Billions of pounds are spent and made globally each year as the business of sport grows ever-more sophisticated. The interaction between athletes, agents, fans, clubs, venues and governing bodies – as well as the brands that engage with them – is intricate and ever-changing.
These relationships and the complex framework of rights and regulations which surround them are what the business of sport is built upon, requiring specialist knowledge, a strategic approach and real commercial nous on the part of legal advisers.
As one of the UK’s leading sports practices, we are not just seasoned legal experts, we have a deep and rich knowledge of the sector. Many of our team are ex-professional athletes or have worked in-house at clubs, sponsors and major events.
Our team is known for its expertise across all commercial aspects of sport including: sponsorship, merchandise licensing, ticketing and hospitality, data management and exploitation, gambling, gaming, supplier agreements and rights protection.
On top of this, our in depth understanding of the complex layering of commercial rights in sport sets us apart. We advise rights holders at all levels, and work closely with brands and their marketing agencies when investing in sports partnerships and creating sports content.
In a disrupted media environment we excel in helping sports stakeholders to deliver their content across a spectrum of traditional and digital platforms.
Our top-ranked advertising and marketing practice puts us in prime position to advise on regulatory issues as they impact sports marketing. Advising sports sponsors in heavily regulated industries such as alcohol and betting is a particular strength. We also advise on social media rules and ambush marketing on a daily basis.
On the talent side we have decades of experience negotiating deals for and with some of sports biggest stars; be it agency representation agreements, advertising campaigns or endorsements.
From negotiating global sponsorship deals, advising on player, manager and backroom staff employment issues, and implementing complex football financing deals, to advising on player transfers, sports immigration, brand protection and a wide range of commercial contracts and disputes, we bring to bear the added dimension of practical experience and in-depth insight.
That’s exactly why we act for some of the world’s biggest names in sport.
Sports Q&A - Changes to FIFA's intermediary regulations - What do I need to know?01 May 2019
In this month’s Q&A, we take a look at the new and more stringent intermediary regulations which are being proposed by FIFA.
John Shea writes for Sportcal: FFP: how far will Uefa go?18 April 2019
John Shea has written an article for Sportcal which discusses UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Regulations and the vast sums of money still being spent by Europe’s soccer clubs in the pursuit of sporting success.
JJ Shaw takes questions from City A.M - Legal Q&A: Why Rugby Australia can terminate Israel Folau's contract – and what he can do about it18 April 2019
In an article for City A.M, JJ Shaw explains the regulatory workings behind Rugby Australia's decision to terminate Israel Folau's contract over anti-gay social media posts, and how the player can contest the sanction.
Lewis Silkin attending LawInSport's Football Law 2019 conference16 April 2019
Lewis Silkin is pleased to announce that we will be in attendance at LawInSport’s ‘Football Law 2019 conference - Player Transfers, Agents, Politics and the Business of Football’ to be run in association with Blackstone Chambers.
Sports Q&A - What are the key terms to be aware of when preparing and negotiating Heads of Terms in lease transactions?01 April 2019
Here we look at some of the key things to be aware of with regards to heads of terms (HoTs) in commercial lease transactions, such as taking new office space or granting a lease of space in a stadium, and why HOTs are so important.
"Play the whistle!" - Whistleblowing in Ireland26 March 2019
It seems that the FAI does not just have to worry about the results on the pitch as the qualification campaign for Euro 2020 kicks off, or the fact that they owed their CEO a significant sum of money (while also paying his rent) some time ago.