Steve Bainbridge

Head of the Sports & Events Management Sector, and Head of the Expo 2020 Sector, Al Tamimi & Company


Steve Bainbridge is Head of the Sports & Events Management Sector, and Head of the Expo 2020 Sector, at Al Tamimi & Company.

Steve has experience advising on a wide array of transactions underpinning the sports sector from sponsorship deals to athlete endorsement agreements; anti-ambush marketing strategies; player contracts; broadcasting, merchandising and licensing agreements; disciplinary issues; and varied sports-specific venue management arrangements. His practice includes key advisory roles representing foreign law firms, individuals, corporate entities, governing bodies and institutions on matters spanning motorsports, horseracing, triathlons, MMA, cycling, golf, tennis, cricket, rugby and football amongst others.

With significant top-tier law firm experience in both North America and the Far East before coming to the Middle East, Steve notably spent a number of years at one of the largest law firms in Tokyo representing clients advising on broadcast rights and entertainment contracts in connection with events including FIFA World Cups and X-Games, PGA tour sponsorships, videogame licensing, stadium naming rights and athlete endorsement deals.

Prior to joining Al Tamimi & Company, Steve was General Counsel at Yas Marina Circuit managing the central legal function of the iconic F1 circuit, overseeing all legal issues from F1 rights through sponsorship, broadcasting and venue contracts, managing litigation and supervising secondees and outside counsel as well as advising the CEO and the Board on risk and strategy.

Steve has been an adjunct professor at St John’s University, lecturing in the International Sports Law LLM, and at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law (Japan Campus).  He was recently appointed to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Council as a member of the inaugural IAAF disciplinary tribunal.

Recent experience includes:

  • Dubai Tour & Abu Dhabi Tour UCI Cycling events: Retained by RCS Sports and Events DMCC (exclusive event development and management appointee to each of the Dubai Sports Council and the Abu Dhabi Sport’s Council, respectively) to provide full legal support including sponsorship, HSE, event ambassador agreements, broadcast arrangements, etc., in respect of all elements of the professional stage-based road races.

  • European Challenge Tour Event: Advising Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority on commercial and licensing matters relating to the inaugural European Challenge Tour event hosted by the Al Hamra Golf Club in 2016.

  • Saudi Arabian General Authority of Sports: Retained by this KSA governmental entity to undertake a review of sports club regulations and to provide advice on drafting and implementing certain new regulations.

  • Formula One™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Advising Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management LLC in respect of the annual F1 event as well as on a range of events and initiatives held at the facility including triathlons, walkathons, 10km runs and motorsports endurance races, drag events, Formula Drift competitions and various auto manufacturer product launches and bespoke recreation packages.

  • Retired Legends T-20 Cricket Tournament: Retained by rights-holder to provide legal support in connection with the first ever retired international legends T-20 tournament held in Sharjah and Dubai in 2016, advising on player auction processes, franchising structure, governance, match-fixing protections, and negotiations with the Emirates Cricket Board on licensing matters.


  • Tel: +971 4 364 1720
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