Sports Law

Sports Law

LATEST NEWS - Gemma White, 3PB sports barrister, summarises the recent case of Best - v- BHA on the appearance of bias and sufficiency of reasons

16th August 2016

Gemma White, 3PB sports barrister, summarises the recent case of Best - v- BHA on the appearance of bias and sufficiency of reasons. Her article ... read more

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Legal 500 Bar Directory – Rankings For 2015
Recommendations and Quotes


Sport – Leading juniors
Robin Leach - Recommended for representing jockeys and trainers in disciplinary matters.
Louis Weston - He is outstanding and has a very good understanding of the sports market.

Legal 500 Bar Directory – Rankings for 2014
Recommendations and Quotes

Robin Leach - 3PB ‘His passion for horse racing supports his determination to do a proper job.’
Louis Weston - 3PB ‘He has a notable sports regulatory practice.’ and ‘Respected by all and a pleasure to work with.'

3PB’s dedicated Sports Law Group has an exceptional reputation for its knowledge of this sector and service standards, with members recognised in Chambers and Partners 2014 and Legal 500 2013/2014. Its members act for regulatory/governing bodies, sportsmen and women, clubs and teams, and others involved in the world of sport, including coaches and managers.

Members of the Sports Law Group have expertise in :-

  • Sports regulation and discipline including advising on the rules of governing bodies, licensing issues, and appearing at disciplinary hearings and other proceedings;
  • Selection criteria for national teams and the Olympics;
  • Doping and drug use in sport, including the World Anti-Doping Agency regulations;
  • Corruption in sport including breaches of the criminal law and issues engaging the Gambling Act;
  • Contract, commercial and other disputes arising in a sports context including in relation to funding, the sale and training of racehorses, disputes between regulators, between clubs and regulators, and between players and clubs;
  • Intellectual Property matters in sport, including all aspects of copyright (and notably broadcast rights), trade marks, designs, passing off, database rights and breach of confidence/privacy actions;
  • Employment issues, for example in relation to contracts between coaches and clubs;
  • Negligence liability for sporting injuries including accidents in the course of sport or recreational activities;
  • Ancillary sporting issues including firearms licensing and equine-related disputes for example where the Sales of Goods Act 1979 is engaged, and allegations of professional negligence against veterinary surgeons.
    Of our members:

Louis Weston is a widely experienced advocate in Sports Law and is regularly instructed in complex corruption cases by the British Horseracing Authority and the Greyhound Board of Great Britain.  He has acted for sports governing bodies and for sportsmen, including in funding cases and regularly advises and acts in bloodstock and racing disputes. Louis is consistently referred to as a Notable Practitioner in Sports Law by Chambers and Partners; in the 2014 Directory it is stated “He is incredibly bright and great to work with, and can turn his hand to anything”. In the Legal 500 Directory 2013/2014 he is ranked as a leading junior and described as “‘quick-witted, experienced advocate’ horseracing expert Louis Weston".

Robin Leach who is also ranked as a leading junior in the Legal 500 Directory 2013 has been described in Chambers and Partners Directory as follows: ”Robin Leach of 3PB Barristers has a tremendous reputation within the horse racing world. His supporters are delighted to find him “a top barrister with a real passion for racing – he knows the language of our sport””.

Michael Vere-Hodge QC has advised various governing bodies in relation to selection criteria for national teams and governance generally.

Nicholas Cotter combines his practise in Sports Law with expertise in Criminal Law. He regularly appears before regulatory tribunals and has a particular specialisation in anti-doping cases.

Victoria Jones is an IP specialist, ranked in the Legal 500 2011/2012 as “one to watch on the insolvency and IP front” and described in World Trademark Review’s 2014 rankings as “Bristol’s best IP counsel – someone who renders sound, early advice, and is personable and hands-on”. Having previously worked at Wiggin LLP Victoria has extensive experience in sports law IP litigation. She recently acted for a Premier League Football Club in High Court proceedings and regularly advises and represents clients in relation to matters involving brand/rights protection and in particular, the exploitation of such rights on the Internet.

Susan Jones is the newest member of the Group who is quickly building expertise, particularly in regulatory matters, including undertaking a secondment at the BHA.

All members of the Sports Law Group are members of the British Association of Sports and Law (BASL).

Appropriately qualified members of the Sports Law Group accept instructions on a Direct Access basis in appropriate cases.