Pump Court Chambers

Pump Court Chambers launches Sports Law team

News 5th April 2024

Pump Court Chambers’ Sports Law team has been involved in sports related commercial dispute resolution, disciplinary and regulatory proceedings, employment issues, personal injury, breach of confidentiality and privacy, private client work (including divorce proceedings) as well as allegations of business crimes involving sports organisations, associations and clubs.

They are also regularly involved in substantial and high-profile cases at both a national and international level across a wide range of sports including football, athletics, equestrian, horseracing, cricket, rugby and motorsport.

Our specialist sports law barristers regularly appear before sporting disciplinary and appeals panels, as well in the High Court and before employment  tribunals.

A number of our barristers have also carried out work for Sport Resolutions Pro Bono Panel as well as chairing disciplinary panels for the Irish Football Association (Northern Ireland) and the Football Association of Ireland (Republic of Ireland).

Members of the team also accept appointments to sit as arbitrators and mediators.

Adam Gadd

Adam Gadd has a wide ranging and varied common law practice which includes sports related commercial disputes, disciplinary and regulatory proceedings, breach of confidentiality and privacy and losses arising from personal injury sustained in sporting events.

He is the Chair of the Irish Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee and a member of the Football Association of Ireland’s Disciplinary Panel, dealing with high profile and contentious sporting matters on a weekly and often urgent basis. He has been appointed to Sports Resolutions’ Pro Bono Panel providing legal advice and representation to athletes, coaches, team officials, and other individuals appearing before Sport Resolutions and other sport specific tribunals.

Adam is Head of Pump Court Chambers’ Sports Law Team.

Timothy Dracass

Tim Dracass brings to our sports law team a wealth of knowledge and experience as both an employment law specialist and a criminal court advocate, areas of practice which dovetail well with sports law cases.

Over the years, he has dealt with a vast number of tribunal hearings, many involving scrutiny of disciplinary issues and processes and/ or contested allegations of discrimination.  He is a highly skilled and successful tribunal and appellate court advocate and has acted for many high-profile companies and individuals.

Tim has a personal interest in this area of law, being lover of all things sport-related, with a particular passion for football (playing and watching) and a long-standing (and long-suffering) supporter of Southampton FC.

Fergus McCombie

Fergus has acted in a range of disputes in the sports industry as a complement to his employment and commercial practice.  He has represented a sacked premier league football manager in a multi-million pound bonus and wrongful dismissal dispute (case settled before trial on confidential terms).  In the regulatory field, his experience includes disciplinary proceedings, most recently before the Lawn Tennis Association, and a claim about the boundaries of liability for glider inspectors under the statutory aircraft safety regime.

He maintains various links in the wider sporting community, having been a fixture in the Paris Sciences-Po rugby team which reached the French national university quarter-finals a fair few years ago, and also having competed internationally in fencing at youth level.

Timothy Akers

Tim Akers grew up amidst the green pastures of the Oxfordshire countryside and developed an affinity for sport from an early age: playing school football in practically every spare minute he had until the season ended, then making the transition to tennis in the height of summer, before returning to the beautiful game when the season recommenced later in the year.

With his enthusiasm and drive to live an active sporting life, it seemed like a natural extension of his legal career to represent individuals involved in the sports world, hence Tim has acted for a number of sporting personalities in a private client capacity.

Tim has a wealth of experience in professional discipline law, sits as the legal adviser to the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and has represented many clients in front of various professional conduct committees and panels. He has also drafted papers and presentations on fraud, bribery and corruption that have been delivered at an international level.

Having become convinced over the years that sport is, in fact, a state of mind, Tim keeps active, playing 5-a-side football for his Chambers team and training in jiu-jitsu with his young daughter. Whether he will make a return to his former sporting glory however is highly questionable.

Tim is happy to receive instructions in matters of alleged sporting misconduct, allegations of business crime involving sports organisations, associations and clubs, and associated private client work.

Jesse Cook

Jesse has a strong grounding in sports law and football related matters in particular. He has advised and represented individuals, clubs and organisations throughout the sports industry in both disputes and transactional matters including sponsorship and commercial agreements.

Jesse regularly advises on and negotiates transfers and contractual terms for football players and clubs from the Premier League and throughout the English Football pyramid.

Antonia Ford

Antonia Ford has significant experience dealing with personal injury and negligence claims on behalf of high net worth individuals as both Claimants and Defendants. She has acted in a number of sports related injury claims including equine sports, cricket, motorsports and football. She written articles and conducted training on sports related traumatic brain injuries.

Louisa Simpson

Louisa Simpson has experience and expertise which lends itself to advising and representing individuals (professional and amateur sports men and women) and organisations (sports governing bodies, clubs, event owners and institutions) in sports law matters. Louisa is available to advise and represent in relation to disciplinary and regulatory tribunals and appeals; on the lawfulness of sporting rules, disciplinary decisions and sanctions, in order to protect financial and reputational risk; on selection and eligibility; employment matters in respect of athlete and player contracts; and discrimination and whistleblowing.

Louisa is regularly instructed on behalf of individuals and organisations in the Employment Tribunal in respect of whistleblowing and discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and sex. She is also frequently instructed on behalf of regulated individuals and professional bodies, in respect of fitness to practise proceedings and registration appeals including allegations of dishonesty and bringing the profession into disrepute. She applies a variety of regulatory guidelines, rules and sanctions and has represented, advised and questioned children and vulnerable parties. Her expertise in these areas, as well as in respect of personal injury and commercial and contractual disputes mean she is well-placed to advise and act in sports issues which frequently interact with these areas of law.

Recently, Louisa has provided advice and drafted documents to resolve matters without resorting to litigation in respect of Equestrian Law – specifically Livery Agreements. She also recently represented an individual (licensed trainer) charged with failing to distribute pool money by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

Louisa also recently represented an athlete, in respect of their Appeal to the British Equestrian Federation of a disciplinary decision and sanction made by one of its member bodies (UK Polocrosse Association). Louisa managed to facilitate an early resolution including the UKPA agreeing to all remedial aspects requested by the athlete, including overturning the sanction, issuing an apology and submitting themselves for an independent governance review of their policies and procedures.

She received the following testimonial:

“Her support and understanding of the detail of the case was outstanding in every way. She delivered timely documents and advice through out and gave us a level of confidence and reassurance we were doing the right think in taking action. With…Ms Simpson…standing alongside us we felt empowered and confident throughout this stressful time in our lives.”

Louisa is Deputy Head of Pump Court Chambers’ Sports Law Team.

Christopher Pix

Christopher Pix has been instructed by owners of a F1 team. He is aware of the challenges unique to this sport.

He has also represented sportsmen and women in the Magistrates and Crown Courts.

He is an avid watcher of cricket and rugby, and enjoys countryside sports.

Albert Gibbon

Albert Gibbon has had a keen interest in Sports Law for some time. He has taken part in Mishcon De Reya’s Sports Law Academy and follows current issues relating to this quickly developing area of law. He takes a particular interest in regulatory and disciplinary proceedings brought by sports’ governing bodies.

Carol Cheng

Carol has experience and expertise in respect of Employment Tribunal discrimination claims, personal injury, commercial and contractual disputes, and regulatory work which means she is well-placed to advise and act in sports issues which frequently interact with these areas of law. She is happy to advise and represent individuals (professional and amateur athletes) and organisations (sports governing bodies and institutions) in sports law matters.

She maintains various links in the wider sporting community, having competed nationally (in Hong Kong) in windsurfing and swimming at youth level. She is a keen athlete, having completed three full marathons, and is particularly passionate about surfing, skiing and tennis.

For further information about our Sports Law barristers, or to instruct anyone in the team, please contact James Wackett, Senior Civil Clerk on 020 7353 0711 or via email: clerks@pumpcourtchambers.com.

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