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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.

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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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.

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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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Important new case on disclosure, but has anyone noticed?

29 April 2020

Given the dominance of the coronavirus over all aspects of life, including the law, it would be easy to miss the appearance of a new case about one of the basics of litigation.

Football pitch

Jude Bellingham transfer: The rules Manchester United and their competitors will have to negotiate to sign Birmingham's star midfielder

19 March 2020

Like everything in sport right now, Jude Bellingham’s future is on hold. But it now feels inevitable that Birmingham City’s prized asset will be flying the coop. However, if he is to get a dream move away, then his youth will play an important role. In this article for City A.M. John Shea comments on the complications of transfers for minors.

Jude Bellingham transfer: The rules Manchester United and their competitors will have to negotiate to sign Birmingham's star midfielder

19 March 2020

Like everything in sport right now, Jude Bellingham’s future is on hold. But it now feels inevitable that Birmingham City’s prized asset will be flying the coop. However, if he is to get a dream move away, then his youth will play an important role. In this article for City A.M. John Shea comments on the complications of transfers for minors.

Nottingham Forest FC loses High Court claims following club’s sale but plans appeal

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The High Court has dismissed claims arising out of the sale of Nottingham Forest Football Club (“the club”) for breaches of indemnities in the share purchase agreement (“the SPA”) and for the alleged misrepresentation of the club’s liabilities.

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