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We have a dedicated cross disciplinary team of Sports lawyers who have a strong track record of providing specialist legal advice to the 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 football, boxing, gymnastics, tennis, athletics, motorsport, cricket, golf and swimming among others.

We act for a number of high-profile clients including British Boxing Board of Control, British Mountaineering Council, British Gymnastics, Sport Wales, Welsh Rugby Union and Football Association of Wales. Our past cases include appeals taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The firm has also advised on cases involving world-renowned organisations such as FIFA and UEFA. The firm’s recent expansion in central London supports our increasing presence across the sports sector nationally.

Our key partners are appointed to prominent non-executive positions, keeping us at the forefront of major sporting developments. For example, Tracey Singlehurst-Ward is a director of British Gymnastics, having previously sat as the Legal and Governance Director on the board of Welsh Gymnastics for eight years. Gwen Morgan-Evans is a director of Wales Netball. Alun Jones (managing partner) is the chairman of Cardiff Rugby and Gareth Williams (consultant) is a director of the England & Wales Cricket Board, having previously served as chairman of Glamorgan Cricket Club between 2018 and 2023.

Key contact

Mark Loosemore is a partner in the corporate/commercial team who specialises in the sport, hospitality & leisure and media & entertainment sectors. He joined Hugh James in July 2023 following the acquisition of Loosemores Solicitors.

Sector experts

Examples of some of our most significant work includes:

  • Advising British Mountaineering Council on various new commercial partner contracts with HotelPlanner, Serious Climbing, Cotswold and La Sportiva.
  • 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, 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 the Football Association of Wales (FAW) on various matters including the successful joint bid with other national associations to host the UEFA European Championships finals tournament for men in 2028.
  • Advising the Welsh Rugby Union on the sale of Dragons RFC to a consortium led by Just Eat founder David Buttress.
  • Advising Cardiff Rugby on the takeover of the company by new owner Helford Capital.
  • Advising leading World Rally Championships driver Elfyn Evans on his new 2-year driver agreement with the Toyota Gazoo team for the 2024 and 2025 seasons and his endorsement agreement with Red Bull.
  • Advising 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 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.
  • Advising Sport Wales on various matters, including a comprehensive review of the governance documentation for six National Governing Bodies (NGBs).

Our work

Organisations and individuals in the sporting sphere need lawyers who understand their game. Our sports specialists are experienced in dealing with high profile matters, often controversial and sensitive in nature, for a range of sporting organisations and individuals. The cross-disciplinary sports team offers a one-stop-shop, advising on a range of matters including:

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Funding and Investments
  • Governance
  • Commercial contracts (including media rights, sponsorship, merchandising, and event staging agreements)
  • Dispute resolution
  • Disciplinary and regulatory hearings
  • Safeguarding
  • Employment (including culture reviews and investigations)
  • Construction
  • Commercial property
  • Data protection
  • Image and other intellectual property rights, management and exploitation
  • Residential conveyancing
  • Private wealth (including wills, powers of attorney, trusts, estates and family)
  • The legal consequences of sporting injuries

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

“We have an excellent working relationship, and this has been so important in negotiating and finalising the various legalities with various stakeholders. We look forward to working with Mark and his team in delivering what will no doubt be a hugely successful Euros for Wales.”

Nick Lewis, Football Association of Wales

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