Sport

As a firm we are passionate about sport. We are widely recognised as the leading sports law firm in Wales and our sport lawyers provide services to individuals and sporting organisations, including major governing bodies.


Services to individuals

We offer a comprehensive service to sportsmen and women, helping them to manage life on and off the field.

We advise on:

  • contracts;
  • disciplinary hearings;
  • the legal consequences of sporting injuries;
  • image rights;
  • asset management;
  • property; and
  • financial services.

Please also see: private client services.

Services to sporting organisations

Sports organisations need lawyers who understand their game. For more than 20 years our sports lawyers have dealt with high profile matters, often controversial and sensitive in nature, for a range of sporting organisation to whom we provide informed and commercially focused advice on:

  • governance issues;
  • commercial and sponsorship rights and agreements;
  • disciplinary and regulatory hearings;
  • property;
  • construction (in particular stadium construction);
  • merchandising and licensing;
  • ambush marketing; and
  • funding.

Experience

Sports individuals

  • numerous former international rugby players on their personal injury insurance claims following forced early retirement;
  • numerous sports personalities on their matrimonial affairs;
  • an Olympic medalist on a contractual dispute with his promotional company;
  • a professional golfer in relation to contractual agreements with a global sports agency;
  • an Olympic medallist on a personal injury matters;
  • a professional golfer on a number of financial investments; and
  • numerous former and current international rugby players at disciplinary hearings.

Sports organisations

Welsh Rugby Union Ltd (WRU) on a range of legal issues including:

  • its joint venture with Compass Group UK & Ireland to create a new hospitality company providing catering, conferencing and hospitality services at the Millennium Stadium.
  • its groundbreaking £30 million agreement relating to the funding and operation of its four rugby regions: the Cardiff Blues, the Llanelli Scarlets, the Newport-Gwent Dragons and the Ospreys;
  • their incorporation as a limited company and transfer of assets to the WRU from the former unincorporated association;
  • governance issues;
  • commercial agreements including sponsorship and broadcasting agreements;
  • disciplinary cases involving high profile international players; and
  • the two million pound Centre of Excellence at the Vale Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort in Hensol.

Millennium Stadium on a broad range of legal issues including:

  • a £50 million facility with Barclays Bank;
  • the construction of the stadium; and
  • a successful case against an organiser of a boxing event at the stadium involving Joe Calzaghe.

British Boxing Board of Control on a range of contractual and disciplinary issues.

Numerous commercial, employment and events contracts including:

  • Ffos Las Limited (part of the Walters Group) in connection with the new racecourse development in Carmarthenshire;
  • Glamorgan County Cricket Club on the construction of the SWALEC Stadium;
  • Numerous sports clubs on their Club Premises Certificates;
  • Cardiff Bay Authority/Cardiff Council on their successful action to protect the sailing club at Llanishen Reservoir;
  • Bay Leisure Ltd on its agreement to run Swansea Leisure Centre and various commercial contracts; and
  • Golf Union of Wales on commercial and corporate matters.

Testimonials

Gareth Williams heads the firm’s sports department and is company secretary of the Welsh Rugby Union. He is particularly active in disciplinary and regulatory matters, and was the lead partner advising the British Boxing Board of Control in proceedings brought by six of its members and the Luxembourg Boxing Federation.

One source said: “He is a very good advocate and is extremely bright. He prepares extremely well but when he delivers it seems likes he’s doing it off the cuff and makes it look easy.
Chambers UK 2014

Hugh James maintains a strong relationship with the WRU, for which Gareth Williams is company secretary. 2012 instructions included contentious IP and commercial matters, as well as advising in relation to the initiative to incorporate rugby clubs across Wales. The firm acted for the British Boxing Board of Control in proceedings brought by Frank Warren and others, relating to the Haye v Chisora fight.
The Legal 500 2013

Hugh James’ prominence in the sports sector is principally due to its long-standing relationship with the Welsh Rugby Union, for whom the group continues to act as principal outside counsel. The team also works with London-based sports marketing agency WSM, as well as the Golf Union of Wales.
Chambers UK 2013

“I’ve really got to go on record to thank…the WRU’s solicitors Hugh James for all they did for me. They left no stone unturned and have really looked after me. I found myself in a difficult position, but I’m just glad it’s all over now and it was just great to be part of the winning team.”
Source: Lee Byrne, quoted in Daily Post North Wales

“I am extremely grateful for the professionalism, expertise and dedication Hugh James demonstrated throughout the negotiation of this historic agreement. Their contribution was instrumental in helping us get the deal over the line. Their guidance throughout the protracted and sometimes difficult negotiations was invaluable and is greatly appreciated by me and the whole of the WRU team.”
Roger Lewis, CEO, Welsh Rugby Union

“We are extremely grateful to Hugh James for the high standard of professional advice we receive from them as it allows us to make robust and measured strategic decisions which benefit the Group and protect the interests of the Millennium Stadium and our national sport.”

Roger Lewis, CEO Welsh Rugby Union

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Our Offices

Cardiff
Hodge House
114 - 116 St. Mary Street
Cardiff, CF10 1DY
Tel: 029 2022 4871
Fax: 029 2038 8222


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London
Temple Chambers
3-7 Temple Avenue
London, EC4Y 0DA
Tel: 020 7936 3453
Fax: 020 7936 3437


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