Ian Mill QC

Ian Mill QC

Ian is rated as a leading silk for sports disputes by both Chambers UK and The Legal 500. He has specialist knowledge of a wide range of sporting issues, having acted for many individuals, teams, organisers, managers, governing bodies and sports broadcasters.

He has particular knowledge in the fields of: Rugby, Football, Boxing, Motor Sport, Cricket, Horse Racing, Athletics and Cycling.

His clients have included: The International Rugby Board (IRB), The Rugby Football Union (RFU), Joel Stransky, Kevin Yates; The FA Premier League (FAPL), The Football Association (FA), Queen’s Park Rangers FC, Chelsea F.C, Newcastle F.C., Everton F.C., West Ham United FC, Portsmouth FC, Sheffield United FC, Burnley FC, Heart of Midlothian FC, David Beckham, Patrick Viera, Steve McManaman, Dennis Roach; Joe Calzaghe, Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno, Mike Tyson, Terry Lawless, Mickey Duff; Formula One McLaren (and Daimler Chrysler), Formula One Williams (and BMW), Lotus Renault, Honda F1, Renault, Toyota, Spyker F1, Grands Prix Manufacturers Association (GPMA), Heinz Harald Frentzen, Jenson Button’s management; The International Cricket Council (ICC), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB); The Racecourse Association (RCA); Christina Ohuruogo; Union Cycliste Internationale.

As well as acting for parties, Ian has established himself as an experienced decision-maker in sporting disputes. Since UK Athletics appointed him to sit as Chairman of its Disciplinary Committee to hear the so-called “nandrolone” doping cases involving 6 athletics (including Linford Christie, Dougie Walker and Mark Richardson) shortly after he took silk, he has developed a reputation for decision making across a wide range of sports and in a wide variety of contexts (including both disciplinary processes and contractual disputes). For example, the FA has appointed him to chair a number of appeals from FA Disciplinary Commissions (including the unsuccessful appeal by Rio Ferdinand against his suspension from football of 8 months); he has been appointed an FA Premier League Panel Member, a Chairman of the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel of Arbitrators, Chairman of an International Cricket Council Tribunal and of several ECB Child Protection Appeal Panels, Chairman of several International Tennis Federation Anti-Doping Tribunals (including the recent Tribunal which heard the case against the US tennis player, Robert Kendrick), a Football Association Arbitrator, a Football League Arbitrator, an RFU Disciplinary Appeal Chairman and an Appeal Steward of the British Boxing Board of Control. In September 2010, he was appointed by the World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association to hear its disciplinary proceedings against the snooker player, John Higgins. He was one of the arbitral panel that allowed London Welsh RFC’s appeal against the refusal of the RFU to allow its elevation to the Premiership.

Ian was appointed to the Sports Advocacy Section of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Pro Bono Legal Advice and Representation Service.

He is also a consulting editor of the International Sports Law Review and the co-author of the Arbitration chapter in Sports Law (Lewis & Taylor, 2nd Edition).

Current and recent work

Re UCIIC

Acting for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in relation to the Independent Commission of Enquiry which it set up to investigate allegations of complicity by UCI in the doping activities of Lance Armstrong and the US Postal cycling team.

ECB v Kaneria
Acting for the ECB in its successful prosecution of the Pakistani spinner, Danesh Kaneria, over allegations of involvement in spot fixing. Kaneria received a life ban in July 2012. His appeal against this decision is due to take place in April 2013.

Leyton Orient v FAPL
Acting for the Premier League in an arbitration over whether it validly granted its consent to West Ham to move its ground from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium.

IWF v Lapikov
Acted for the appellant weightlifter in his appeal to CAS in May 2012 against the imposition of a 4 year drug related ban. Ban reduced on appeal to 2 years.

Rugby Football Union v Viagogo [2011] EWCA Civ 1585; [2012] SLR 31
Acted for the Claimant in the Court of Appeal in December 2011, successfully resisting the Defendant’s appeal against an Order for Norwich Pharmacal relief relating to the sale of tickets for international matches at Twickenham.

ITF v Kendrick
Appointed by the ITF to chair the disciplinary proceedings against the US tennis player, Richard Kendrick following the doping offence committed by him.

Acted as the chair of an FA Rule K arbitrated dispute between a Premier League footballer and his manager.

Acted successfully for the Premier League in an FAPL Rule S arbitration brought by a former Premiership football club manager who claimed to be a “Football Creditor” under the Premier League Rules.

FA v QPR
Acted for QPR in defence of seven charges brought against it alleging breaches of (in particular) the Third Party Investment in Players Regulations. QPR successfully resisted five of the seven charges, and the threat of a points deduction was avoided, thus enabling the club to be promoted to the Premier League as winners of the Championship.

WPBSA v Higgins
Appointed by Sports Resolutions on behalf of the WPBSA to hear, in September 2010, the disciplinary proceedings against John Higgins and his former manager alleging their agreement to participating in match fixing.

Fulham FC v FA Premier League & Anor
Acting for FAPL in defence of an unfair prejudice petition brought by Fulham FC. Successful application to Vos J in November 2010 for an order staying the proceedings under the Arbitration Act. Fulham’s appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed in July 2011. Fulham’s petition to the Supreme Court was dismissed in February 2012.

Proactive Sports Management v Rooney [2011] SLR 36, [2010] EWHC 1807 (QB)
Acting for the Claimant, the former agent of Wayne Rooney, in a claim against Mr Rooney’s company for unpaid commissions. Trial in February in the Mercantile Court in Manchester. The Claimant was successful in its restitutionary claim but failed to recover in contract. The Claimant’s appeal to the Court of Appeal was allowed in part. Case remitted to the Mercantile Court.

 

Other cases

Sports Network v Calzaghe [2009] ISLR 43
Successfully acted for the Defendant, the reigning World Super Middleweight boxing champion, in a dispute with his former promoter, Frank Warren. Principal issue relates to whether an alleged oral agreement was made for Mr Warren’s company, Sports Network, to have the right to continue to promote Mr Calzaghe’s fights. Judgment in favour of Mr Calzaghe following High Court trial in February 2009. The Plaintiff’s application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal was subsequently dismissed. Mr Calzaghe is now pursuing his claim against Mr Warren personally. Trial fixed for February 2011. Mr Calzaghe successfully applied to Jack J in January 2010 for an order preventing Mr Warren from seeking to re-litigate issues which were decided against Sports Network in the previous trial. Mr Warren's appeal against that ruling was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in November 2010.

Sheffield United FC v West Ham United FC [2009] ISLR 25
Acted for the Claimant in an arbitration under FA Rule K, seeking damages from the Defendant as a result of alleged breaches by the Defendant of its agreement with the Claimant (such agreement being constituted by the FAPL Rules governing their membership of the Premiership). Following a hearing before Lord Griffiths, Sir Anthony Colman and Robert Englehart QC in June 2008, an award was made in favour of Sheffield. Quantum hearing fixed for March 2009. Successfully applied to the Commercial Court (Teare J) in November 2008 for an interim injunction restraining West Ham from seeking to appeal the arbitration award to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. Also successfully opposed (at the same hearing) West Ham’s application to set aside that award under Section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996. A hearing to assess quantum was due to begin on 16 March 2009, but settled immediately beforehand.

Re Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Acted for McLaren, the Formula 1 team, throughout the 2007 F1 season and into 2008: (1) advising it in relation to a large number of issues including: (a) charges brought against it by the sports governing body, the FIA; (b) the consequences of the receipt of confidential information belonging to another F1 team, Ferrari; (c) its contractual relations with the recipient of that information, its Chief Designer (Mr Michael Coughlan) and with one of its drivers, Fernando Alonso; and (d) issues arising out of incidents at three of this year’s Grands Prix (Monaco, Hungary and Brazil); and (2) acting for it in relation to, and representing it at hearings which took place before the World Motor Sport Council in July and September 2007, before the FIA International Court of Appeal in November 2007 and before the World Motor Sport Council in December 2007.

Sheffield United FC v FA Premier League (2007) [2007] ISLR 77
Acted for the Claimant in an arbitration under FAPL Rule S and subsequently in an application to the Commercial Court for permission to appeal. Claim related to the failure of an FAPL Disciplinary Panel to deduct points from West Ham for its admitted breaches of FAPL Rules (which resulted in the Claimant, as opposed to West Ham being relegated from the Premiership). Important case which established the possibility of a third party challenging a decision of a sports body to which it was not a party.

Re Christine Ohuruogu (2006-2007)
Acted for the winner of the 2007 World Athletics Championship at 400m in her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a two year ban imposed upon her by a UK Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal in September 2006. Hearing took place in January 2007. Also acted for her in her appeal against a lifetime ban by the British Olympic Association in November 2007.

Chelsea FC v Adrian Mutu [2007] ISLR 32
Acted for the Claimant against its former player, whom it dismissed for taking cocaine. The Claimant was bringing an unprecedented claim to recover from the player compensation for the loss of his transfer value. Succeeded before the Football Association Premier League Appeals Committee following a hearing in March 2005. The player’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Sport in October 2005 was dismissed.

Re The Indianapolis Grand Prix
Acted on behalf of 6 F1 teams at a hearing before the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in Paris in July 2005, following the failure of those teams to participate in the 2005 US GP due to unsafe tyres.


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