Hall Of Fame

Leading Individuals

Next Generation Partners

Sport in Yorkshire And The Humber


Standing out for the profile of Harrogate-based founding partner Peter McCormick, the sports practice at McCormicks continues to provide top-tier advice to its footballing clients, while also assisting a growing number of shooting groups, rugby clubs and cycling associations. McCormick, who has previously served as chairman of the Premier League and the Football Association, continues to actively advise on the regulatory and contracting aspects of major sports club buyouts and takeovers. He co-leads the practice alongside James Towler, a key contact for corporate and commercial matters, and sports litigation expert David Birks, who joined from Newtons Solicitors Limited in November 2022. Philip Edmondson departed the group in 2022 to Ward Hadaway LLP.

Practice head(s):

Peter McCormick; James Towler; David Birks

Other key lawyers:

Iain Jenkins


‘Brilliant sports law firm. Niche expertise, particularly in football.’

‘Peter McCormick is in a class of his own.’

Key clients

Harrogate Town AFC


Leeds Rhinos RLFC

Leeds United FC

Long Mountain Shoot

McLaren Formula One

Norwich City FC

Otley RUFC

Professional Game Match Officials Ltd

Ripley Castle Shoot Group

The Bostik League (Isthmian League)

The Northern Premier League

The Premier League

The Premier League Charitable Fund

The Southern League

Visit Harrogate

Walsall FC

Wycombe Wanderers FC

Walker Morris LLP

Considered ‘one of the best, if not the best, solicitors teams working within sport’, Walker Morris LLP has an impressive roster of football clients and frequently assists clubs with buyouts, commercial agreements, and regulatory matters. Practice lead David Hinchliffe has extensive experience in football finance matters and maintains strong relations with clubs such as AFC Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion. The team also leverages a strong litigation offering, with key contacts Charlotte Smith and Matthew Lingard regularly acting in employment and corporate disputes. Regulatory expert Christian Slinger is also a key name to note. Alistair McHenry left the firm in April 2022, while the firm welcomed Tim Howden in October of the same year.

Practice head(s):

David Hinchliffe

Other key lawyers:

Jeremy Moore; Christian Slinger; Charlotte Smith; Matthew Lingard; India Swall; Tim Howden


‘Walker Morris is one of the best, if not the best, solicitor teams working within sport, especially football. Their industry knowledge of football is second to none, and they take on a wide variety of work, from transactional to litigation, in the sector.’

‘David Hinchliffe is one of the star lawyers in the UK working in football. I would rely on his judgment more than just about anyone else. He is extremely well-connected and brings in, or thinks up, excellent cases.’

‘A very experienced team steeped in the issues affecting sport clients.’

‘David Hinchliffe: Hugely experienced, very savvy, warm-hearted. India Swall: already a star. Switched on, clever, astute.’

Key clients

AFC Bournemouth

Ali Acun Ilicali – Hull FC


Bidding Consortium for the takeover of Chelsea FC

Blackpool FC

Brighton & Hove Albion FC

Burnley FC

Carlisle United FC

Huddersfield Town AFC

Leeds United FC

Sheffield United FC

Watford FC

Wrexham AFC

York City Knights RLFC

Work highlights

  • Acted on the sale of AFC Bournemouth Limited to the consortium led by American philanthropist and businessman, William Foley II.
  • Advised Brighton & Hove Albion FC in relation to a number of charges brought by the FA relating to a significant number of historic player transactions.
  • Advised one of the bidding consortiums on the widely publicised race for the takeover of Chelsea FC and carried out due diligence on the target group (including football and regulatory aspects of target club).

Pinsent Masons LLP

The sports advisory practice at Pinsent Masons LLP is led nationally by Trevor Watkins and maintains a strong presence in Yorkshire, where the team acts for clients such as Derby County FC and World Athletics. The practice’s Leeds group is jointly headed up by Joe McMorrow, who frequently advises on the employment and HR aspects of major sports transactions, and finance expert Matthew Clayton-Stead. Employment specialist Charlotte Harman and commercial lawyer Josh Botfield are further names to note at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Watkins; Matthew Clayton-Stead; Joe McMorrow

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Harman; Josh Botfield

Key clients

10Ten Talent

ALK Capital LLC

Aldermore Bank

Blackburn Rovers

Championship Racing

Derby County

Dundalk Football Club

Global Venue Services

Hampshire Trust Bank

Infront Sports & Media AG

Liverpool FC

Manchester City FC

Musselburgh Racecourse

PEAK6 Investments

Shawbrook Bank

The Jockey Club Racing

The Rugby Football League

Threshold Sports

UK Sport

Urban Legacies

Wigan Athletic

World Athletics


Clarion‘s multidisciplinary sports practice is composed of lawyers with experience handling commercial contracts and sponsorships, contractual disputes, insolvencies, and M&A mandates for sportswear brands, clubs and sports venue clients. Led by senior partner Richard Moran, who handles transactional matters, the team has strong local connections with Yorkshire clients such as Harrogate Town. Commercial lawyer Charlie Smith is also recommended, as is IP specialist Esther Kirwan.

Practice head(s):

Richard Moran

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Hattersley; Charlie Smith; Esther Kirwan

Key clients

Harrogate Town

Outward Bound Trust


Established by Alistair McHenry after his departure from Walker Morris LLP in April 2022, the sports practice at Tyr focuses primarily on arbitration proceedings and regulatory matters. The firm acts for a variety of standout sporting clients, including Table Tennis England and the Welsh Rugby Union, in high-value contentious work spanning regulatory compliance, sports integrity and corporate disputes. The ‘excellent, highly experienced’ McHenry sits on a number of sports appeals and resolution panels, broadening the firm’s offering in the sports integrity space.

Practice head(s):

Alistair McHenry


‘A new sports law team headed by an excellent highly experienced solicitor, Alistair McHenry.’

‘Alistair McHenry is an excellent partner and specialist in sports law, with a very wide range of experience. He is hard-working, creative and will always go the extra mile for his clients.’

‘Friendly firm with good professional football-specific experience.’

‘Alastair McHenry provides proactive and positive support in respect of football-specific matters and is able to provide great advice in a clear and concise way.’

Key clients

Basketball England

Crystal Palace FC

Sport Resolutions

Table Tennis England

Welsh Rugby Union

Work highlights

  • Sat as arbitrator on the English Football League Disciplinary Commission in a case involving the sanction of individuals under the EFL’s Owners and Directors’ Test.
  • Appointed as judicial officer for the Welsh Rugby Union, adjudicating over disciplinary hearings and appeals.