Sport

Global Overview

As the globalisation of sport continues to increase, it is crucial that those operating in this sector have advisors with the capability to service both their domestic and international needs. We are committed to working together for the benefit of our clients. These include athletes and sports businesses with global aspirations and cross-border needs and the governing bodies that regulate these sports.

As a group we have experience in all aspects of sports law whether it is advising on global mobility and the wealth management of athletes, enhancing the commercial value of a business or protecting the integrity of a sport.

The Multilaw Advantage

Multilaw is a global network of international law firms, with 90 member firms operating across 100 countries globally.  It has been ranked in the ‘Elite’ band of global legal networks by the 2021 Chambers Global Guide (one of only 9 networks internationally to have achieved such recognition) – and this is the seventh year running that Multilaw has achieved this top tier ranking.

Chambers highlights the ‘hands-on support’ that Multilaw provides to its members as well as its established practice area groups.

 

What we do

Athletes

Whether you are an athlete or an agent representing your client, it is important to understand the issues you or your client may face and ensure you have the right advice and support in place.

The life of an international athlete has a unique set of challenges which often require careful strategic planning. An athlete requires help to develop, enhance and protect their career, wealth and reputation.

To support these goals, we provide advice in relation to:

  • Immigration
  • Playing contracts
  • Commercial and image rights
  • Tax planning
  • Disciplinary and doping offences
  • Injuries
  • Privacy and data protection
  • Reputation management
  • Resolving disputes
  • Family affairs

Sports Businesses

A successful sports business needs a global outlook to mirror the international reach of sport. This can often involve complex legal issues across different jurisdictions requiring the expertise and knowledge of a global network.

We support clubs and teams, retailers and manufacturers, event organisers and sponsors with a range of commercial services that will help to develop, enhance and protect their business. To support these goals our advice includes:

  • Intellectual property
  • Brand protection
  • Data protection and privacy
  • Sponsorship
  • Distribution rights and franchising
  • Commercial disputes and international sports arbitration
  • Mobility of staff
  • Setting up a business
  • Mergers and acquisitions

Governing Bodies

The role of a governing body is to ensure the competitiveness, fairness and integrity of a sport. Whilst this may be achieved through effective drafting and enforcement of regulations, there are often a range of challenges including financial fairplay, anti-doping and match fixing.

We act for national and international governing bodies to help develop, enhance and protect their sport through effective governance.

To support these goals our advice includes:

  • Financial regulation
  • Corporate governance
  • Constitutional issues
  • International sports arbitration
  • Franchising
  • Anti-doping and disciplinary matters
  • Sponsorship
  • Gambling and match fixing

Our Client Work

Athletes

China
Sport: Basketball
Representing US basketball superstar in a name rights dispute.

Portugal
Sport: Soccer
Litigation for several athletes and managers in FIFA jurisdictions and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

USA
Sport: Rowing
Representing Olympic rower considered to have failed a drugs test.

Czech Republic
Sport: Racewalking
Successfully representing an athlete in alleged breach of antidoping rule before the Czech Athletic Federation.

Sports Businesses

Vietnam
Advising a leading international manufacturer of golf equipment on human resources and service agreements in Vietnam.

Sweden/Italy
Representing a Swedish football club in a multi-jurisdictional dispute with an Italian club before FIFA and subsequently CAS.

Governing Bodies

Canada
Sport: Soccer
Acting as a member of FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee.

Turkey
Sport: Soccer
Advising FIFA on intellectual property rights in Turkey.

Taiwan
Sport: Basketball
Representing National Basketball Association (NBA) in various matters including intellectual property rights enforcement.

Practice Group Contacts

Andrew
Haywood

Group Chair
Chair, Europe, Middle East and Africa

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

London, UK

Email

Jeffrey
Wilson

Chair 
Asia Pacific

JunHe

Shanghai, China

Email

Andre
Nowakowski

Chair
Americas

Miller Thomson LLP

Toronto, Canada

Email