John Mehrzad specialises in commercial, employment and sports law. He is "recognised for his sporting and employment practice that sees him representing senior executives and notable sporting figures in complex issues requiring in-depth industry knowledge. Appears frequently in the High Court and Court of Appeal on business and financial matters in the employment space" (Chambers & Partners, 2017). John was formerly Vice President of a corporate advisory and investment fund and uses his experience in banking/funds, shareholder and partnership disputes. John regularly makes interim applications in his practice areas.
John is one of only three juniors at the Bar of England & Wales who is ranked by Chambers & Partners in both employment and sports law. Recent legal directory comments include:
"Very responsive, efficient and excellent with the law. He's also very strategic and tactical in the way he does things and is a very clear advocate; he's able to explain the law and break down complex issues." (Chambers & Partners, 2017 - employment)
"John Mehrzad is excellent as he's practical, authoritative, confident and very responsive." "He's probably the go-to junior on agents work." (Chambers & Partners, 2017 - sport)
“Very commercial, succinct and straight-talking, as well as being personable and genuine.” (Legal 500, 2016 - sport)
He "runs a very impressive practice which covers commercial, employment and sports law” who "is said to create a great relationship with his clients and his knowledge is really first-rate”(Who’s Who Legal: UK Bar 2016)
"He has a real eye for detail and is always prepared to advise in-depth at short notice." "He is very good at partnership and director disputes." (Chambers & Partners, 2016 - employment)
"He is an extremely impressive junior counsel. He takes time and great care to really understand the client’s business. He's also very accessible during case preparation." (Chambers & Partners, 2016 - sport)
Further legal directory testimonies are found on John's downloadable CV. He has also received numerous awards and appointments in recognition of his professionalism and expertise across all his areas of practice. For details see the Awards and Appointments tabs below.
John is experienced before the Court of Appeal, High Court, Employment Appeal Tribunal, Court of Arbitration for Sport, FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber and Player Status Committee, Premier League Adjudication and Appeal Panels, FA Arbitration Panels, Premier League Managers’ Arbitration Tribunal and RFU Disciplinary and Appeal Panels. He also maintains an Employment Tribunal practice across the UK, including Scotland and Northern Ireland.
John makes interim applications, final appearances and attends mediations on the following commercial issues: shareholder disputes including unfair prejudice petitions or derivative actions; partnership disputes within LLP and Partnership Act contexts; bonus/commission claims; restrictive covenants; fiduciary duties; confidential information; penalty or liquidated damages clauses/claw-backs; agency agreements; freezing or search orders.
Notable cases include:
John appears in multi-day Full Hearings, Preliminary Hearings as well as before the EAT and the Court of Appeal, representing both claimants and respondents in cases involving all aspects of employment law, including unfair dismissal; breach of contract/unauthorised deduction of wages; all forms of discrimination; "whistleblowing”; TUPE; and jurisdictional issues/practice and procedure. He has a particular expertise in City-related disputes with past cases involving Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and other financial institutions or funds.
Recent EAT cases include:
John is Head of Littleton’s Sports Law Group, which he formed in 2012. He was awarded Sports Law Barrister of the Year in 2015 and 2016. He is an independent Anti-Discrimination Panel Chairman for the FA. He is regularly appointed as an FA Rule K Arbitrator and is panellist for Sports Resolutions, the leading independent domestic sports appeals, arbitration and mediation body. He was a selected advocate to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games as well as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games for ad hoc sittings of CAS. He also represents parties in all sporting jurisdictions both nationally and abroad, including the FA, Premier League, RFU, UEFA, FIFA and CAS. He is currently a Director of the British Association of Sport and Law and an Executive Board member of LawInSport.com.
John is experienced in arbitration (both as arbitrator and Counsel) in the sports law and commercial law sphere. In terms of sports law, he has been appointed an FA Rule K Arbitrator on several occasions on a sole basis as well as on a panel, determining contractual disputes usually involving money claims. He has also represented numerous clients (players, agents, clubs) as Counsel (usually on an unled basis and frequently against QCs) in FA arbitrations and also before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In terms of commercial law, prior to pupillage, John worked in the international arbitration department at Gide Loyrette Nouel, Paris, on very high-value arbitrations typically before the ICC.John has also been appointed mediator and represented clients in mediations usually involving cross-over commercial law and employment law issues, often concerning shareholder’s, employee’s and director’s rights.