Experienced Sport Lawyers

Having advised Clubs, players, managers, agents and associations for many years we have built very close relations with many involved in the game.

Areas where we give advice include:

Reputation Management/ Defamation

Our lawyers have brought successful claims for Managers, Players and Agents including Jamie Carragher, Sven Goran Eriksson, Micah Richards, Joey Barton and others. We have represented several Premier League clubs in respect of unwarranted claims made in the national media about finance, transfers, what was said to who and more.

Privacy

We have obtained injunctions to prevent publication of private matters for several UK and foreign footballers. We obtained one urgent privacy injunction at the High Court one evening against The Sun whilst the player was actually on the pitch!

We have acted to prevent the sale of private information for players – resulting on one occasion in a prison sentence for the culprit who sought to blackmail our client.

Disclosure and Spartacus Orders

Our lawyers recently acted for a Premiership Club to obtain an Order from the Court forcing a major telecommunications organisation to reveal to us the details relating to the sending of confidential emails. We obtained full particulars of the address from which the emails were sent. Such orders are becoming common in relation to invasions of privacy.

Mediation

Mark Manley has mediated a number of high profile disputes including:

  • A contract dispute between a Manager and his Club.
  • A disciplinary issue between a Club and a player in breach of his contract.
  • A libel claim brought by a Premiership Manager against a tabloid newspaper which had accused him of taking a bung.

Mark Manley is a panel member for Sports Resolutions – formerly the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel. See www.sportresolutions.co.uk

Arbitration

We have successfully represented a National Football Association in a dispute with a Club within its jurisdiction regarding an affiliation issue which resulted in a sanction for the Club.

We have advised on FA Rule K Arbitrations and have successfully prevented publication of Arbitration decisions contrary to the Rules of governing bodies.

We have represented athletes in disputes regarding Olympic Games selection.

Mark Manley is a panelist Arbitrator for Sports Resolutions.

Football Transfers and Registrations

We advise players and Clubs at short notice on transfers and player registrations. We have been involved in the negotiation of transfers of foreign players to UK clubs and have advised on contractual issues connected with those deals. We have a close relationship with one of the UK’s leading Image Right experts who are able to provide all necessary advice regarding the tax and other benefits of the establishment of an image rights company. Our lawyers have acted for footballers in professional negligence actions against solicitors who have failed to properly deal with football transactions.

Mark Manley has been an FA Registered Football Agent for several years.

Disciplinary Hearings

Mark has acted for Premiership Clubs in connection with disciplinary action taken against players relating to issues on and off the field.

False Endorsement / Intellectual Property issues

Our lawyers have acted for players whose images have been used without licence. This is of particular importance when a player/athlete has existing sponsorship and/or endorsement contracts which include exclusivity provisions. We have been approached to negotiate an endorsement agreement for an England international footballer with a major health food organisation.

Player Testimonials

Mark Manley has been appointed to Testimonial Committees for Dave Watson (Everton FC), Ronnie Moran (Liverpool FC) and Jamie Carragher (Liverpool FC). A testimonial year requires significant planning, organisation and legal advice relating to the charitable implications, status and requirements of the testimonial, taxation implications, commercial negotiation and event management.

Injunctions

Our team has many years’ experience of both obtaining and fighting injunction applications – from initial advice right up to fighting cases all the way to the highest courts. We have obtained injunctions for Premiership footballers, celebrities and businessmen and women to prevent publication of private information at very short notice. Equally, we have been on the “other side” of the fence – Mark Manley fought against an injunction obtained to gag a newspaper from publishing a story in the public interest and finally secured a victory in the House of Lords (now Supreme Court) which discharged the gagging order and allowed the truth to come out (see Cream Holdings v Banerjee and Liverpool Daily Post and Echo Ltd [2004] UK HL44

For businesses we have obtained injunctions to prevent employees breaching restrictive covenants.

We have obtained declarations from Courts as to the enforceability of intellectual property rights (and obtained passing off injunctions).


Contact Mark Manley or Leanne Wheeler on 01244 230000

or Eddie Parladorio on 0207 355 8919

  • Mark is a clear leader in his field. His drive, experience and knowhow are all part of his offering.

    Ian Ayre Managing Director, Liverpool FC

  • Top guy, top lawyer. Up there with the best sports lawyers in the UK.

    Paul Tyrrell Paul Tyrrell Corporation Ltd

  • Mark is a fantastic Sports and media lawyer, he provides excellent advice and builds instant trust and respect from the clients.

    Caroline Rose Manager, Drummonds Bank

  • I've worked with Mark Manley on numerous occasions. He's always very effective and professional. I would always recommend him.

    Micah Richards Fiorentina FC

  • Handles publicity with great flair.

    Stuart Driver QC

  • We work with lots of solicitors. Marks flair, charisma and strategy make him stand out.

    Peter Farrington Probe Investigations UK

  • Very professional and thorough, with great attention to detail. He's also got a sense of humour - which helps!

    Jamie Carragher Sky Sports

  • Leanne is a highly talented and hardworking solicitor. I have no hesitation in recommending her.

    Louis Browne Exchange Chambers

  • One of the leading Media Lawyers in the Country. I've worked both with and on the other side of the fence from him and his reputation is richly-deserved.

    Steve Kunciewiez Bermans Solicitors

  • Mark appeared for me in the High Court to obtain an Order in an urgent matter. His tenacity ensured a great result for me.

    Marounne Fellaini Manchester United FC

  • Great person to have on your side. Great ability to interpret complex issues and gives sound and and clear advice. Pro-active.

    Phil Tottey

  • Mark has handled media issues for me. I need the best people outside the ring to help me be the best in it.

    Amir Khan

  • He has incredible knowledge of the media landscape and has always delivered.

    Steve Hothersall Editor, Radio City

  • Clear leaders in field and preparation of cases is second to none

    Tom Handley Senior Clerk Exchange Chambers