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We have a formidable reputation as one of the UK’s leading law firms operating in the sport sector. For more than 25 years, the firm has been involved with high profile national work, providing services to individuals and sporting organisations including major governing bodies. We represent a broad and varied client portfolio spanning boxing, gymnastics, rugby, football, athletics, cricket, golf and swimming, among others.

Our key partners are also appointed to prominent non-executive positions, keeping us at the forefront of major sporting developments. For example, Tracey Singlehurst-Ward joined the board of British Gymnastics in March 2022, having previously sat as the Legal and Governance Director on the Board of Welsh Gymnastics for eight years.

In addition, our consultant and former senior partner, Gareth Williams, was appointed to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in May 2023, having previously been the Chair of Glamorgan County Cricket Club from 2018.

Key contact

Gerallt is a partner and head of the corporate and commercial team. Since joining Hugh James in 2005, Gerallt has led the team to be a leading player within the corporate and commercial market, advising clients including the Welsh Government, Princes Gate Water and the Development Bank of Wales. Gerallt also has particular expertise in the sport and food & drink sectors, leading Hugh James’s relationships with clients in these sectors including the Welsh Rugby Union and Braces Bakery.
Gerallt Jones

Gerallt Jones

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Sector experts

Examples of some of our most significant work includes:

  • Advising British Boxing Board of Control on numerous high profile and sensitive issues, including governance, policy development, contractual matters, litigation, doping matters and employment. Most recently, we have advised on the most prominent anti-doping case in recent sporting history, regarding Conor Benn as well as in disciplinary and appeal matters.
  • Following her appointment to the board of British Gymnastics in March 2022, Tracey Singlehurst-Ward has been heavily involved in helping to steer the organisation through the recent Whyte Review, established by UK Sport and Sport England to investigate allegations of historical abuse in the sport. We also advise British Gymnastics on governance and safeguarding matters.
  • Advising long-standing client Run 4 Wales (R4W) on a new partnership agreement with London Marathon Events (LME).
  • Advising Welsh Gymnastics in the Whyte Review, including support through the investigatory stages and advice on complex data protection issues.
  • Advising our longstanding client, the Welsh Rugby Union, on the £20 million refinancing by Welsh Government of the Union’s emergency loan secured in October 2020 and the distribution of these funds to the four professional regions in Wales. We also conducted a comprehensive corporate governance review.
  • Advising Cardiff Rugby region on a wide range of legal issues, including a re-gearing of the occupational lease at its ground. Cardiff Arms Park. We are also the appointed legal advisors and advocates for Cardiff at all World Rugby and Pro 14 League disciplinary hearings.
  • Advising Celtic Manor Resort (one of the leading golf resorts in Europe and a world renowned 5* luxury resort) on a range of HR related issues, including the employment status of golf pros, tribunal claims, GDPR and business immigration matters.
  • Undertaking a comprehensive review on behalf of Sport Wales of the governance documentation for six National Governing Bodies (NGBs), including boxing, canoeing, golf, gymnastics, athletics and swimming.

Our work

Organisations and individuals in the sporting sphere need lawyers who understand their game. For more than 25 years our sports lawyers have dealt with high profile matters, often controversial and sensitive in nature, for a range of sporting organisations and individuals, to whom we provide informed and commercially focused advice on:

  • Governance
  • Contracts, including commercial and sponsorship rights and agreements
  • Disciplinary and regulatory hearings
  • Safeguarding
  • Funding
  • Employment
  • Property
  • Construction
  • Litigation
  • M&A transactions
  • Image and other intellectual property rights, management and exploitation
  • The legal consequences of sporting injuries
  • Data protection

Hugh James has provided an invaluable service to Run 4 Wales over the past decade and its support throughout this project has been vital. The complexities of the transaction required careful navigation and we’re grateful that Hugh James’ expertise facilitated a successful conclusion.

Matt Newman, Chief Executive, Run4Wales

Our partnership with the Hugh James team is a natural fit given their credentials in the sport sector and strong rugby heritage. We are thrilled to have them as part of our team.

Richard Holland, Chief Executive, Cardiff Rugby

Hugh James have acted for us for more than 15 years and have been trusted advisers throughout. They are always knowledgeable, understand the sporting landscape and provide responsive and excellent service which is comparable in quality to city firms.

Robert Smith

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