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Sports law

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Meet the team

Our lawyers have long-standing experience in the global sports sector and have advised clients on sports-related transactions throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South Africa, covering soccer, rugby, Formula 1, NFL, cricket, ice hockey, tennis and horse racing. We advise on all aspects of sports law, and are particularly strong in the areas of acquisition and disposal of sports franchises, negotiation of sponsorship deals stadium financings and investigations.

Sports teams and franchises are increasingly viewed as tradeable global infrastructure assets which are bought and sold regularly. We have advised clients on the acquisition and disposal of professional clubs and teams at the highest levels in sports such as soccer (including the English Premier League), NFL and Formula 1. We have an established track record in advising Chinese investors on cross-border investments in the sports sector, and see Asia as a key region for growth for sport, not only in China, but also in Japan, Malaysia and India.

In the area of stadium financing, our work on the Singapore SportsHub stadium is a prime example of landmark projects on which we advise. This project won Infrastructure Journal’s deal of the year, and our team worked on it from inception in 2007 to the S$1.5bn refinancing in 2015. In the US, we advised on the development of Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets baseball team, and we are currently advising on its refinancing. Similarly, in the UK we have advised the owners of the Silverstone motor racing circuit on redevelopment and investment over a period of years.

Investigations are increasingly a feature of international sport; we regularly advise on regulatory investigations in world sport, representing both management and regulatory bodies.

In addition to our work advising on sports law, we are recognised for our innovative approach to sports partnership opportunities. We have been a global partner of McLaren-Honda since 2014 – still the only partnership between a global law firm and a Formula 1™ team in the world today. We are also the global legal adviser to the McLaren Technology Group, working alongside its highly experienced in-house counsel on all aspects of its legal requirements including: corporate transactions, consulting on commercial and contractual matters, advising on intellectual property matters, including management of the global trademark portfolio, advising on real estate, finance, employment, and dispute resolution, among other areas of the law.  In the UK, we have been an official partner of, and a legal adviser to, Harlequins RFC in the Aviva Premiership since 2007.

Our sports law capabilities cover:

  • Antitrust and competition
  • Bankruptcy, financial restructuring and insolvency
  • Commercial contracts
  • Construction and engineering
  • Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity
  • Employment and labor
  • Employee benefits and executive compensation
  • Intellectual property, including trademarks and brands
  • International tax structuring
  • M&A
  • Pensions
  • Real estate, including planning, environmental law and health and safety
  • Regulation and investigations
  • Stadium financing