Sports Law


Farrar’s Building has a wealth of experience in the field of sports law.  Members of our sports group deal with the full spectrum of amateur and professional sporting disputes, including disciplinary, regulatory, personal injury, commercial and contractual matters.  Our barristers also appear before regulatory tribunals, covering issues of on-field foul play, off-field misconduct, anti-doping, safeguarding and selection appeals.

Over the years, members of chambers have gained extensive experience of proceedings before the following governing bodies:

  • The Football Association
  • World Rugby
  • The Lawn Tennis Association
  • Sports Resolution
  • British Boxing Board of Control
  • England and Wales Cricket Board
  • British Horseracing Authority
  • Amateur Swimming Association

The depth of knowledge and understanding that Farrar’s Building has to offer clients comes not only from its junior and senior members who have experience of appearing before disciplinary and regulatory tribunals, but also from those members who regularly advise and chair such panels themselves:

  • Christopher Quinlan QC sits as the independent chair of World Rugby’s judicial panel, following a world-wide selection process. He has served as a judicial officer at the last three world cup tournaments. In August 2019, he was appointed as the Football Association’s first independent Judicial Panel Chairman.
  • Several of our members also sit as judicial officers for World Rugby, European Professional Cup Rugby (‘ECPR’) and the Rugby Football Union (‘RFU’).
  • Nick Blake sits on the Amateur Swimming Association’s Disciplinary and Dispute Resolution panel.
  • Jake Rowley is a member of the British Fencing Association’s Disciplinary and Grievance panel.

Members of Farrar’s Building have been involved in world leading sports reviews, including:

  • The ‘Quinlan Review’, concerning the structure, composition and operation of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Disciplinary Panel, Appeal Board and Licensing Committee.
  • The Lawn Tennis Association 2019 independent review of Wrexham Tennis Centre, following the conviction and subsequent imprisonment for sexual offences of their former Head Coach in July 2017.
  • The UK Athletics 2020 independent review, evaluating safeguarding policies and procedures.

Our members have also acted in a range of high value injury personal injury claims involving professional and amateur athletes, recent cases include:

  • Oliver Turton v WRU & Llanharan RFC: Successful defence on behalf of the Welsh Rugby Union against a claim brought by an injured player as a result of the condition of the premises of the member club.
  • Successful defence of a professional rugby club in a claim brought against it by an opponent who had lost the sight of an eye and retired from professional rugby following an injury suffered whilst playing in a competitive match. The claim settled after service of a Defence and counter-schedule and following a joint settlement meeting.
  • Sidaway v The Lawn Tennis Association: Successful claim brought on behalf of a young nationally ranked tennis player who sustained an injury that prevented him pursuing a professional career.
  • The British Boxing Board of Control Limited v Various: Andrew Arentsen acted as Panel Counsel to the BBBC in disciplinary proceedings brought against 13 licence holders including boxers, trainers, managers and promoters. All had been involved in a well-publicised boxing promotion in London that was regulated by a foreign Boxing Board contrary to the membership rules of the BBBC.
  • Successful claim made on behalf of a scuba diver who suffered a hypoxic brain injury following the failure of breathing equipment, during a supervised diving assessment.

Members of chambers have particular expertise in injuries arising from extreme sports, including rock climbing, snow sports and mountaineering. For example, see Frederick Lyon’s article: Risky Business: Challenges and Changes in the Assessment of the Standard of Care Owed to Participants in Supervised ‘Extreme’ Sports, Gray’s Inn Student Law Journal, 2012.

Members of Chambers are happy to accept work on a Public Access basis if required.

Contact our clerking team to discuss your enquiry

Please call and talk to our Chief Executive Alan Kilbey or other members of our clerking team to find the most suitable barrister for your requirements call: +44 (0)20 7583 9241 or email: SportsLaw@farrarsbuilding.co.uk.