Lawyers Serving Individuals and businesses

Sports, Media and Entertainment

Sports, Media and Entertainment
Sports, Media and Entertainment

Rainer Hughes offers a professional service on various aspects of sports business and commercial law, including sponsorship, licensing, merchandising, sports image rights, including obtaining ‘Super Injunctions’ to protect the reputation of sports personalities, broadcasting and new media rights as well as other sports marketing, endorsement and promotional agreements.

Drawing on the firm’s expertise and experience in civil litigation, the Department also offers the settlement of sports related disputes by alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, including mediation, arbitration and expert determination, all of which are particularly suited to the sports business and commercial world.

Recent work undertaken by the Department includes the review of boxing promoter agreements; advice on the commercialisation and exploitation of sports image rights; fraud and corruption in sport (drawing on the firm’s expertise in dealing with fraud cases of various kinds); negotiating and drafting film contracts; handling defamation cases for high profile sports individuals; and other sports related advice, including football player contracts. The firm also has experience in dealing with sports and legal issues related to motorsport, especially Formula One and Formula Two.

Sports, Media and Entertainment
Sports, Media and Entertainment

The sporting world has been rocked by the revelations of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in the Lance Armstrong doping affair and the implications of the stripping of his 7 Tour de France titles by the World Governing Body of Cycling (UCI) will reverberate for some time to come - perhaps for several years. Armstrong is expected to face substantial claims by sponsors for the return of sponsorship monies, especially success bonuses. And, then, there is the £1,000,000 claim by 'The Sunday Times' for the return of the libel damages and legal costs awarded against them in earlier proceedings brought by Armstrong. In this connection, the Firm has experience of advising on and drafting so-called ‘Morality Clauses’ in Sponsorship and Endorsement Agreements, designed to deal with the Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong type of contingencies.

The firm is also able to give advice on and represent athletes and sports bodies in doping and sports disciplinary proceedings, again drawing on its expertise and experience in the field of litigation and ADR.

Also, the firm is well placed to represent parties in sports disputes of various kinds, including regulatory and commercial ones, coming before such bodies as the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In connection with the CAS, the firm has followed with great interest the recent landmark appeal to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court against the ruling (‘award’) by the CAS in the long-running Matuzalem case, in which, for the first time in any arbitration case, including one related to sport, in Switzerland, the Swiss Public Policy defence under the Swiss Statute on Private International Law was successfully applied.

Sports regulatory bodies should take note of the legal limitations on sporting sanctions applied in disciplinary cases as a result of this decision by Switzerland's highest Court! Again, the firm is well-placed to advise and provide timely guidance and assistance to these bodies on such matters.

Sport is no longer confined to the back pages of newspapers but also increasingly is making news on the front pages as well!

The Firm prides itself on its commercial and pro-active approach to solving its clients’ legal contentious and non-contentious cases in a timely, professional and cost-effective manner.

Rainer Hughes is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
Reg No 447457