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Sports

Supporting our clients’ sporting successes.

Whether it’s complex M&A transactions, disputes or regulatory advice, we provide clients with everything they need on their most important matters when operating in the sports industry.

We also advise on complianceinvestigations, financings and key employment matters. In addition, we have experience with rights commercialisation in broadcasting, licensing and sponsorship deals and on content distribution, including over-the-top (OTT) services.

As you can see under ‘client successes’ below, we have advised on:

  • the most transformational transactions in the sports sector;
  • more than 100 arbitrations before specialist sports tribunals, including the Court of Arbitration for Sport; and
  • key mandates for major sports bodies, sporting organisations and other leading players in the industry.

Our broad client base has given us an extensive understanding of the issues and challenges in the sector from a diverse range of client perspectives.

For top-tier professional sports organisations, we can offer the in-house business experience of partners such as Chris Mort, who has served as Newcastle United’s executive chairman in the English Premier League, and Aly El Hamamsy, who has worked in a business role at the National Basketball Association (NBA). In Rhodri Thomas and Amani Khalifa, we have arbitrators who have served on numerous sports arbitrations.

Client successes

We helped the club successfully overturn a ban imposed by an international football association body for its alleged breaches of the financial fair play regulations. 

We advised CVC on its investments in Premiership Rugby and PRO14 Rugby. These are some of CVC’s most recent commitments to the sports, media and entertainment sector, having previously invested in MotoGP and Formula One.

The work included advising on contractual renegotiations and resolving disputes arising from the cancellation of sporting events as a result of the pandemic. 

These include commercial advice, defending FOA from antitrust challenges to its commercial arrangements, new Concorde Agreements with the F1 teams, and advising on the acquisition of the Formula One Group by CVC and the subsequent $8bn sale to Liberty Media.

Our work includes the combination of Perform Content, a global sports content and data company, with STATS, a leader in sport AI. Read more about the deal in our case study.

The investigation focussed on the awarding of the 2006 World Cup and helped establish the Association’s transparency framework for investigations. 

This included a forensic review of its governance, operations and finance.

More than 200 of our lawyers spent time advising the LOCOG on the legal aspects of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games.