Barristers in Matrix’s sports law team are involved in a diverse range of high profile and complex sports law cases, which intersect with our expertise in:
- Arbitration, including proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne,
- Commercial disputes, including tax law,
- Employment law,
- Investigations into fraudulent activity,
- Media and reputation management,
- Competition and regulatory law, including telecommunications disputes regarding the broadcasting of sporting competitions and events,
- Discrimination and equality law.
Our clients include international governing bodies, professional clubs, managers and players, players’ unions, sports associations, broadcasters, and individual athletes. We have been instructed on cases concerning, among other matters, anti-doping, transfer restrictions, employment disputes, funding and other contractual disputes, state aid, exclusive broadcasting rights deals, and competition disputes.
We created a series of articles on sports law issues in the run up to the Olympic and Paralympic games in Brazil 2016. Sign up to our mailing list to receive further updates or download the articles here. We write regularly on a range of sports law topics at LawInSport.com.
Members at Matrix regularly appear as counsel and arbitrators in sports arbitration, including arbitrating on the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne and as an FA Arbitrator of the FA Premier League Panel. In the Court of Arbitration for Sport, we have sat on many cases, including Mohamed Bin Hammam v FIFA CAS 2011/A/2625, Veronica Campbell-Brown v Jamaica Athletics Association & IAAF CAS 2014/A/3487, and World Anti-Doping Agency v Lallukka CAS 2014/A/3488. In addition, we have acted in an ad hoc clerking capacity for the Court of Arbitration for Sport on several cases, including Dutee Chand v International Associations of Athletics Federations, the well-reported case of a female athlete with hyper-androgenism who was prevented from competing in international competitions.
We have represented West Ham United in FA/FAPL arbitrations brought by Fulham FC and the players of Sheffield United arising out of the Carlos Tevez affair
We have a number of accredited arbitrators for Sport Resolution and members of the Sport Resolutions pro bono advocates panel.
We also have members who sit on specific disciplinary tribunals, such as the British Judo Association in regard to the complex investigation of a senior coach dealing with allegations of misconduct covering several decades.
Our Investigations and Audits team have also worked in cases relating to sporting organisations. One of our members led the investigation and the subsequent report into individuals whose conduct was alleged to be in breach of the International Association of Athletics Federations Code of Ethics.
We have advised and acted in a number of high profile cases. Recent examples include:
- Instructed by UEFA and FIFPro in connection with their Joint Complaint to the European Commission regarding the practice of Third Party Ownership (“TPO”) in football: see the press releases here, and some of the media coverage here and here.
- Acted for Hull City FC in a Rule K arbitration regarding the FA’s decision to refuse Hull’s application to change the club’s name to Hull Tigers: see the Arbitral Award here. We are also instructed by Queens Park Rangers in its challenge to the Football League’s Financial Fair Play (“FFP”) Regulations.
- Acted in the dispute between Massimo Cellino (the Leeds United owner) and the Football League regarding the application of the fit and proper person test: see the two decisions of the Professional Conduct Committee here and here.
- Acted for the owners of Coventry City FC in the dispute concerning the occupation and use of the Ricoh Arena stadium, including contentious issues of state aid: see the High Court judgment here.
- Instructed in an age discrimination claim concerning the ECB’s policy governing the retirement of first class cricket umpires: see some of the media coverage here and a copy of the Employment Tribunal’s judgment here.
- Acted for the defendants in the Pakistani cricket spot-fixing trial.