Legal Services Provided

By The Sports Barrister

Advisory

I can guide you through the disciplinary process providing advice upon the likely outcome, the likely sanction, the cost implications, and all other related topics. This advice can be in person at my Chamber’s conferencing facilities which are conveniently located in Birmingham City centre, or over the phone, via secure video conferencing (nationally and internationally) or I can come to you.

Representation

As your legal representative, I can attend all disciplinary tribunals, mediations or negotiations on your behalf and make submissions to further your cause. I have appeared before and sat upon a variety of Tribunals at first instance and appellate level, representing individuals and organisations from a broad spectrum of sports.

Judicial

For six years I have been instructed to sit in a Judicial capacity determining factual issues in an array of scenarios and involving all forms of sanction. I deal with both international, national and amateur competitions and have provided judgements which are considered authoritative in key areas of sport such as the use of social media by sports professionals and match official abuse.

Main area's of expertise

gavel and books - sports barrister

Sports Law

It is surprisingly often that high profile professional athletes from various sporting backgrounds find themselves before Tribunals (with their career and reputation in the balance) represented and advised by only a team manager, colleague or friend. These sports professionals are often before an experienced Judicial panel consisting of experts and lawyers. That imbalance, in Daniel’s opinion, rarely ensures that every point which could be made in the athlete’s favour is. That imbalance, in Daniel’s opinion, makes is less likely that a successful outcome will be achieved. read more

Anti-Doping Violations

The vast majority of professional athletes are subject to the World Anti-Doping Agency regulations or “WADA Code”. The WADA Code is enforced by a variety of sports disciplinary bodies, but mainly through UK Anti-Doping or “UKAD”.

Investigations can be triggered by random drug tests aimed at both professional or amateur level or as a result of a “tip off” having been made. Through those delegated bodies each sport has the ability to ban, indefinitely if appropriate, those found to be in breach of the Code.

As a sports lawyer involved in anti-doping and as a Judicial Officer dealing with anti-doping violations, I am familiar with both the testing regimes, the rigorous procedures that must be complied with for the tests results to be enforced and the amended sanctions post January 2017.

In dealing with cases of this kind I have had to deal with those involved in varying sports; from rugby to ‘Britain’s Strongest Man’ competitors. As a former professional athlete I appreciate the balance that has to be struck between strength and conditioning regimes and absolute compliance with the WADA code.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have been accused of breaking the FA regulations, can I have a lawyer represent me at the hearing?

Yes. Whilst most Sport Governing Bodies include within their rules and regulations a provision allowing a friend or colleague to attend and support them during their disciplinary hearing this does not exclude the ability for the accused to have legal representation instead.

Many Sport Governing Bodies specifically say that a party can be legally represented should they wish within their Regulations. In the event that the Regulations or Rules do not say either way then it is likely, following representations from the instructed lawyer, that such support will be permitted both during and prior to the hearing.


Will I lose my job if I am found guilty of this Sport Disciplinary allegation?

It depends hugely upon the nature of the allegation. Plainly individuals in professions such as teaching, the law or medicine may well need to notify and thereafter face Professional Disciplinary Panels concerning a proven Sports Disciplinary Breach for a physical infringement.

In the majority of instances, an adverse finding from a first instance or appeal Tribunal will not end up in a loss of employment. I have been instructed to represent clients before both their professional and Sports Disciplinary Tribunals in the past. This not only ensures appropriate submissions are made at each stage, but also ensures that the same evidence is tested and heard before both separate bodies.

In some cases individuals are suspended from employment pending the outcome of either the Sports Disciplinary case or their Professional Governing Body. In certain circumstances applications can be made for the suspension to be lifted so as to ensure someone’s livelihood / client base is not unduly affected. Each case requires advise upon its own merits.


I have been suspended from playing football / cricket / rugby / ice hockey / hockey / tennis / table tennis / golf / motor racing. What can I do about it?

All first instance sanctions are appealable if the appropriate grounds are made out. All clients, be they teams, players or Governing Bodies are better placed at an appeal having been advised upon the pros and cons of such an appeal and the likely sanctions that have been imposed for that type of offending in the past.

Is your advice confidential?

I don’t need to advertise using the names of celebrities, Clubs and organisations that I have worked for or against. It is both my personal and my Chamber’s approach to not market using such information so as to preserve the integrity and reputations of all those that I represent.

The very nature of this work is such that it is often reported in the wider media as well as in the published judgements. This is inevitable. However, when private hearings culminate in successful outcomes I make every effort to ensure that the cases receive either non-existent or only positive media coverage.

How much do you charge?

I can provide either a fixed fee or hourly rate of service.

The chargeable rates vary dependent upon the complexity of the case, the potential liability to the client and the likely amount of work involved. I have been known to undertake some work on a pro bono basis for an appropriate cause, but this is not to be expected by any means.

Following a free telephone consultation with a potential client I will provide a quote for the amount of hours I think are likely to be involved and the appropriate rate. If you prefer I will give a fixed fee for the first day of hearing and a daily refresher thereafter.

Do I need to tell my employer that I have been accused of a Sports Disciplinary Breach?

This depends. Most occupations do not require you to notify your employer of an alleged breach, many will require you to notify in the event that you admit or are found to have committed a Sports Disciplinary infringement. Plainly the severity of the allegation and nature of the accusation will greatly affect the necessity to notify. It is only if specific clauses within your contract of employment require notification of allegations or admitted / proven breaches OR if your particular Code of Conduct or other Professional Rules require such notification that you would be bound to so act.

I am able to advise on a case by case basis as to whether this is necessary and / or the point at which notification is required. Each case turns upon its own facts.

I have either heard cases as Tribunal Chair or represented as advocate a wide variance of careers including teachers, physiotherapists and lawyers. In most cases in the event of a successful challenge to the accusation the individual was not required to notify their employer or professional Governing Body.


Can I appeal the finding made by the FA, The RFU, The ECB, the LTA etc?

In the majority of instances yes. All Sports Disciplinary Bodies should incorporate within their rules / Regulations a provision permitting an appeal from the first instance Tribunal’s finding on “guilt” or sanction imposed. The Grounds upon which an appeal is permitted vary as between sports, but in general they are when the Appellant is submitting that either:

  • the finding of the previous panel was one which no properly instructed panel ought properly have reached or,
  • the previous panel acted in a procedurally unfair manner such that their conclusions are rendered unsafe or,
  • the sanction imposed was unduly lenient or manifestly excessive

The process by which an appeal is lodged varies as between sports, but generally a sports barrister would draft an appropriate notice and file it directly, or via the appellant, upon the Disciplinary Department.

NB – there are often strict notice periods in which an appeal can be lodged. Failure to do so within the appropriate period is highly likely to mean that an appeal cannot be heard.

NBB – I am frequently approached by individuals or the senior representatives of Professional Teams saying we’ve just had out appeal, we represented ourselves and we lost, we’ve now: obtained more evidence / found a new witness / decided we should have taken legal advise before the appeal / decided we should have been represented at the hearing…

Please do not wait until the case has been heard to take advice from an appropriately qualified Sports Barrister. Cases of this kind can have severe consequences, both financial and emotional. The sooner advice is sought the sooner we can address the issues and secure the best outcome possible. I frequently have to advise that there are no longer any other avenues of redress available to my client, but had they spoken to me sooner I could have done a great deal more. Please, please do not be the next person I have to say this to!


How can I become your client?

You can contact me in a variety of different ways. I provide a free, no obligation, discussion with potential clients over the phone or by email so as to discern whether you can be assisted with one of the three services I provide: advisory, representation or judicial.

The nature of my work is such that I’m often in court or before a Tribunal so it would be best if you could either contact my clerking team on (0121) 233 8500 Monday to Friday 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. to book in a telephone conference or email them direct on:

Clerks@sportsbarrister.co.uk

Is your advice covered on an insurance policy?

The advice I provide is fully insured through Bar Direct to a total sum of £1.5 million. As much as that ought give you peace of mind I can also confirm I have NEVER had to make a claim on the policy.

Important:


A Sports Barrister can advise upon all these issues and take you through the appropriate steps in bringing a successful appeal. In the majority of cases where I advise that an appeal ought be pursued I have seen the appellate tribunal reduce the sanction from that which was imposed at first instance. Often relevant features of mitigation, relevant comparable cases or simply a better presented submission lead to far less onerous sanctions being imposed.

As with previous questions DO NOT DELAY in seeking advice from a Sports Barrister. There are relatively short windows of opportunity to lodge an appeal and the grounds of an appeal. As soon as your judgement is received you can obtain provisional advice from The Sports Barrister at: clerk@sportsbarrister.co.uk

"I have known Daniel White for 13 years. I admire his qualities of enthusiasm, knowledge and plain speaking. His quality of work is exceptionally high including promptness in dealing with issues that are in the clients best interests. My view is perhaps not as important as how clients' describe him. I make a point of asking all clients what they feel about the service they have received. Words such as superb, wonderful and fantastic are used consistently. It is fair to say if ever any of my family found themselves in court needing help and asked my advice I would recommend Daniel White wholeheartedly."
Mr S Link, Instructing Solicitor in private crime cases

"Is my legal advice right for you?"

If you are not sure whether Daniel could help you, then please do not hesitate to get in touch for a free assesment
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The Sports Barrister

Sports Barrister is a trading name for Daniel White who is a specialist Sports Lawyer providing confidential legal advice and advocacy services for those accused of sporting disciplinary breaches. Dan works closely with the elite in the UK sports industry from amatuer to professional athletes.
Other law services include, licensing Law, Regulatory Law, Anti-Doping Violations, Private Criminal Defence and Professional Disciplinary Tribunals.

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