Chris specialises in both property litigation and the regulatory/disciplinary aspects of sports law.
In sports law Chris has many years of experience in appearing before various tribunals, from small domestic disciplinary hearings to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland as well as in High Court litigation.
Chris is particularly well respected for his work in relation to selection issues and Paralympic classification issues. In respect of both he has drafted, litigated and presented at conferences.
Chris has acted for numerous governing bodies in sports as diverse as football, swimming, diving, cricket, tennis, rugby and boxing and as well as prosecuting (or defending) regulatory and disciplinary matters, Chris has extensive experience of drafting many regulations covering matters such as anti-doping, on field etiquette and selection matters.
Alexander Engelhard is a dispute resolution and commercial lawyer advocating before state courts and arbitral tribunals, especially in the sport, media and entertainment industry. He also acts as arbitrator and mediator. In addition, he advises clients on the drafting of contracts, rules and regulations.
He is a member of various arbitration and sports law-related organisations. He is also a lecturer at the University of Frankfurt for German and international arbitration, as well as on dispute resolution in national and international sport.
JUVE Handbook 2018/2019: highly recommended lawyer for dispute resolution.
- Counsel/ad-hoc clerk in more than 80 national and international arbitrations, e.g. before the ICC Court of Arbitration, German Institution of Arbitration (DIS/DIS-Sport), Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT), and others.
- Counsel in disciplinary and financial disputes before judicial organs of sport governing bodies, incl. FIFA DRC, FIFA PSC, FIFA Ethics Committee, UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body, UEFA Appeals Body.
- In 2020, serving as arbitrator in high-stakes arbitration between a professional football club and the German Football Association (DFB) over the continuation of the league during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Member of the Sport Resolutions' Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators.
- Acting legal advisor of the EuroLeague Players Association (ELPA).
- Advised international and national governing bodies (incl. IOC, FIBA, FIVB, ISSF, AFFA, CPB) as well as sports clubs (e.g. from the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, Turkish Süper Lig, Greek Super League) on regulatory, labour and financial issues.
- Counsel for national and international athletes, coaches and agents
He acts for clients in the sports sector across a broad range of issues, from contractual matters to questions of public law. He also specialises in conduct, disciplinary and regulatory work, advising on non-contentious issues such as the drafting of regulations and procedures, as well as acting on contentious disciplinary matters (including cases related to betting and integrity). He is experienced in advisory work and has extensive knowledge of regulatory structures in football.
Alastair regularly appears as advocate in his matters, utilising his in-depth knowledge and skills as a communicator to deliver successful outcomes before disciplinary panels and tribunals. His style has been described by clients as “clear and persuasive” and “concise but hard hitting”.
Prior to joining Level, Alastair was a senior associate in the arbitration department of a magic circle firm. As well as sports work, he has previously advised on a wide range of commercial and investment treaty disputes in diverse industries including energy, pharmaceuticals and insurance.
Stephen Townley is a lawyer, businessman and seasoned ADR professional with extensive expertise resolving high-value legal and business disputes in Asia, the Middle East and North America. Mr. Townley’s diverse litigation and transactional background includes the founding of Townleys, the first and largest international sports law and media boutique outside the United States, in 1983. It merged in 2001 with global 100 law firm Hammonds (now Squire Patton Boggs), where Mr. Townley served as head of international. Mr. Townley also served as general counsel and foreign law consultant for a number of firms.
Mr. Townley is an arbitrator and mediator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport and a mediator for the World Intellectual Property Organization. He is known for his ability to de-escalate existing disputes and overcome obstacles to settlement by leveraging his extensive legal, investigatory, business and technology skills in situations of conflict.
Mr. Townley is recognized as a trailblazer in sports and media rights. He worked on the legal structures and agreements for the first commercial programs for FIFA, UEFA, the IAAF and the IOC. He was involved in the creation of the Rugby World Cup, Cricket World Cup, World Games and European Rugby Champions Cup. He delivered groundbreaking commercial tour programs with artists like the Rolling Stones and David Bowie. In film, he established a legal right for directors in the production of music videos, pioneered in Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film” music video.
Mr. Townley has been a founder, board member and investor, operating at a senior level in commercial organizations, governments and sports federations. He set up and invested in NetResult, a technology and artificial intelligence service provider specializing in protecting proprietary content, which was acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2013. He was a director of World Sport Football Ltd., the largest football rights owner in Asia, holding the Asian Football Confederation rights. This business was acquired as part of a transaction with Lagardère Sports and Entertainment in 2008. Since 1998, he has chaired Active Rights Management Ltd., a consultancy that provides advice to clients during periods of change and stress.
As a strategic adviser, Mr. Townley has chaired Synchro Arts, an international market leader in software production for music editing and recording, which in 2018 was honored with a National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Technical Emmy. He has advised law firms, charities, sports agencies and national and international sports federations. A champion of progress and innovation, he is the founder of LawAccord and was involved in the creation of the SportAccord Conference, two significant developments in the international sports marketplace.
Michael Beloff KC has appeared in international commercial arbitrations (in London, Brussels, Geneva and Monte Carlo), and sat as a commercial arbitrator under the auspices of the ICC, LCIA, SIAC and Geneva Chamber of Commerce, as well as an ad hoc arbitrator.
He has given expert evidence on English law and practice for the purpose of proceedings in various states in the USA, in the Irish Republic, in the Republic of South Africa, France, Norway and Switzerland.
He has carried out inquiries for Oxford University into alleged plagiarism, for two television companies, Channel 4 and Carlton, into the making of two controversial broadcasts, and for the Rugby Football Union into alleged racism.
He has been identified in various legal publications as a leading figure in the fields of public, local government, commercial, defamation, insurance, arbitration, civil liberties, agricultural, EU, sport, human rights, environmental, education, immigration and employment law.
He has written a standard commentary on the Sex Discrimination Act 1976 and Sports Law (2nd ed 2012). He was a consultant editor (with Lord Woolf) for the journal Judicial Review (1996 – 2015) and has been the first and only editor of Sweet and Maxwell’s International Sports Law Review (2000 - present). He has also contributed to Halsbury’s Laws on Time and Sport and Atkin’s Court Forms on Sport.
A Recorder of the Crown Court (1984-95)
A Master of the Bench of Gray's Inn (1988)
Treasurer of Gray’s Inn (2008)
A Deputy High Court Judge (designated to sit in the Crown Office list) (1989 - 1996)
Member of the Data Protection(National Security)Tribunal - (later renamed a Judge of the Upper Tribunal 2000 - 2012)
A Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey (1995 – 2014)
Senior Ordinary Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey (2005 - 2014)
Commissioner of the Royal Court of Jersey 2014-2018
First Chairman of the Administrative Law Bar Association from 1986 – 1989 (since then Vice-President and Chairman emeritus)
President of the British Association of Sport and Law (2005 – 2013)
Joint head of Chambers at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square (1992-2000), before moving back to Blackstone Chambers, his original set (then 2 Hare Court) in 2000.
A Member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport ("CAS") (1996 – present) during which time he has been party to more than 175 awards.
As a member of ad hoc panels of CAS, he has been an arbitrator at 5 summer Olympic Games - Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing, Rio and 3 Commonwealth Games, Kuala Lumpur, Manchester, Melbourne
Deputy Chairman of the Information (National Security) Tribunal (1997 - 2012) (renamed from 2010 Judge of the Upper Tribunal)
A Steward of the Royal Automobile Club (1999 – 2018) and a Vice-President 2018-
Ethics Commissioner for London (2012) successful bid to host the summer Olympic Games
Chairman of the International Cricket Council’s Code of Conduct Commission (2002 – present) and of the ICC Dispute Resolution committee (2015 - present)
A Judge of the FIA’s International Court of Appeal (2010 - 2017)
Member of the three-person European Golf Tour Anti-Doping Appeal Panel (2012)
Chairman of the International Association of Athletics Federation’s Ethics Commission (the world governing body for athletics) (2013 - 2020)
First Chairman of the IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal (2017 - 2019)
Member of the Anti-Doping Appeal Panels of Mixed Martial Arts and Ironman (2016)
Chair of the Ethics Commission of the International Ski Federation 2022-
Foreign Consultant to the Law Counsel, Dacca, Bangladesh
Member of the International Panel of the Singapore Mediation Centre