Sports Law has developed as a niche area of law which deals with many of the existing areas of law such as commercial contracts, regulatory law, employment and immigration law, property law and IP & IT Law which sports bodies, clubs and athletes require advise upon.
Our Sports Team
Niall Geaney and Kevin Keenan in our Dublin office are our Sports Law Team and advise individual athletes, local and national sports clubs and governing bodies on all the above related matters
Both Niall and Kevin are actively involved in sports themselves for many years and can guide you with any legal assistance required.
As our firm is a small boutique legal firm you will be dealing with Niall and Kevin personally at all times and it is their belief that through this personal interaction you will receive a very much hands on and direct assistance with the issues you are facing.
Corporate Structure and Governance Compliance Advice
We have a demonstrated past in ensuring that some of the best-known and largest sports clubs within their sectors are compliant with governing rules and codes. We have been involved in proactively developing governance codes for sports organisations that directly correlate to the Official Governance Code guidelines. Our experience in sporting governance extends to the following:
- Legal Counsel for Rugby League Ireland in important transition period for the sport in Ireland
- Advising Motorsport Ireland in the drafting and implementation of changes to General Competition Rules
- Acting in the capacity of a legal consultant on issues such as data protection regulations, corporate governance and public relations
- Advising on the best corporate structure for Sports Organisations and Clubs.
- Advising on grant applications and funding opportunities
Disciplinary Hearing Representation
We represent a range of clients from various sporting backgrounds on all issues that arise in relation to commercial, regulatory, and disciplinary disputes before national and international dispute resolution bodies.
- Advising and representing institutions, clubs, and individual athletes before governing bodies such as IRFU, Rugby League Ireland, WAKO, GAA, and Motorsport Ireland
- Selection disputes for international competitions
- On- and off-field disciplinary matters
- Actively involved in drafting and implementing regulations in relation to disciplinary procedures
Club / Player Representation
We are accomplished in representing individual players and clubs across various sports on both an international and national transfers right down to grassroots level. We represent our clients in all aspects of the transfer from negotiation of terms of contracts to issues relating to work permits and immigration law.
- Advising on basic club contracts for players of team sports
- Advising and representing international and inter-club transfers of Rugby Union players and Rugby League players
- Advising and representing athletes involved in the GAA, IABA, and DDSL
- Advising and representing Motorsport Ireland athletes and licence holders
- Drafting and advising on sponsorship agreements, branding agreements including brand ambassador agreements
- Post Career Opportunities and termination agreements
Image Rights / Reputation Protection
We have acquired extensive knowledge in all forms of intellectual property rights which are vital in protecting the reputation of established and aspiring athletes. Aspects of protecting images rights that we advise on include:
- Intellectual property (trademark, copyright, patent) creation
- ‘Passing Off’ cases involving image rights
- Drafting image rights structures
- Negotiating commercial arrangements and use of image rights with sponsors
- Advising on taking action against defamatory comments made in any media outlet against sports athletes and clubs
- Providing protection against unofficial social media accounts including application for take down orders through the Irish Courts.
- General Social Media Compliance issues in sports
Sporting Venues and Events
We have vast experience and expertise in advising on the organisation of many national and international sporting events.
We offer our advice on issues such as commercial agreements, sponsorship, funding agreements, planning and noise related issues. We also advise extensively on liability issues that arise in respect of sporting venues.
We also have assisted with negotiation and drafting of leases of sports venues, licences of sports grounds and acquisition and disposal of venues.
Some of our current sport law related work in 2017 include -
- Rugby Union International Player Transfer Advice
- Rugby Union Inter-Club Transfers Advice
- Rugby League of Ireland - General Legal Counsel
- Advising Motorsport Ireland on Social Media Compliance issues and interpretation of regulations
- Representation at Motorsport Ireland Tribunal of Inquiry Hearings
- Representation of an individual athlete involved in a serious personal injury claim
- Representation of individual athlete in disciplinary hearing appeal