Helping you stay on track

Whether on or off the field, sporting professionals and organisations face a breadth of legal situations. From complying with ever-changing regulations right through to wealth management for high-earning athletes, having a trusted legal partner in your corner can make all the difference.

To find out how we can help you, contact us today.

A team effort

As a full service law firm offering both business and personal services, we can provide a collaborative approach to overcome any legal challenge you’re facing. Whether you represent a sports club, are a governing body or a sportsperson yourself, we offer the support and advice you need. Our services include:

  • Contract disputes/dispute resolution
  • Contract preparation
  • Employment law
  • Sports rights agreements
  • Intellectual property
  • Naming rights
  • Property work
  • Sponsorship and endorsement agreements
  • Outsourcing agreements
  • Equality law
  • Licensing agreements
  • Regulatory/business defence
  • Criminal/motoring law
  • Personal injury/negligence on the sporting field
  • Event hosting agreements
  • Brand protection
  • Media contracts
  • Partnership agreements
  • Personal injury
  • Tax and estate planning
  • Regulatory and compliance

Whatever your needs may be, we draw from our extensive experience in sports law to tailor an approach suitable for your circumstances. Whilst protecting your best interests, we leverage the knowledge and expertise of our various departments to provide you with holistic support and advice no matter the issue you’re dealing with. 

When you need us most

We understand the passion and dedication that is involved in the field of sport. Regardless of whether you are partaking yourself or representing a facilitating body, working in sport is rarely a 9 to 5 commitment. Our sports lawyers pride themselves on showing that same level of dedication and commitment by providing around the clock support, including at weekends.

Our track record...

Our specialist sports law team has been recognised by The Legal 500, which states:

Smith Partnership acts for sports clubs, sport governing bodies and athletes, with core sports expertise in commercial work, ranging from sponsorship and endorsement agreements to partnership agreements, intellectual property and IT work, employment and insurance work as well as regulatory work.

James Johnson leads the team from the Derby office. In addition to advising a newly-promoted Championship team on employment contracts for managing and coaching staff, Johnson also assisted Burton Albion Football Club in relation to the departure of First Team Manager to Queens Park Rangers and the appointment of Nigel Clough and new coaching staff.

Fraser Cunningham, also in Derby, recently advised Derby County Football Club on a partnership agreement with the University of Derby, aimed at facilitating a sporting degree. Other clients include Burton Hockey Club and Mickleover Football Club.

The Legal 500

How we can help you

Smith Partnership’s legal services are centred around being pragmatic and practical. We take a straight-talking approach whereby our advice is jargon-free and easy-to-understand at all times. This ensures that you are fully aware of your stance and options at every stage of your case but if at any point something is unclear, our team is always on hand to help.

We understand how valuable accessible and responsive legal support is, which is why we provide exactly that from our offices in Derby, Burton Upon Trent, Stoke-on-Trent, Leicester and Swadlincote. Offering face-to-face meetings and regular telephone and email updates, we will work alongside you in a way that meets your requirements and achieves your goals.

Contact our team today

To find out how our expert team of solicitors can help you, contact us today on 0330 123 1229, send us an email via or complete our contact form.