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Sport Disputes

The sports disputes team at Lewis Silkin has a wealth of experience of advising on all forms of dispute resolution within the sports sector including litigation in the civil courts as well as domestic and international arbitration in sport specific tribunals like the Court of Arbitration for Sport and FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber.

We work closely with our clients to resolve their disputes effectively by providing clear and practical advice and our in-depth knowledge of the sports industry ensures that our clients pursue the right strategy from the outset.

Our recent sports disputes experience includes:

  • Representing an international footballer in proceedings at the Court of Arbitration for Sport;
  • Acting for one of the UK’s largest football intermediary organisations in a FA Rule K arbitration.
  • Representing a large football investment company in a multi-million pound High Court claim against a leading international football club;
  • Advising a prominent motor-racing team in relation to a contractual dispute with one of their former drivers;
  • Advising a leading Premier League football club in relation to brand protection and an unlawful use of the club’s trade mark; and
  • Acting for a high profile Premier League football player in a dispute with his former intermediary regarding commission payments.

The team also works closely with the members of the sports disciplinary team who have extensive experience of dealing with on and off field disciplinary issues at the highest level. More information regarding the sports disciplinary team’s experience can be found here.


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The Football Association v Marc Bola

07 January 2022

John Shea and Christina Michalos QC of 5RB Chambers successfully represented Middlesbrough player Marc Bola in regulatory proceedings brought against the player for aggravated misconduct relating to a tweet posted several years ago when the player was only 14 years old.

“A net from which there is no escape”: takeaways from recent cases on dishonesty and conspiracy

11 October 2021

The case of Lakatamia Shipping Co Limited v Nobu Su is one of a number of recent judgments to grapple with questions of honesty and credibility.

Future of Sport: Recast and the future of sports media rights (with Andy Meikle and Rob Zeko)

04 October 2021

In this episode, our host JJ Shaw is joined by Andy Meikle (CEO & Founder of Recast) and Rob Zeko (Chief Commercial Office of Recast).

Future of Sport podcast with Alex Kelham and Andrew Osborne: Sports trends you should know about.

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In this first episode of our inaugural series of the Future of Sport podcast, our host JJ Shaw is joined by Alex Kelham and Andrew Osborne – Partners and Co-Heads of the Sports Business group.

Football pitch

Sports Q&A - Winlink Marketing Limited v The Liverpool Football Club: what are the lessons for sports' right holders and commercial agents?

24 November 2020

Disputes over entitlement to commission are common. As we’ll explain below, this case was a clear win for Liverpool FC and will give rights holders encouragement where sponsorship/commercial agents argue for commission on deals that they do little to bring about. However, when you dig into the facts, the case exposes details that provide a harsh lesson for all lawyers, sponsorship experts, and agents working on deals of this nature.

Stadium Football Seats Empty

What are clubs legal remedies if leagues are extended or decided against their wishes?

14 May 2020

In this article, John Mehrzad QC, Head of Littleton Chambers’ Sports Law Group, John Shea, Senior Associate in Lewis Silkin’s Sport Business Sector Team and Doug Harmer, Partner at Oakwell Sports Advisory give their expert legal and loss quantification opinions about legal remedies available to Premier League and English Football League (“EFL”) clubs adversely affected by the range of decisions that could be taken to conclude the 2019/20 season such as extending the season beyond 1st June, playing matches at neutral venues, terminating the season early and/or determining league positions based on new formulas such as a points per game basis.

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