2014 update from the British Association for Sports Law

Published 10 November 2014 | Authored by: Catherine Forshaw

In this blog, Catherine Foreshaw, the administrator for British Association for Sport and Law (BASL), details the events that have been run for the BASL members throughout 2014.

In 2014, BASL have run an extended programme of sports law events being held.

February

February saw BASL support an initiative by LawInSport, ‘How to become a sports lawyer’ at Charles Russell’s offices in Fleet Place. The event consisted of a panel discussion led by LawInSport’s CEO Sean Cottrell featuring BASL’s own; Jason Saiban, former Head of Sport at Charles Russel, Andy Gray, Head of Sport at BHW Solicitors and Jane Mulcahy QC of Blackstone Chambers and Andrew Ryan, Head of Legal at Perform Group. The discussion proved appealing to a diverse spectrum of attendees as it provided first hand insight to those eager to break into the sports law profession whether already in practice or still in education. 

April

BASL took to the road in April and hosted a BASL Mini-conference in Leeds and the Commonwealth Sport & Law Conference in Glasgow in partnership with the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (“CLA”) and Glasgow 2014.

The Commonwealth Conference tackled some of the most pressing issues affecting regulation and governance in sport across the Commonwealth and beyond. Some of the world’s leading experts and prominent figures from governing bodies, law and the media debated a wide range of topics including: lessons learned from London 2012, anti-doping policies and procedures, sponsorship and broadcasting, ambush marketing in sport, issues of misconduct and dispute resolution and arbitration in sport. 

The Leeds Conference similarly covered a wide ambit of topics including paying homage to Hillsborough 25 years on, as well as examining equality, diversity in Rugby and Football as well as discussing racism in sport in relation to how far it is protected under the umbrella of freedom of speech.

May

May, saw BASL host the 6th Annual Grayson Debate, an event which pays homage to the memory of BASL’s founding President, Edward Grayson, a pioneer of sports law who sadly passed away in 2008. This years Debate “Can you fix the World Cup final? Contrasting perspectives on match fixing in football” opened with BASL President Mel Goldberg reliving his involvement in “R v Grobbelaar - The football trial of the Century”. The debate itself was mediated by BASL’s Dan Saoul (Barrister) who oversaw the battle of conflicting opinions between former Chelsea and England footballer Graeme Le Saux, Jim Sturman QC, Wil van Megan, the Chief Legal Counsel for FIFPro. 

Under the beating July sun and with World Cup fever in full swing BASL took to the outdoors thanks to Blackstone Chambers and their fantastic terrace and held the annual summer drinks reception. This year’s event strayed away from the norm and took on a Brazilian feel with a BBQ and the World Cup semi-finals being shown.

October

As summer drew to a close BASL’s events calendar heated up…

Thursday 2nd October saw BASL’s Annual Conference take up residence at Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge, London. This years Annual Conference was led by keynote speakers Stuart Lancaster (England Rugby Head Coach) and Marc Watson (Former Managing Director of BT Sport). Further speakers include: Ashling O’Connor a Principal at The Inzito Partnership, Sam Rush the President of Derby County Football Club, Simon Drake from UEFA and Richard Verow from BSkyB amongst others. 

The Conference was worth CPD 6 hours under the Solicitors Regulatory Authority Accreditation and CPD 5 hours under the Bar Standards Board Accreditation. 

The Conference explored a diverse spectrum of topics including:

  • ‘Bidding Processes for Major Events’
  • ‘Financial Fair Play’
  • ‘What is the Future for the Value of Sports Broadcast Rights?’ and a series of hot topic sessions, one of which will focus upon concussion in sport.

November

Once again BASL took to the road this month in partnership with ‘De Montfort University’ to host ‘Contemporary Issues in Sports Law and Practice 2014’; a half day mini conference which explored topics in this rapidly changing arena. The conference took place from 1 - 4.30pm on Friday, November 7th 2014 at Hugh Aston building, De Montfort Law School, Leicester.


BASL is always looking to the future and ways to develop in order to enhance the benefits bestowed to members. As a result the Board is currently undertaking measures to implement a new Annual Journal which will replace the tri-annual journal of previous years. The new look journal will be of a Yearbook nature and will consist of a summarised analysis of the annual developments of sport and law within the UK and beyond. Along with an overview of BASL’s own annual developments. The first issue is set to review BASL’s history from its creation to the present day.

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About the Author

Catherine Forshaw

Catherine Forshaw

Catherine Forshaw is a sport obsessed, hockey playing, lawyer in training. Who, having recently completed her LPC and LLM, specialising in intellectual property rights in sport has undertaken the role of Executive Coordinator for BASL.

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