Senior Commercial Counsel


International Tennis Federation







Practice Area:



United Kingdom


6+ Years PQE

Work city:

Roehampton, South West London




From Playground to Podium: As an organisation the ITF has a significant influence in tennis. We are involved in everything from inspiring grassroots initiatives to elite international competitions and all that falls in between. We have a touchpoint at every stage of a player’s career across all levels and formats of tennis. From grassroots campaigns to the Davis and Billie Jean King Cup podium, the ITF is engaged and committed to delivering tennis for future generations.

ITF Role Overview 

Job Title: Senior Commercial Counsel       

Department: Legal Services, Integrity & Development

Reporting To: Executive Director, Legal Services, Integrity & Development

Location: Roehampton, South West London

International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the world governing body of tennis. Founded in 1913, its purpose is to ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of the sport, delivering tennis for future generations in association with its 210 member nations. The ITF oversees the rules and regulations that govern international and national competition.

The ITF is responsible for the worldwide development of tennis through its highly-regarded Development Programme, its Science and Technical department which monitors equipment and technology, and its Officiating department which oversees the education and advancement of officials. The ITF organises over 1,500 weeks of men’s, women’s and junior tournaments on the ITF World Tennis Tour, and also manages the ITF junior team competitions, ITF Beach Tennis Tour, UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and the ITF Seniors Circuit. The ITF is the owner and rightsholder of the two largest annual international team competitions in tennis, Davis Cup by Rakuten and Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas, and manages the Olympic Tennis Event on behalf of the IOC. The ITF upholds the highest standards of integrity and manages the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme on behalf of the sport and is a partner in the International Tennis Integrity Agency.

Overview of Department:

The Legal Department was established in 2017, and now has four full-time lawyers that advise the ITF on a range of legal issues including sporting regulation and disciplinary matters (including safeguarding), corporate governance and ethics, licensing of commercial rights, data protection and other general legal matters. The department endeavours to provide pragmatic and commercial advice, as well as educate colleagues and improve working practices more generally. The team works closely to apply the right mix of expertise to each issue, as well as ensure back-up cover. External counsel is used where appropriate.

The Role:

We are looking for a Senior Commercial Counsel to lead on all commercial contractual and legal matters and provide advice and guidance to the Directors, Board and other departments.  Responsibilities may also include line management of Commercial Counsel, legal assistance with miscellaneous issues and deputising for the Executive Director, Legal Services as applicable. 

This role reports to the Executive Director, Legal Services, with regular contact with the Chief Operating Officer.


Commercial Legal Function

  • Deliver effective, timely and commercially focused in-house legal advice to support a number of departments across the ITF including, but not limited to: Commercial, Professional Events, Development and Finance
  • Take a lead role in negotiating and drafting commercial agreements pursuant to the ITF’s Contracts Approval Policy including sponsorship and broadcast licences, and supplier and software contracts
  • Manage the ITF Contracts Approval Policy, which guides how the ITF enters contractual arrangements, ensuring a risk-based approach to giving and receipt of legal advice and that appropriate cross-organisational input is obtained
  • Manage the ITF’s intellectual property portfolio strategically, and manage relationship with external legal counsel regarding trademark filings
  • Advise on dispute resolution in relation to commercial matters
  • Assist in the improvement of practices across the ITF.

Corporate Governance and Risk Management

  • Advise the ITF on data protection compliance as it relates to ITF’s contractual relationships, in conjunction with other legal team members
  • Advise the ITF on corporate governance matters, in conjunction with other legal team members
  • Support the Executive Director, Legal Services in relation to external litigation and dispute resolution as required
  • Advise and assist the Executive Director, Legal Services and other ITF Directors (as necessary) on strategic governance and commercial issues.

You will have…

  • An appropriate practising certificate (Law Society/Bar Standards Board) and be a fully qualified lawyer with 6+ PQE
  • Demonstrable understanding of relevant legislation, contract, intellectual property, data protection, corporate governance and competition law and the implications for the ITF
  • Sound understanding and experience of the commercial rights landscape within sport, and the relevant legal issues
  • Proven track record of drafting and interpreting contracts (particularly licensing of rights) and legal documentation, developing and implementing governance strategies, providing advice and guidance
  • Demonstrable experience of implementing innovation and change, and integrating processes
  • Excellent inter-personal and team working skills, with a proven ability to form and work successfully in partnerships both internally and externally
  • Tried and tested problem-solving skills, through excellent attention to detail, a meticulous approach, and an ability to identify root causes of problems and put forward appropriate solutions in a confident and professional manner
  • Leadership and effective line management skills to support the team in achieving the objectives of the department and the organisation
  • Maintain a team culture that is in line with our Values Framework and operate with the highest level of integrity
  • Previous experience in sports governance would be advantageous
  • A foreign language would be advantageous in addition to English (fluent written and spoken)

What we offer….

  • Excellent salary plus discretionary bonus scheme
  • 25 days holiday per annum plus bank holidays
  • Private Healthcare
  • Group personal pension scheme / Life assurance (subject to conditions)
  • Ride2Work (in conjunction with Evans Cycles)
  • Free parking on site
  • 35 hour working week with core hours of 10am-4pm Monday to Friday – flexible start & end times

How to apply

LawInSport Recruitment have been retained as exclusive agents for this position.
All unsolicited, third party introductions will be forwarded directly to our team.

To apply for this position please send your updated CV to or click the apply button at the top of the page. The deadline for applications is the 14th May 2021.

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to respond individually to candidates, therefore only successful candidates will be contacted for an interview.  Please note that interviews may be conducted via video call.

Our offices are set up to be Covid-compliant in accordance with Government guidelines.  A full risk assessment has been carried out and is available on our website. 

This job specification should in no way be deemed a complete and definitive description of the job requirements. Responsibilities may be expanded or reduced at any time as deemed appropriate by management.

Equality, diversity & inclusion (EDI) is a fundamental priority for the ITF. Our philosophy focusses on embedding inclusive behaviours and processes across every element of our business practices.


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