Advising in the sport sector is the bedrock of our business, and we are recognised by the legal directories as one of the premier sports law firms in the UK. According to Chambers and Partners “onside law has emerged as an elite player in sports law. Clients enthuse about the benefits of working with a specialist sports practice that lives by the mantra of providing excellent client service”, whilst the Legal 500, describes our “excellent practice” as both “unstuffy” and “diverse”.
We act for governing bodies, teams, individuals, agents, sponsors, broadcasters, event promoters and other stakeholders on both contentious and non-contentious matters.
We advise on every type of matter affecting the sport sector including:
- Sponsorship, endorsements and representation
- Global and other major events (including bidding, staging, venue hire, ticketing and event management)
- Broadcasting, digital media and technology
- Hospitality (including pourage rights)
- Merchandising, licensing and franchising
- Brand management and protection (including image rights)
- Reputation management and defamation
- Football transfers
- Sport governing body rules and regulations
- Anti-corruption, anti-doping and other disciplinary proceedings
- Dispute resolution
- Acquisitions and disposals
- Joint ventures
- Due diligence exercises
- Sports-specific employment agreements (including club/team contracts)
- Appearance agreements
- Advising Ryder Cup Europe on all aspects of the hosting of the 2018 Ryder Cup (including the tender process, bidding rules and host nation contract for the hosting of the event) and the PGA European Tour on its worldwide commercial programme.
- Advising on the successful prosecution of Danish Kaneria for spot-fixing in cricket.
- Advising Rory McIlroy on the overhaul of his commercial affairs (including his ground-breaking endorsement contract with Nike, together with his deals with Santander, Omega and Bose) and various other golfers including Sir Nick Faldo, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Nicolas Colsaerts.
- Advising the England and Wales Cricket Board on all venue-related matters (including staging agreements for all Test Matches, ODIs and IT20s in England and Wales), England cricket’s sponsorship deals (including agreements with Investec, NatWest and Waitrose) and all aspects of their regulations (including player registration, England qualification, financial, fit and proper person test, agent registration, anti-doping, immigration/GBE issues and team salary payments).
- Advising the International Tennis Federation and its Tennis Integrity Unit on successful prosecutions of Daniel Köellerer and Sergei Krotiouk.
- Advising HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the grandson of the founder of Saudi Arabia, on his acquisition of a 50% equity stake in Sheffield United Football Club.
- Advising Lotus F1 on its driver, sponsorship and other commercial agreements.
- Advising the British Olympic Association on the Team GB athlete participation agreement for London 2012.
- Advising Tour Racing Limited/Team Sky on its sponsorship and kit supply agreement with Rapha.
- Advising prominent cyclists including Mark Cavendish and Victoria Pendleton.
- Advising the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union on various commercial and regulatory matters.
- Advising British Athletics on its 50-year “access agreement” to the Olympic Stadium, together with its partnership, broadcasting and venue agreements.
- Advising Jessica Ennis on her sponsorship arrangements with Santander and Pru Health.
- Advising sporting brands such as Babolat (tennis) and Srixon and Cleveland Golf (golf) on various brand protection and expansion matters.
- Advising Southampton FC on its commercial affairs throughout its rise from League 1 to the Premier League, including its kit deal with adidas, shirt sponsorship with aap3 and perimeter signage agreements.
- Advising international players, managers and clubs from the Premier League and Football League.