The sporting landscape has changed rapidly in recent years: an increased focus on private equity has altered how clubs and events are managed, the increased public scrutiny on integrity and healthcare issues has seen new regulations brought in, and growing athlete exposure and new technology has changed traditional sports marketing agreements.
We have supported clients in the sector for over 100 years, and can help you adapt to this evolving market. Our international team of specialist sports lawyers can help you adapt to the changing market, having supported clients in the sector for over 100 years. The Sports group is made up of multi-lingual lawyers with experience advising a diverse range of clients within the sector across multiple jurisdictions, including international federations and governing bodies, individual athletes, clubs, brands, and innovative disrupters in sports technology and esports. We provide seamless inter-office support through our network of international offices in the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, affording us a 360° global perspective on the latest developments in the sector, and integrate this know-how into our advice to benefit each of our clients.
We offer sports clients support across the full breadth of legal practices, including:
- Commercial, including commercial contracts, advertising, marketing & sponsorship, technology, e-commerce and digital transformation.
- Data Protection
- Intellectual Property & Brand Protection
- Integrity & Regulation
- Litigation & Disputes
- Corporate, including M&A and investments
- Real Estate & Construction
- Private Client: tax, family, property, and wealth structuring
- Charities & Philanthropy
Advertising, Marketing & Sponsorship
Commercial agreements across sports marketing, broadcasting and sponsorship have become more innovative in recent years, with the focus on performance-based, short-term deals seeing the power shift to buyers.
Brands and broadcasters are increasingly developing new methods of marketing and engagement, utilising the latest technology to promote their brand and interact with a virtual fanbase.
Our international team of sports law experts work closely alongside our dedicated technology team to anticipate the changing landscape, and can support you throughout the process of drafting and negotiating these new marketing, broadcasting, and sponsorship arrangements whilst helping you to shape future deals.
Technology & Digital Transformation
Technological advancements have given rise to significant developments in the use of live sports data, live officiating technology and innovative engagement platforms.
The use of technology, once seen as a special feature, has now become a necessity for most businesses in this industry to remain competitive, particularly given the surge in popularity of esports tournaments, virtual fan engagement platforms and Over The Top (OTT) streaming services.
Whether you are established within the industry or a newcomer to it, our advisers will use their extensive understanding of this ever-changing space to provide you best-in-class advice. Drawing on the combined strengths of our sport and technology teams, we frequently advise clients within and expanding into the Sports Tech industry, including international sports organisations, technology businesses, and investors in the sector.
With highly experienced sports lawyers and eminent data protection practitioners on the team, we provide our sporting clients tailored solutions across data protection, the GDPR and related issues.
Sports entities face their own particular issues and challenges when it comes to data protection. The data protection, commercial and regulatory experts that make up the team ensure a rigorous and practical approach that is always informed by deep sports industry understanding.
Our expertise includes:
- sporting rules and regulations regarding collection/use of sports data
- identifying, developing and selling packages of sports data rights
- agreements with data reseller partners
- customer terms of supply/licence for sports data
- agreements with technology providers (tracking, wearables, VAR)
- ticket and press accreditation terms and conditions re: collection/use of sports data
- data storage and database management
- enforcement actions re: infringement of intellectual property rights in official data
- all aspects of data protection and compliance with regards to athlete and federations’ member personal data
- data sharing/processing agreements
- advice in relation to betting integrity, including rules and regulations; codes of conduct; bet monitoring agreements; betting operator MOUs; education programmes; and disciplinary matters.
Integrity & Regulation
The spotlight on sports betting, anti-doping and safeguarding has never shone brighter. In this environment, ensuring that all stakeholders have sufficient policies and procedures in place to protect their integrity is key.
A sport that places integrity at the heart of its culture provides a safe environment for those competing, truly champions fair play and sportsmanship, and can be recognised as honest and trustworthy. We are dedicated to helping clubs, leagues, players, and regulators maintain and achieve this.
Our international team of sports lawyers has extensive experience advising across all areas of integrity; and combines rapid response capabilities to support clients through immediate crises with an integrity risk review to identify wider concerns surrounding rules and regulations.
Players & Athletes
For individual athletes and team players alike, the uptake of social media and technology has blurred the boundaries between the talent and the fans, and the breadth of their reach has never been wider. The power has shifted away from clubs and federations to sports icons themselves, and the role has become as much about personal brand as the performance itself.
In this environment, having the best legal advice to protect your brand assets is imperative. Our international sports law practice has supported some of the world’s most prominent players and athletes, and we have an ever-growing reputation for our work across player and athlete’s image rights and wider brand management.
Our multi-jurisdictional advice includes the added benefit of our private client services, and we can offer leading legal support across philanthropy and all matters pertaining to personal planning, including support on tax, buying property, family matters and the protection of assets, and private wealth investments and structures.
Our International Capabilities
We understand that organisations with international operations need to maximise their opportunities whilst managing risk and complying with the laws of multiple jurisdictions.
Using our network of offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, we offer on-the-ground specialist sports law advice to support all functions of your business across multiple jurisdictions. We put together the right legal team for you, drawing upon the firm’s different disciplines, sector expertise and geographies to provide a full-service offering that spans the globe.
Our network of firms covers almost 200 jurisdictions worldwide - where we do not have offices, our regional teams work with leading local law firms to support clients from or doing business in other countries, and we can project manage international advice or introduce you directly to local lawyers when needed.
Swiss Sports Group
With leading sports lawyers based in our Swiss offices, we are uniquely positioned to provide on-the-ground specialist sports law advice to the headquarters of major international sports federations, the majority of which are based in the region.
The team have extensive experience assisting athletes, clubs, leagues, sports businesses, brands and international federations with every aspect of arbitration, from drafting complex arbitration clauses through to disputes, and advise on international arbitration conducted under both civil and common law systems. Members of our Swiss sports group are also frequently appointed to sit as arbitrators at CAS - experience which provides clients with valuable insight into the arbitral process from those judging disputes - and have a proven track record of winning high value and complex disputes.
Gaming & Esports
Our team is well known for offering clear, commercial, solutions-driven advice.
Sports Integrity Services
Integrity is the lifeblood of sport. Commercial and reputational damage can be profound, costly and sometimes terminal.
Data Protection & Privacy
We can provide you with international contentious and non-contentious advice that exceeds straight-forward legal services.
Virtually every business worldwide has intellectual property, some of which can be of vital importance to its continued success.
Our Commercial lawyers work across all the firm’s key sectors, from technology to retail, from global brands to entrepreneurial ventures.
Our Private Clients have shaped the way we do business. We respond to your personal plans across multiple areas in the UK and globally.
Meet our sport lawyers
The Athlete Advancement Series
An initiative designed by the Women’s Sports Alliance and sport and digital agency Halfspace to equip sportswomen with commercially focused knowledge and tools to apply to their careers.
Our sport offering
Our team of specialist sports lawyers can help you adapt to the changing market.