Our Sports Law team assists the actors of the sports business – sportspersons, associations, clubs, federations, professional leagues, marketing agencies, sponsors, equipment manufacturers – with their contract negotiations and dispute resolutions.
Our lawyers counsel businesses and sportspersons on all issues relating to the commercial exploitation of the sportsperson’s right of publicity as well as sponsorship and advertising contracts. We also draw up and negotiate contracts relating to broadcasting rights.
Before the courts, the team conducts litigation in connection with both the sports activity per se and its commercial exploitation.
Sports law being the cross-disciplinary field it is, the team’s lawyers, who work in French and in English, can rely on the extensive expertise of the law firm’s other teams (and in particular the Employment, Tax, Corporate / Contracts, and IP / IT teams). Furthermore, the team’s leader, Jean-Yves Foucard, is on the Sports Law Commission of the French Association of Business Consultants (ACE) and a member of RexSport, an association of lawyers from all over the world specializing in sports law. He teaches Master students in Sports Law at the Higher Law and Economics Institute (ISDE) in Madrid. And of course, all the lawyers on the team practice sports.
What We Do
• We set up associations, groupings, and companies involved in sports (both amateur and professional), we draw up internal documentation (articles of association and by-laws, rules of procedure, contracts between associations and companies, etc.).
• We draw up contracts governed by the French collective bargaining agreement for the sports business, including agency contracts.
• We assist with the transfer of players and the negotiation of contracts or specifial insurance policies.
• We draw up and negotiate advertising contracts as well as contracts relating to the organisation of sporting events.
• We negotiate and enforce sports federations’ broadcasting and exploitation rights and the sale of audiovisual rights.
• We draw up and negotiate patronage and sponsorship contracts after validating the related trademark, competition, right of publicity, tax, and labour law aspects.
• We assist with the negotiation of contracts with equipment manufacturers.
• We represent clients before the disciplinary bodies in sports matters (the disciplinary boards of federations and leagues and the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne).
• We provide counsel in doping matters:
- disciplinary sanctions,
- the control procedures of the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD),
- criminal proceedings following violations of the French Public Health Code and of the French Criminal Code.
• Negotiation of the non-renewal of an “Official Sponsor” licensing agreement for a Grand Slam tennis tournament and management of two succeeding competing official sponsors
• Drawing-up and negotiation of right of publicity contracts for several tennis players ranking among the world’s top 20
• Negotiation of several right-of-publicity contracts with professional football players (including world champions) and rugby players on behalf of one of the French leaders in the hair-care industry
• Assistance to foreign lawyers with labour law as applied in France to sportspeople (national collective bargaining agreement for the sports business and professional football charter)
• Follow-up, on behalf of a foreign federation, on a dispute relating to the training contracts of foreign professional football players in France
• Counsel to a major tennis equipment manufacturer
• Counsel to a major cycling equipment manufacturer
• Counsel to the world’s leading rugby equipment manufacturer (supply, right-of-publicity, and sponsorship contracts)
• Review of all legal aspects (sponsoring, authorizations, insurance, etc.) of a world tour by seaplane
• Counsel to the French subsidiary of an American corporation during the negotiation of a sponsorship and technical assistance contract with a Formula 1 team
• Counsel to an international federation within the framework of negotiations with the trustee in bankruptcy and the official sponsors of a French federation undergoing judicial business recovery in order to secure that the federation honour its international commitments and the official sponsors not terminate their sponsorship