Who’s Who Legal, The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners have all recently published their Legal Directories for 2018/19, and we are delighted that many members of our sports team have been recognised.
Who’s Who Legal (“WWL”)
Three of our lawyers, Mark Hovell, Carol Couse and Tiran Gunawardena have been selected as three of the world’s leading sports lawyers by WWL. We are particularly pleased that both Mark Hovell and Carol Couse were recognised as Global Elite Thought Leaders for EMEA, and that Mills & Reeve was listed as a leading firm for sports law.
WWL described Mark Hovell (the Head of Sports) as “a top lawyer and CAS arbitrator”, and stated that peers “also spoke highly of his work in FA disputes. His broad experience includes restructuring sports clubs and he is regarded as a trusted representative to sporting associations, individuals and clubs.”
WWL described Carol Couse (the Head of Sport (International)) “as a leading name in the field who comes highly recommended for “her extensive experience and pragmatic sports advice”. She has expertise in football in particular and draws on a wealth of in-house and private practice experience.”
WWL described Tiran Gunawardena as “an expert in international sports arbitration” and that he comes “highly recommended as an extremely well-qualified and competent sports lawyer by clients.”
The Legal 500
Mills & Reeve were listed by The Legal 500 as a Tier 1 practice in sport in Manchester, Birmingham, and East Anglia, and in Tier 5 in London.
Mills & Reeve were recognised as “an accomplished sports regulatory practice”, which is also “notably strong in contentious matters relating to employment, contracts and image rights.” The firm was recognised for handling “image rights, tax and private client matters for high-profile sports personalities and teams, particularly in football”, and also for advising on women’s sport and on doping cases in football.
In Manchester, Mark Hovell was described as “outstanding” and “great for international arbitration work and is a vastly experienced lawyer”, while Carol Couse is “experienced in football regulatory and commercial matters” and has “a wide range of clients with a particular focus on Hispanic clients.” Rachael Somerset, who advises sports clients on defamation and reputation matters, was described as “fantastic” and “a pleasure to work with.” The Legal 500 stated that “overall the team is ‘absolutely top-class’.”
In Birmingham, employment law specialist Richard Santy was noted for advising Eniola Aluko “on a racial discrimination claim against former national team manager Mark Sampson and assisted West Bromwich Albion with the departure of its former manager Tony Pulis.” Phil Hutchinson, listed as a ‘next generation lawyer’, was noted for being “experienced in sports litigation, primarily for rugby and football.”
In Cambridge, Ed Hadcock was noted for providing “specialist commercial support for athletes and sports organisations, including advice on image rights and representation.” Greg Gibson (commercial and IP), Chris Belcher (tax) and Richard Plaistowe (IP) were also noted as key sports contacts.
Chambers & Partners
Mills & Reeve were listed by Chambers & Partners as a Band 4 practice in the UK, and described the firm as a:
“[h]ealthy practice with an outstanding offering in football. Frequently represents individual players in contract negotiations, disciplinary hearings and high-profile employment disputes, including discrimination claims. Well known for representing professional footballers on the set-up of image rights agreements, and regularly represents players from overseas playing for English clubs. Noted for the strength of its presence in women's sport.”
Mark Hovell and Carol Couse were recognised as notable practitioners.
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