Sam’s high-level personal sporting experience has given him invaluable understanding of Sport law from the client’s perspective. Listed by Legal 500 as a leader in the field of Sports Law, where he is described as “a go-to sports lawyer”, “from start to finish, the complete package”, and having “A very grounded understanding of the sports world which he applies to his very knowledgeable practice”. Himself a former boxer, Sam was for many years Legal Adviser to the Amateur Boxing Association of England. Sam has a special expertise in Formula 1 and Boxing matters, where Sam has extensive experience of both licensing and contractual matters.
Currently counsel of choice to one leading Formula 1 racing team, and having represented other F1 teams both as claimants and defendants, Sam’s enviable experience over many years in dealing with Formula 1 disputes include engineering and design confidential information, and the contractual implications of movement of individuals between teams. Sam’s boxing clients have included former England boxing Olympic Gold medalist and world champion James de Gale, and boxing promoter Chris Sanegar in his dispute with European Champion Dean Francis.
Elsewhere within Sport, Sam is regularly instructed by top-level players, coaches, agents, promoters, managers, clubs and sporting bodies on issues ranging from misconduct hearings in international ice hockey to professional golf sponsorship disputes, and from football transfer negotiations to the entitlement of a jockey to ride in the Agra Diamond Stakes at Royal Ascot. Himself a former member of Bristol City’s youth squad, Sam has represented Premiership and Championship football clubs, and in Rinaldi v Rugby Football League, Sam was instructed in a European discrimination law test case on the legality of the RFL’s overseas players quota system. Most of Sam’s work in this area is highly confidential but recent example cases of note include:
- Collinge v Watford Football Club Ltd (2018): high profile discrimination claim brought by the club’s former Head of Medical;
- Turn One SA v Lotus F1 Team Ltd (2015): high profile dispute with the Lotus Formula 1 team in a complex and wide-ranging case involving IP rights to the Lotus website, defamation and breaches of contract.
- Axon & Ors v Caterham Sports Limited (in administration) (2014): high profile and complex class action by 38 former employees of Formula 1 team Caterham following their summary dismissals.
- Legion Concierge (UK) Ltd v Con Questa BV (2014): A complex dispute surrounding alleged illegal ticketing practices for the 2013 Paris Open Tennis at Roland Garosse and the 2012 European Football Championships in Ukraine.