“Littleton Chambers has a particular strength at the interface of sports and employment law”
(Legal 500 2020)
“Its top-ranking barristers regularly pick up a respectable share of the high-valued contractual disputes which inevitably arise”
“A great Set for Sports work”
(Legal 500 2019)
Littleton is ranked by both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 for sports law with several members individually ranked by those legal directories. The Littleton Sports Law Group has been noted in legal directories as having, amongst other remarks, “great strength in depth” and being “the go-to set” for employment-related sporting matters.
The Sports Group’s expertise is spread across different sports and issues. On the one hand, its specialises in financial disputes between clubs, players, agent/intermediaries and commercial partners. On the other hand, it also specialises in regulatory issues including equalities and discrimination, governance, safeguarding, selection, classification, funding and anti-doping. Littleton is also the leading set in carrying out independent reviews in sport, including British Cycling, British Equestrian Federation, UK Athletics and the Professional Footballers’ Association.
In terms of specific sports, Littleton members have appeared in cases concerning football, rugby (league and union), Formula 1, cycling, golf, boxing, horse-racing, skiing, swimming, athletics, darts and the full range of Olympic
and Paralympic Sports.
Recent instructions have involved, amongst others, the following football clubs – Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle, Sunderland, QPR, West Ham, Wigan, Leeds, Cardiff, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday.
In terms of players and managers, amongst others, Antonio Conte, Javi Gracia, Steve Bruce, Malkay Mackay, Gus Poyet, Paolo DiCanio, Rafa Benitez, Mark Hughes, Steve Kean, Neil Warnock, Dave Jones, Paul Hart, and Ian Dowie. Littleton was also instructed in the F1 “spy-gate” dispute and advised in relation to the Pakistan “spot-fixing” scandal.
As to jurisdictions, members appear before civil courts and arbitral tribunals as well as before sport-specific forum, including the FA, Premier League, RFU, UK Anti-Doping, UEFA, FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Members can also advise in French, Italian and Japanese.
Members have also been appointed advocates to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games as well as the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. We are also panellists for Sport Resolutions, the leading domestic appeals and arbitration service for 52 national sporting bodies. Members of chambers also sit as arbitrators or appeal panellists for different sporting bodies, including the FA, EFL and the CAS.
Finally, Littleton’s Sports Law Group is at the forefront of progression at the Bar. Members regularly share insights via social media, podcasts and videos. The Group also runs the ‘Inspire Sports Law’ initiative offering work placements and mentoring to athletes transitioning away from sporting careers and those from under-represented background at the Bar.