Sports law is a complex field. If you’re an athlete, a coach, the CEO or on the board or executive committee of a sporting organisation, a member of a sporting club or the parent concerned about any sporting or associated issue, you may need specialised legal advice. This includes legal advice to help you navigate a vast array of issues relating to sport such as contract disputes, disciplinary issues, regulations and by-laws.
A law firm with specialist knowledge and expertise in providing sports legal advice can help you sort through sports-specific issues. This niche area requires the right level of knowledge and experience.
In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a sports lawyer, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great sports lawyer?
Choosing a specialised lawyer who truly understands sport as a specialised sector can help manage stress levels over legal matters relating to the industry. It can also help you get practical advice and point you towards the right solution, whether your issue relates to local and grassroots sport, national sport or international sport.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a sports lawyer.
- Specialised knowledge. You’ll want a lawyer who has specialised knowledge about the way sports operate, inside Australia and perhaps even internationally. This is because sports is a unique sector with its own body of law and its own unique challenges. It also operates in a fast-paced environment. Test if the firm your dealing with has dedicated sports law specialists.
- Proven track record. Ask your lawyer about their track record in the specific area of sport concerning you to ensure they’ve managed similar cases. Ask about the context you’re operating in, such as disputes, hearings, appeals, anti-doping, member protection, non-selection, contracts, defamation, discrimination and negotiation.
- Availability. Depending on your issue, you may need a lawyer who can provide legal support on an urgent basis. If this is the case, ask about the firm’s availability to begin work right away.
- Passion about sport. It helps to have a sports lawyer who is passionate about sport and who understands your passion too. This shared passion will enhance communications between you and your lawyer.
- Check fees and retainer. Don’t be shy about asking for details on the lawyer’s fees, to make sure they fit within your budget. Always ensure you read the retainer your lawyer provides to avoid surprises throughout your legal matter.
The best sports lawyers in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Snedden Hall & Gallop is passionate about sport and the firm’s sports law team understand the legal needs of sporting organisations, athletes, members of sporting teams, clubs and other participants within the industry. The team, led by sports law specialist, Allistar Twigg, has a comprehensive understanding of the application of law and business and sporting experience.
The firm covers all sports law, with particular expertise in governance, internal sporting organisation relationships, disciplinary and tribunal matters, the new National Sports Tribunal, member protection, equality and integrity issues. Whether operating at local or elite level, Snedden Hall & Gallop understands the unique complexities faced by sporting organisations and helps clients nativate industry-related matters.
Snedden Hall & Gallop also has expertise in sports integrity, providing advice in this complicated field.
As Alayna Sixsmith happily reviewed on Google, “We have been using Snedden, Hall & Gallop Lawyers for some years now… [and] they have been nothing but professional, friendly, helpful and looked after our best interests.”
Moulis Legal’s experience and expertise in sports law covers professional football codes, Olympic sports and international sporting events. Principal partner and founder, Daniel Moulis, has more than 10 years of sports law experience. He has been an athlete and is involved in Football Federation Australia. The other partner, Shaun Creighton, has also been an athlete, including at Olympic and Commonwealth Games levels.
Lawyers at Norton Rose Fulbright have long-standing experience in the global sports sector and have advised clients on sports-related transactions, including at national and international levels, and across all aspects of sports law. The firm is especially strong in the areas of areas of acquisition and disposal of sports franchises, negotiation of sponsorship deals stadium financings and investigations.
Sparke Helmore Lawyers are at the top of their game in the sports and entertainment industries, with a legal team passionate about sports. Specialised lawyers handle the full gamut of sports legal matters, including intellectual property, employment law, commercial agreements, corporate, property, antitrust, governance and more.
If you’re looking for more information on lawyers in Canberra, you might like our article on the Best Law Firms in Canberra.