Sports, Gaming and Licensing

Sports, Gaming and Licensing

Expertise at One Essex Court covers a wide range of sports and their applicable rules, laws and regulations as well as the functions of related tribunals and disciplinary and governing bodies.  Members act for and advise a broad spectrum of associations, affiliates, clubs, teams, competitors, societies, players, agents, promoters and sponsors.

As well as commercial disputes, we are also able to field specialist expertise in related areas such Intellectual Property, Employment and Competition law.

Notable cases include Force India Formula 1 Team v Rodriguez for the sponsor in a sponsorship dispute involving one of the F1 racing teams; appearing before a Rugby World Cup disciplinary tribunal on behalf of South Africa flanker, Schalk Burger and reducing his four-match ban to just two games after appealing against the original decision; in Fulham FC v Richards a dispute arising out of the transfer of Peter Crouch to Tottenham Hotspur FC; and in International Wheelchair Basketball Federation v UK Anti-doping & Simon Gibbs in the IWBF’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which was described by the CAS as a "frontal assault" on anti-doping rules in reliance on EU, competition and domestic public law.

In addition to representing clients before a range of courts and tribunals, members have accepted appointments to adjudicate on disputes before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Football Association Premier League Disciplinary Panel and a number of ad hoc tribunals set up around major sporting events.

Barristers at One Essex Court also have experience of e-commerce internet gambling in the UK and offshore, liquor licensing, regulated entertainment and gambling law, lotteries and prize competitions.  We represent and advise many of the major leisure and gambling operators, retail liquor outlets, outdoor festival promoters, the Gambling Commission, television companies, and licensing authorities.

Involvements for barristers here in this field include successfully resisting a judicial review brought by Camelot, challenging the Gambling Commission’s decision to licence the Health Lottery under the Gambling Act 2005, Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd v The Gambling Commission, The Health Lottery Elm Ltd & Ors. [2012] EWHC 2391 (Admin); and in Greene King v The Gambling Commission [GA/2014/0001/2] where the First-Tier Tribunal gave judgment on Greene King’s appeal against the Gambling Commission’s refusal to grant it bingo operating licences. The Judge allowed the appeal and remitted the applications to the Gambling Commission with a direction that the applications be allowed.

A team from One Essex Court was also successful in defending a claim for £10s of millions of damages for alleged loss of profits relating to a software development and licensing agreement for an online betting exchange in MatchBet v Openbet [2013] EWHC 3067.