Really strong with their offering in sport - particularly employment, commercial and related regulatory/disciplinary disputes.

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Our expert team of football law solicitors can assist clients throughout the world of modern football. From managers, coaches, players, backroom staff, and support staff to members of their families, we can advise everyone on the full range of legal issues they face in their careers and personal lives. We also act on football club acquisitions and sales, disputes, insolvencies and contract negotiations.

Our practice boasts a number of well regarded lawyers overseeing high value, specialist arbitrations and player/agent, club/agent and club/player disputes before various bodies including the FA, FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport as well as the Employment Tribunal and civil courts. The football sector group at Penningtons Manches Cooper has more than 25 lawyers, many of whom are ranked as leaders in their respective fields by The Legal 500 and Chambers UK legal guides.

The wealth of experience within our team and repeated referrals from the League Managers Association (LMA) in particular have helped to build a robust practice that is now widely recognised across the sector for its track record in advising managers and coaches on contractual disputes at the end of their employment with leading Premier League and Championship clubs, as well as for reputational management and insolvency matters. 

Our football law team provides a full service offering to all parties regularly involved in arbitrations and litigation, advising on transfers, contract negotiations and exits, and appearances before disciplinary tribunals. We can assist on a variety of matters, including employment, immigration and visa issues, family and relationship issues, safeguarding matters, tax and estate planning, personal injury, property transactions, commercial contracts and disputes, sponsorship, brand protection, reputation management and protection, libel claims, media law, and fraud and tax investigations. Our football lawyers are also increasingly instructed on club insolvencies and on acquisitions and sales.

We are one of the only firms that can fully support international professionals within the game who are moving to the UK and need complex wealth management and tax planning advice. Through our offices in Europe and Asia, we have strong international links which combine with relationships forged through our memberships of Multilaw, a global network of 10,000 lawyers across over 100 jurisdictions, and the International Academy of Family Lawyers. Many of our football lawyers are members of Women in Sports Law (WISLaw), the British Association of Sports Lawyers (BASL), the American Sports Lawyers Association (SLA) and LawInSport.

We offer expert advice on:

  • player contracts, transfers and agent and representative agreements
  • contract claims including English Premier League Managers’ Arbitrations and FA Rule K Arbitrations
  • statutory employment disputes
  • defamation and reputation management issues
  • sponsorship, brand protection and image rights
  • tax planning and wealth management
  • family law and matrimonial matters
  • personal injury claims
  • property litigation
  • professional negligence claims
  • immigration issues and visa applications for international players
  • club acquisitions, sales and insolvencies

Recent work highlights

Managerial pay-off battles

Dealing with a number of high value English Premier League Managers’ Arbitration Tribunal cases on behalf of managers and coaches in relation to the failure of clubs to honour their contractual obligations following termination of employment.

CEO whistleblowing claim

Dealing with an Employment Tribunal whistleblowing dismissal claim on behalf of the former chief executive of a Premier League football club.

Tax affairs under scrutiny

Advising on HMRC investigations into football club finances from a criminal and civil perspective as well as from an FA regulatory point of view.

EFL club takeover

Acting for the purchaser in the majority share acquisition of an English Football League club.

Related expertise

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP