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Tiran Gunawardena

I am an experienced regulatory sports lawyer, working as a Senior Associate in Media, Entertainment & Sports Group at Bird & Bird in London.

Having trained and qualified as a lawyer in Australia, I began my sports law career in 2014 with a highly respected sports law firm in the UK, where I spent almost 8 years prior to joining Bird & Bird in 2022.

I have acted for numerous athletes, clubs, agents and directors in disputes heard before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), FIFA Football Tribunal, UEFA Disciplinary Committee, FA Regulatory Commissions, and other tribunals. I have also served as an ad-hoc clerk on numerous matters before the CAS, including in cases involving UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, anti-doping and the retrospective disqualification of Olympic Games' results due to failed doping tests. As a result, I have significant experience in international sports regulatory / arbitration matters, and specifically in proceedings before the CAS.

I have advised clients on matters in tennis, golf, sailing, boxing, rugby league and cycling, but I specialise in football having advised numerous football players, clubs, agents and players' unions worldwide on a variety of legal issues. I have advised parties in dozens of international and domestic football transfers, and I am the co-author of a chapter (about the rules in England) in the sports law practitioners' textbook, 'Transfers of Football Players: A practical approach to implementing FIFA rules' (International Sports Law and Policy Bulletin 1/2020).

I am experienced in betting/match fixing matters, having acted for both individuals defending such charges, and sports governing bodies prosecuting such matters. I have also acted on ethics / corruption related matters involving high profile directors of sports world governing bodies, having defended complaints filed before an Ethics Commission and acted as an ad-hoc clerk in a 'FIFA-Gate' case before the CAS.

Aside from acting as legal counsel for parties, I also have experience acting as an arbitrator in sports disputes. I am a member of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Arbitral Board and Disciplinary Commission and have been a member of the England Boxing Disciplinary Panel since 2017.

I am a qualified solicitor in New South Wales (Australia) and I am also dual qualified as a Chartered Accountant, which allows me to provide a unique insight to clients on financial matters in sport. I also hold a Master of International Sports Law (LLM) from ISDE (Madrid, Spain). Prior to working in sports law, I spent almost 4 years working in the Corporate Tax / M&A team at PwC (Sydney, Australia).

SLAM 2023 Judge - Advocate