Northridge Law LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Northridge Law LLP
90 Bartholomew Close

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 1

Sports boutique Northridge Law LLP regularly works on high value sponsorship deals and corporate transactions – such as takeovers and sales – for elite football clubs. Practice co-heads Jonathan Ellis and Ian Lynam are routinely engaged on high-profile mandates within the industry, ranging from high-profile acquisitions to sponsorship agreements. Recent engagements for Ellis include work with the FA regarding the development of the women’s game and issues arising out of fan-led reviews. Jon Walters and Paul Shapiro are key commercial contacts for high-growth tech companies operating at the intersection of media, sports, marketing and advertising. Walters also works on venue hosting agreements for baseball and football events. James Eighteen is regularly sought out by major governing bodies for advice on horse-doping-related disciplinary proceedings, among other issues. Jamie Feldman supports on employment law matters. Oliver HarlandSarah Boulton and George Willis are all further names to note. Mike Herbert was promoted to partner in April 2023.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Ellis; Ian Lynam


‘Northridge combines the focused expertise of a specialist sports law firm with an unparalleled level of service. The firm excels across the full range of sports law work, from regulatory and disciplinary aspects to commercial and player/club/agent cases. The partners have enormous experience and expertise and effectively pass it on to the associates, who can quickly develop because the practice is specialist.’

‘I have worked most with Jon Ellis and James Eighteen on the regulatory side of things. They are simply excellent, combining very hard work with in depth knowledge and experience of the sector built up of many years. They stand out in particular because they can apply their expertise and experience, and hard work, so effectively to deliver what the client needs.’

‘Tom Edmonds is a pleasure to instruct – he is responsive, pragmatic, diligent, and understands the business and the industry.’

‘James Eighteen is a litigator who knows how to fight hard but provide pragmatic advice based on excellent legal knowledge. Inspires confidence.’

‘I do not know how anyone would fail to find Ian Lynam engaging. He is the very best non- contentious sports lawyer I have met. In a sector so full of egos and self-promotion, he is refreshingly understated.’

Jon Ellis is just the best if you have a regulatory dispute.’

‘Northridge probably have the best all round proposition in the sports law market. Dedicated specialist teams with deep knowledge of the sector.’

Paul Shapiro – strong legal drafting and meticulous attention to detail.

Key clients

The FA

Chelsea FC


LIV Golf


Premiership Rugby


The British Horseracing Authority

Raheem Sterling

Welsh Rugby Union

Fédération Française de Rugby

Work highlights

  • Acted as the lead counsel on the sale of Chelsea FC.
  • Acted for Spotify on its sponsorship agreement with FC Barcelona.
  • Advised Elliott Advisors on the sale of AC Milan to RedBird Capital Partners.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Gaming and betting Tier 2

Northridge Law LLP provides ‘balanced and practically useful advice’ to gambling operators, games developers and innovative tech companies, with the team advising on a broad range of matters such as regulatory licensing, transactional work and gambling sponsorship arrangements. Practice chair Melanie Ellis is well versed in licensing, advertising and anti-money laundering procedures, while Tom Edmonds has significant experience of advising sports and betting companies on commercial agreements that straddle the two sectors.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Ellis

Other key lawyers:


‘Very responsive and excellent understanding of commercial and product aspects in addition to legal knowledge.’

Expertise in UK gambling compliance, the legal process and interactions with regulators, always with one eye on the bigger picture.’

‘Melanie Ellis demonstrates commercial pragmatism supported with a great deal of technical and operational knowledge & experience. ’


Key clients

Evolution Gaming

Shareholders of InTouch Games

Run It Once

SportyStuff TV Limited


Who Knows Wins

BRS Golf


Sporting Chance Prize Draw

Veriff OU

Transigo Ltd

Dazzletag Entertainment Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Evolution Gaming on gambling licensing and compliance matters.
  • Advised the shareholders of In Touch Games on the company’s acquisition by Skywind Holdings, including assisting with due diligence and regulatory aspects.
  • Advised Betway on a wide range of sponsorship deals, including high profile international football sponsorships and US-based franchises.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media: Advertising & marketing Tier 4

Northridge Law LLP houses a team of ‘real specialists‘ who exhibit ‘deep industry knowledge‘ when acting for well known clients, including Spotify, Puma, and AEG Worldwide. Practice head Jon Walters has broad knowledge spanning sponsorship deals and commercial issues, and is ‘friendly and commercially astute‘ when assisting clients with expansion of sponsorship programmes and naming rights deals. Paul Shapiro  predominantly advising brands and athletes on licensing and merchandising matters, ensuring regulatory compliance is observed; and associate George Willis has a great deal of expertise in data protection, often negotiating endorsement deals between sporting clubs and media platforms.

Practice head(s):

Jon Walters

Other key lawyers:

Paul Shapiro; George Willis


‘The team has deep domain expertise and networks within the European sporting fraternity.’

‘Jon Walters is friendly and commercially astute.’

‘Great and really helpful.’

‘Great attitude and experience, they are real specialists in their field.’

‘Superior client service, agility, and execution.’

‘Deep industry knowledge paired with ability to apply it to legal framework; they can explain how a piece of the industry works in a particular manner, and the legal theory behind it.’

Key clients



LIV Golf

AEG Worldwide

Thierry Henry

TGI Sport

Two Circles / Bruin Capital


E20 / London Stadium

Found Entertainment


Heaps + Stacks




Blink Productions

Creative Control Ventures


Work highlights

  • Acted for Spotify on a sponsorship agreement with FC Barcelona.
  • Advising Betway on the significant expansion of its global sponsorship programme, notably its expansion into the US.

Northridge is an independent law firm that focuses on the most complex and important matters in sport. Founded in 2017, it has already established itself as the firm the sports industry turns to when the stakes are highest. As Europe’s largest sports practice, the firm offers a unique combination of scale and expertise, providing the depth required to staff the largest and most demanding projects.

Representative clients: The FA, Puma, Premiership Rugby, Premier League football clubs,  the British Horseracing Authority, Welsh Rugby Union, Rugby Football League, Betway, Spotify, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho,  Mohamed Salah, Thierry Henry, Raheem Sterling, Two Circles (and its owner, Bruin Sports Capital), E20 (owner of the London Stadium), AEG Worldwide.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate and Commercial Ian Lynam 020 3957 8809
Corporate and Commercial Jon Walters 020 3957 8810
Litigation and Arbitration Jonathan Ellis 020 3957 8808
Litigation and Arbitration James Eighteen 020 3957 8818
Betting and Gaming Melanie Ellis 020 3957 8816
Competition Law Benoit Keane 0032 2 280 68 80
Employment Law Jamie Feldman 020 3957 8813
Data Protection George Willis 020 3957 8806
Regulation and Governance Jon Walters 020 3957 8810
Regulation and Governance Jonathan Ellis 020 3957 8808
Photo Name Position Profile
Sarah Boulton photo Ms Sarah Boulton Sarah is a commercial litigator with a particular focus on the sports…
Tom Edmonds photo Mr Tom Edmonds Tom advises clients in the sports and gambling sectors on commercial contracts…
James Eighteen photo Mr James Eighteen James has for many years been a key advisor to governing bodies…
Melanie Ellis photo Mrs Melanie Ellis Melanie is an experienced gambling regulatory lawyer, advising on all aspects of…
Jonathan Ellis photo Mr Jonathan Ellis Jonathan is a commercial litigator who specialises in the sports sector. He…
Jamie Feldman photo Mr Jamie Feldman Jamie heads the firm’s employment practice, advising employer and individual clients on…
Oliver Harland photo Mr Oliver Harland Oliver specialises in litigation and contentious regulatory matters, in particular for sports…
Mike Herbert photo Mr Mike Herbert Mike advises clients on a wide range of corporate, commercial and financing…
Ian Lynam photo Mr Ian Lynam Ian’s practice spans a wide range of transactional and regulatory areas of…
Paul Shapiro photo Mr Paul Shapiro Paul specialises in commercial and regulatory advice to clients in the sports…
Jon Walters photo Mr Jon Walters Jon provides commercial and corporate advice to clients, with particular expertise on…
George Willis photo Mr George Willis George is a commercial and data protection lawyer, specialising in contract and…
Permanent and temporary staff : 30
British Association for Sport and Law
New York State Bar Association
Law Society of Ireland

CLIENT: Polly Handford, Director of Legal & Governance
TESTIMONIAL: The FA has had a long-standing relationship with the Northridge team. Their advice is commercial, strategic but above all the team knows The FA and its workings so well that the advice is always ideally bespoke to The FA

CLIENT: Rachel Garber
TESTIMONIAL: Regardless of the nature of the matter, we receive a truly excellent legal service, which is grounded with a real understanding of our business and industry, ensuring we get the very best service and value for money.

CLIENT: Gareth Balch, Chief Executive
TESTIMONIAL: Working with Jon Walters, Mike Herbert and the team at Northridge has been a great experience. We have valued their industry knowledge and commercial understanding, which has enabled us to make important decisions with confidence.

CLIENT: Farhad Moshiri
COMPANY/FIRM: Controlling stake in Everton FC
TESTIMONIAL: The Northridge team has been my trusted legal advisor on football matters for many years.  They combine the highest levels of legal expertise and service levels, with an unparalleled knowledge of the football industry.  They have played an important role in helping to deliver this transaction.

CLIENT: Rhodri Lewis, Head of Legal Affairs
COMPANY/FIRM: Welsh Rugby Union
TESTIMONIAL: Having worked with the team at Northridge for a number of years, I know that the breadth of their expertise and experience is unrivalled. I can depend on them to provide the practical and commercial advice I need as a complement to our in-house capability. Their understanding of the issues and quality of advice is outstanding and I would definitely prefer to have them on my side!

CLIENT: Tim Naylor, Director of Integrity and Regulation
COMPANY/FIRM: The British Horseracing Authority
TESTIMONIAL: [The re-write of the British Horseracing Authority’s Rules of Racing] has been a long and complex piece of work and I’d like to thank Northridge’s dedicated and experienced team for all the assistance they have provided, particularly James Eighteen and Oliver Harland. The result is a set of rules that are as clear and easy to understand as they have ever been, as well as being easily accessible online and through digital applications. The new rules now stand as a prime example of BHA’s progressive approach to make regulation more transparent for our participants and the general public.

CLIENT: Pamela Morris Williams, Head of Regulatory Compliance
COMPANY/FIRM: Evolution Gaming
TESTIMONIAL: Working with Melanie Ellis and the team at Northridge is always a tremendous help and a great experience. The support and guidance given to the Company for the jurisdiction of United Kingdom is so valuable and an incredible asset. Their swift responses and understanding the issue from a company perspective is truly valuable to us.