Coronavirus advice for business
Sport is far from immune from the challenges posed by COVID-19, with all governing bodies, clubs and teams impacted. The ban on mass gatherings prevents the staging of events, but the questions as to what to do, whether to postpone, refund or replace, arise and sound advice is needed on the obligations incumbent on organisers.
People in sport may have different employment status designations to their relationships, but significant care needs to be exercised in making decisions when relationship status can be challenged and give rise to problems. Participation in leagues or events will be governed by rules, and laws will apply, making decisions on cancellation or withdrawal difficult, and potentially actionable.
Ticketing, hospitality, marketing and commercial stakeholder arrangements are all significant commercial arrangements that have multiple difficulties, not to mention multiple interested parties, all seeking reassurance.
Arrangements for staging, participating or withdrawing from sporting competitions planned for later in the year will also need to be reviewed, and advice taken, to safely respond to the challenges faced.
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Key contact - Bruce Caldow
Bruce leads the firm’s sports law practice. In this role Bruce advises the firm’s many sports clients in relation to regulatory, disciplinary and governance matters. Clients include the Scottish Rugby Union, for whom Bruce is the national team's lawyer, sportscotland, Scottish Swimming and Scottish Gymnastics Association.
Scotland's leading team for sports law advice
Name a sport and the chances are that we advise its individual competitors, clubs, governing body – or maybe all three.
Recognised as Scotland’s leading sports law firm for more than 25 years, we advise on every aspect of the law as it relates to the sporting world.
From individual disciplinary matters to multi-million-pound commercial contracts, we offer a complete service – the fact that we were appointed as Official Legal Advisers to both the Glasgow 2018 European Championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games is a testament to that.
Sport is a bigger business than ever before and the issues faced by those operating in the sector are numerous and complex. What happens off the field of play is intrinsically linked to what happens in the arena, in competition and at grassroots.
We share our clients’ passion for sport and work in partnership with them to combine this deep knowledge and understanding with the commercial approach we are renowned for.
Our Sports Law Team brings together a number of dedicated sports law specialists and recognised market leaders, including Scotland's only Eminent Practitioner in Sports Law, Professor Lorne Crerar. This team advises leading sporting competitors and organisations on issues arising at local, national and international levels.
It’s not only high-profile matters, or the ‘Royal Flush of governing bodies’ as Chambers UK described our client list. Our experience spans the full spectrum of sports including football, rugby, skiing, ice hockey, shinty, curling, karate, rowing, gymnastics, netball, swimming, snowsports, triathlon, tennis, wrestling and many more.
“Harper Macleod has long been a trailblazer and it remains the undisputed heavyweight of Scottish sports law." "Exceptional group of lawyers receiving regular instructions from the biggest names in Scottish and international sport." "Handles the full remit of sports law for an impressive client roster of international federations, national governing bodies, tournament organisers, clubs, sporting professionals and sports representatives."
Key sports services
The group provides a complete service and has unrivalled experience in niche areas including:
- Anti-doping policy and regulation
- Broadcasting agreements, both traditional and new media (domestic and overseas)
- Charity law
- Child protection and protection of vulnerable adults (safeguarding in sport)
- Commercial advisory including revenue streams
- Commercial contracts
- Competition and league staging
- Data protection issues in sport including medical records
- Employment law issues
- Image rights
- Immigration issues
- Litigation and dispute resolution (in civil courts & sporting tribunals)
- On- and off-field disciplinary issues
- Player/athlete eligibility
- Property law
- Protection and exploitation of intellectual property rights
- Regulatory governance and constitutional issues
- Representation before sports tribunals, mediation and the Court of Arbitration for Sport
- Reputation management
- Restructuring and mergers of governing bodies
- Sponsorship agreements, partnership agreements and advertising
- Sporting governance
- Sporting integrity
- Ticketing arrangements
- Tournament / event regulation including participation agreements
- Use of trusts, SCIOs, charities and fund-raising in sport