Comprehensive, trusted advice across the sport industry
In the rapidly evolving and increasingly digitized sport landscape, many of the world's leading companies turn to us for support with their most complex issues. We’re recognized as global leaders for our strong industry knowledge, experience and commercial approach. Our full-service, cross-border advice ensures our clients solve challenges and seize opportunities.
We’re a trusted legal and commercial advisor to many of the biggest names in sport. We understand the industry and its dynamics. And we provide market-leading advice across the full range of legal and business issues. From sports equity investment, restructuring, and rights exploitation of all sorts, to the changing relationship between sport and technology. Our clients include sports leagues, clubs, franchise owners, Olympic and world event organizers, international and national governing bodies, stadium developers, investors, banks and esports companies.
With a complete understanding of sport stakeholder relationships on both sides of the table, we can support you with your most technical, sensitive and important matters.
We advise on all aspects of staging major global sports events. From structuring commercial exploitation programs and protecting IP, through to stadium development, and sports regulatory and administrative issues at the highest level. Our clients have included the organizers of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, London Olympics, Rio Olympics, Qatar 2022 and many others.
“With a complete understanding of sport stakeholder relationships on both sides of the table, we can support you with your most technical, sensitive, and important matters.”
We focus particularly on local and international sports media rights. And we understand how to address the risks and opportunities associated with advances in technology. Whether you’re a sports federation looking to strengthen relationships with broadcasters and distributors, or a technology company looking to launch an innovative media service, we’ll provide end-to-end support.
We’re also a leading advisor on commercial partnership rights, sponsorship, licensing and IP, and have worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands across every professional sport. These include Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and National Hockey League.
Our global reach and close collaboration across practice groups means our advice is seamless and comprehensive.
We provide integrated advice for all aspects of sports financing, M&A transactions and investments. And if the need arises, we provide an efficient approach to disputes, counting former federal prosecutors among our experienced litigation lawyers.
Whatever the challenge or opportunity, we can provide full service advice, wherever you do business.
Awards and recognition
Our lawyers are recognized in Chambers, Legal 500, and other publications including:
- Variety's Legal Impact Report 2022
- Variety’s Dealmakers Impact Report 2021: Top Negotiators Behind Mega Deals
- Sports Business Journal's Power Players: Outside Counsel list
- The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2022
Our experience includes advising:
- Premier League on its commercial, anti-piracy and litigation activities
- Warner Bros. Discovery on the formation of a 50:50 joint venture with BT Group plc to create a new premium sport offering for the UK & Ireland, and to transfer the operating businesses of BT Sport to Warner Bros. Discovery
- Formula 1, Formula E, McLaren F1, Mercedes F1 and various other motor sports promoters and broadcasters on most aspects of the commercial exploitation and staging of motor sports
- NBA on a wide variety of commercial, regulatory and hosting issues with regard to its operations internationally
- On various aspects of the hosting of the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympics, the Glasgow and Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the Baku European Games
- Various clients on sport finance arrangements globally, including advising investors on the placement and purchase of 10-year Notes issued by FC Barcelona; the Premier League on providing a rescue package to the English Football League (EFL) to assist the 72 EFL clubs in light of the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; the Australian Football League on the landmark acquisition of Melbourne's Etihad Stadium; and numerous football clubs including Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan and Everton
- Liverpool Football Club and Athletics Grounds Limited (LFC) on defending a GBP1.13 million claim brought by sports intermediary Winlink Marketing Limited
- Los Angeles Chargers in connection with their relocation from San Diego to Los Angeles
- Qatari clients, including Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, on partnership arrangements for the development of a stadium and tournament infrastructure and the legacy redevelopment of one of the 2022 Football World Cup tournament sites, and Qatari Sports Investment (QSI) on aspects of its strategic investments in the sport of padel
- Various clients on sponsorship arrangements including Rakuten’s sponsorship agreements with Barcelona FC and the Davis Cup, HSBC’s brand ambassador arrangement with Emma Raducanu, and HCL on its global partnership with Manchester United
Areas of focus
We provide a full range of legal advice to many of the world’s major sport federations and stakeholders. We also help leagues, bodies and teams, media, internet and entertainment companies, brands, organizers of Olympic and world events, corporate sponsors, advertisers, developers, investors and other commercial parties with all aspects of their interactions with federations, so we have a complete understanding of stakeholder relationships on both sides of the table.
Clients turn to us for advice on broadcast and media rights sales; IP protection and licensing; mergers and acquisitions; disputes and controversies; development of and compliance with international and domestic regulations relating to sports competitions; development and financing of stadiums and arenas; and other finance and transactional matters.
We’re also a market-leading advisor on commercial partnership rights (including for the Premier League, Football League, NBA, and IOC). And we’ve advised on the staging of major global events including the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, London Olympics, Rio Olympics, Sochi Winter Olympic, Baku European Games, and Qatar 2022.
With our in-depth knowledge and experience of the sports industry, we help sports administrators, rights holders, municipal authorities, commercial bodies and others to successfully host, organize and exploit major sports events. Our global and local reach means we can advise on events wherever they take place.
We provide guidance on the entire event lifecycle, from conception and development through to production and execution. This includes advice on the establishment of the organizing committee; venue contract implementation; contracting processes; IP arrangements and broadcast rights; major venue arrangements; arrangements with relevant federations; commercial programs; and stakeholder management.
We’re recognized as leading advisors on local market and international media rights work. Many sports federations have turned to us for advice on their global media rights arrangements and relationships with broadcasters and coverage distributors.
We also help traditional and new media, entertainment and internet companies with a range of sports media matters.
We have significant experience of advising sports clubs, owners, investors, government agencies, contractors and architects on the development and leasing of a wide range of stadia, arenas and other facilities around the world.
We also represent clients in disputes that arise during project development and in post-project defect and delay litigation.
Our Sports Litigation team works closely with our broad Litigation and Regulatory practice to provide an integrated and efficient approach to disputes.
We help institutions, conference companies, sports media companies and other clients with copyright and trademark rights, right of publicity, antitrust, facility construction disputes, and concussion related litigation. And we regularly provide guidance to the sports and college athletics industries on a variety of legal issues.
Our lawyers include former federal prosecutors who have investigated and prosecuted crimes, including those relating to doping.
We know how governing bodies operate, how sporting venues are financed, how teams are run, and how media rights are exploited. Our Sports Finance team understands how to address the risks and opportunities of evolving technology and how these apply in the context of financing.
We help the world's leading professional sports leagues, club owners, investors, lenders and other financial institutions with all aspects of sports-related project finance, leveraged finance, securitizations, securities offerings, and government sponsored financings.
We provide integrated advice on a broad range of sports-related M&A transactions. Our team can help during all stages of a transaction, including identifying potential investment opportunities.
We also represent investment banks, financial advisors and their clients in the purchase and sale of sports-related consumer brands.
We help clients develop and exploit the power of their brand. We manage IP portfolios and handle IP litigation for some of the world’s most recognized sports brands. We advise on naming rights, concession, operations, music advice in relation to sports properties, and other corporate sponsorship agreements for sports clubs and their facilities.
We’re recognized as leading advisors on sponsorship, particularly for major sporting events. And we’ve advised many high-profile clients across every professional sport, including Major League Soccer teams, National Football League teams, National Hockey League teams, Major League Baseball teams, and major esports organizations.