Sports Lawyers

Sports Solicitors

With the global nature of professional sports, there is little wonder that it is heavily governed and regulated by organisations on an international scale.

Sporting events continue to capture a global audience and bring together teams and clubs from all corners of the world. It’s essential that professional sports clubs, organisations, governing bodies, as well as the athletes themselves, have the infrastructure, agreements and other mechanisms in place to ensure their success, both on and off the field.

The intricate web of organisations, professional bodies, clubs, associations and athletes means that the full spectrum of professional legal advice is needed to support all sports stakeholders. The sports lawyers at Shakespeare Martineau have the expertise to advise on a corporate, commercial, contractual and individual level.

Comprehensive legal support for sports

Our team of sports law experts appreciate and understand the issues faced by all those involved in sports. We’re on hand to support you with a wide range of legal challenges, including:

  • Governance matters
  • Funding issues
  • Employment matters
  • The drafting of rules, regulations, selection policies and procedures
  • Data protection issues
  • Brand protection
  • Image rights
  • Sponsorship agreements
  • Individual tax and immigration advice
  • Resolving disputes

Our service

We’re made up of a team of sports solicitors with one major thing in common: we all live and breathe sports and understand the dynamic environments that you operate in. We’ve worked with individual sporting associations, elite athletes and governing bodies, as well as providing in-house legal counsel for large organisations such as Commonwealth Games England across a wide range of sporting disciplines. We have our finger on the pulse to make sure that your interests are always protected.

How we work with you

Our team can offer the full range of legal support to all those involved in sport. We understand that you will need varying levels of support at different times, and we tailor our service to fit that. Whether that’s onsite legal advisers for the duration of a tournament, remote legal support for one-off events, or ongoing counsel, we have the right experts to help.

Operating in the public spotlight means the stakes are high, no matter whether you’re an individual, team or a large organisation. Our sports lawyers work with you and provide the bespoke legal service to allow you to meet your goals, both in and out of play.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the biggest change to data privacy for many years. From 25 May 2018, all organisations which hold or process personal information need to comply.

All the latest views and insights
on current matters within Sport.

"I aim to act as an extension to my clients’ teams. I have been fortunate enough to spend part of my career on secondment within the in house legal team of a global plc"

Ed Wright, Partner & Head of Sport

Introducing our people

Challenges facing the market

Exploitation of commercial rights

Endorsements and sponsorships play a central role across the world of sport, from individual athletes, through to the venues and events themselves.

With sponsor brands paying large sums of money to have their name front and centre of people’s minds, any attempts by unofficial brands to undermine main commercial agreements can be devastating. With sponsorship deals commanding such large amounts of money, any attempt by unofficial sponsorship parties to grab a slice of the action, represents a direct threat, both commercially and reputationally.

Low angle view of professional athlete jumping over hurdle during race in outdoor athletics stadium full of spectators under dramatic cloudy evening sky at sunset.
Racing cyclist on velodrome

Governance & regulation

The world of sport is held together by rules and regulations.

Governing everything from funding; an organisation’s methods of operation; athlete participation; team member, athlete and official agreements, through to managing the recruitment and selection of elite athletes and volunteers for a major games event. The pressure is on organisations to demonstrate that all processes are transparent, fair and equitable, with objectivity at their core.

Dispute resolution

Just like any other sector, the sporting world can see a huge range of different disputes arising.

From doping and disciplinary issues; contractual fallouts between sponsors, venues and organisers; to selection issues involving team members and volunteers; the scope is significant. This variety means that different, bespoke approaches are needed, depending on the circumstances involved. Mediation and conciliation are becoming increasingly important as alternatives to traditional litigation, and for the most serious cases there are independent dispute resolution services available to handle sensitive disputes involving high profile individuals.

Side view of young female at starting breaststroke race.

How can we help?

Our expert lawyers are ready to help you with a wide range of legal services, use the search below or call us on: 0330 024 0333

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