Sports and entertainment

The enthusiastic, dynamic team at Penningtons Manches Cooper stands out for its commitment.

The Legal 500

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Sports and entertainment


Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is ‘strong across the board in sport, from commercial and employment through to regulatory matters’. Football is a keystone of the practice, which notably represents the League Managers Association, individual managers, players and intermediaries on the full gamut of relevant matters including contractual disputes and reputation management. Practice head Andrew Haywood is also a veteran of many disciplinary, discrimination and business protection mandates and oversees a team which directs the remainder of its sector-specific emphasis towards sailing and yacht races, motor sports, esports and the representation of young athletes, including several Team GB athletes and Paralympic hopefuls.

'Nick Humphreys may be the hardest-working lawyer in Western Europe. I have seen him handle effectively workloads that would crush an ordinary lawyer. Nothing is too much for a client to ask. He is there when you need him and delivers when he is asked to. He is exceptional.’

James Severn has excellent international connections, with particular strength in arbitrations in sport. Richard Marshall is a commercial dispute resolution partner with a specialist niche in the sporting sector. Andrew Haywood is an employment law specialist who has carved out a niche in sporting disputes.’

‘Richard Marshall is very experienced and always great to work with. Oliver Cooke is very bright and accessible.’

The Legal 500 - 2022 edition


Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is the point of call for the League Managers Association and has recently represented managers such as Lee Bowyer and Alex McLeish on libel claims. More broadly, the team advises on general commercial and employment disputes for individual athletes, managers and coaches. Andrew Haywood is notably adept in employment issues, particularly in relation to discrimination and disciplinary issues. Nick Humphreys is an expert in employment litigation, whereas Richard Marshall focuses on commercial litigation and arbitration. Jeremy Clarke-Williams handles privacy and defamation disputes.

Andrew Haywood is an employment specialist who is very dynamic and user-friendly.

Nick Humphreys will get results for managers and backroom staff.

Richard Marshall is a highly experienced practitioner who is always well prepared and is willing to go the extra mile for his clients. 

The Legal 500 - 2021 edition


Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP draws on an international sports group, which acts for footballers, managers and Formula One clients across a broad sweep of areas. Work covered includes disciplinary proceedings, employment disputes and civil law claims relating to misconduct, libel and professional negligence, among other areas. On the non-contentious side, the group advises on the immigration status of athletes, acquisitions for stadium developments and GDPR compliance. Nick Humphreys is very active in the High Court and Employment Tribunals, where he handles litigation for managers, coaches, backroom staff and executives in the football industry, while employment specialist Andrew Haywood is known for giving internal advice to clubs in relation to player and manager acquisitions and exits.

The Legal 500 - 2020 edition


'One to watch' in the sports sector, Penningtons Manches LLP has been 'building up its sports practice with real energy'; motorsports, power-boat racing, football and golf have been particular areas of activity. Exemplifying the practice's strength in commercial litigation, the 'committed', 'energetic and highly accomplished' Richard Marshall continued to advise the Ortiz-Patiño estate on its potential €15m breach of contract claim concerning its sale of Valderrama Group, owner of the Valderrama Golf Club. Immigration is another area of expertise: Hazar ElChamaa acted for an e-sports tournament organiser on obtaining a visa for an e-sports player to enable him to play in a UK competition, and advised one international footballer on the impact of Brexit on his transfer to a UK premiership club. Rennes FC is another client. 'Very pragmatic' employment and disciplinary expert Andrew Haywood heads the department, and is 'ambitious for outcomes for his clients'.

The Legal 500 - 2019 edition


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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.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP