Sports Disputes

Sports disputes require specialist knowledge that is best learned through experience. We have an excellent track record in relation to sailing and marine sports, in particular including America's Cup Challenges, round the world yacht races and the Olympic Games. We also have significant knowledge and expertise in equine matters, including disputes over the sale and purchase of horses, veterinary surgeon negligence claims, matters arising out of bloodstock and racehorse disputes including doping. From this top class experience we can work with athletes, sports personalities, sponsors and governing bodies at the highest level.

We have acquired experience in a wide range of sports disputes, including marketing and sponsorship issues, media relations and sports contracts. We also advise on competition rules and regulations and on the mechanisms for protest, challenges and disciplinary enquiries.

We act for many famous competitors and also for businesses and charities which support sport in a variety of ways.

In the Legal 500 2012 it was said that we provide "good, sound advice" and that we are outstanding in the world of sailing as well as advising on equestrianism and athletics. Champion sailor Richard Butcher and his team were said to represent competitors, event organisers and sponsors and that Richard Butcher is "very knowledgeable and firm in his dealings and extremely hardworking and thorough". Jonathan Gatward was also recommended. Sarah Webb has been a member of the Equine Lawyers Association for a number of years and is one of the few solicitors based in London. In addition to claims arising out of the purchase and sale of horses and negligence claims, she has also been involved in defamation claims involving equestrian competitors.

In the Legal 500 2013 it is said that the firm is "excellent - it has considerable understanding of the sports market in general as well as sailing specifically" and that Richard Butcher "understands the pressure top sports persons are under, and is not only an expert in contracts but also in litigation". It also said that athletics and equestrianism are also strong areas, the latter through Sarah Webb.

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