key lawyers:

Tim Bailey

Wright Hassall LLP

Litigator Richard Lane heads up Wright Hassall LLP's sports consultancy practice and has a well-established reputation acting for clubs, individuals and sports bodies in sports regulatory and disciplinary proceedings. Christine Jackson handles all commercial arrangements for sport regulatory bodies and  individual athletes, while Nathan Talbott advises football players and agents on playing contracts, compromise agreements and compliance requirements.

Practice head(s):

Richard Lane

Other key lawyers:

Christine Jackson; Nathan Talbott

Key clients

British Showjumping

British Dressage

Wasps RFC

Premier Sports Holdings plc

Old Leamingtonians RFC

Bowls Development Alliance

English Schools’ Football Association