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Sports Law

Sports Law

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:

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

Arbitration expertise

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.

Investigation expertise

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.

Notable cases

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.


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Mark Afeeva
Called: 1997
Christopher Brown
Called: 2002 Called: 2018 (Ireland)
Michelle Butler
Called: 2007 Solicitor: 2002
Edward Craven
Called: 2007
Prof. Zachary Douglas QC
Called: 2006 Silk: 2015
Catrin Evans QC
Called: 1994 Silk: 2016
Nicholas Gibson
Called: 2009, Called: 2020 (Ireland) Solicitor: 2004
Mark Greaves
Called: 2016
Ian Helme
Called: 2005
Richard Hermer QC
Called: 1993 Silk 2009
Jamas Hodivala QC
Called: 1998 Silk 2020
Sir Anthony Hooper
Called: 1965 Silk: 1987
Anthony Hudson QC
Call: 1996 Silk: 2015
Darryl Hutcheon
Called: 2014
Phillippa Kaufmann QC
Called: 1991 Silk: 2011
Thomas Kibling
Called: 1990
James Laddie QC
Called: 1995 Silk: 2012
Rachel Logan
Called: 2008
Lord Ken Macdonald QC
Called: 1978 Silk: 1997
Sara Mansoori
Called: 1997
Gavin Millar QC
Called: 1981 Silk: 2000 Called: 2010 (Northern Ireland)
Clare Montgomery QC
Called: 1980 Silk: 1996 Called: 2001 (Northern Ireland)
Aidan O’Neill QC (Scot) QC
Called: 1996 Silk: 1999
Tim Owen QC
Called: 1983 Silk: 2000
Raj Parker
Called: 1983 Solicitor: 1988 Solicitor Advocate: 1994
Nicholas Randall QC
Called: 1990 Silk: 2013
Nathan Roberts
Called: 2014
Matthew Ryder QC
Called: 1992 Silk: 2010
Prof. Philippe Sands QC
Called: 1985 Silk: 2003
Paul Skinner
Called: 2010
Lorna Skinner
Called: 1997
Andrew Smith
Called: 2008
Hugh Southey QC
Called: 1996 Silk: 2010 Called: 2010 (Northern Ireland)
Rhodri Thompson QC
Called: 1989 Silk: 2002
Hugh Tomlinson QC
Called: 1983 Silk: 2002