Sports Law

by Daniel White | 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 makes it less likely that a successful outcome will be achieved.

Few legal professionals do…

Whilst many legal professionals assert that they practise in this discreet and growing area of law, few regularly do. As someone who has spent the past nine years involved in advising, representing and deciding Sports Law cases, Daniel White is best placed to represent, advise and give an indication on potential outcomes, consequences and costs.

Each of the main sports in the United Kingdom, and abroad, have their own National Disciplinary Panels and International Regulatory Bodies. Those panels are composed of at least one legally qualified Chairperson and often two further individuals with relevant expertise in that sport. The panels are assigned to adjudicate upon breaches of their Regulations and thereafter to sanction those found to have committed breaches.

Written representations in sports law

On occasion a Disciplinary Department will deal with a case “on the papers” meaning that the person accused never actually appears before a panel or Judicial Officer; instead their representations are made in writing and they are informed of the outcome of their case in the same way. This may be a positive way of resolving a case which could otherwise cause particular embarrassment or public attention.

Right of appeal in sports law

Whether a case is heard in person or on the papers, all first instance Disciplinary Panels are subject to a right of appeal. That appeal can be made against the finding that an individual or team have infringed the Regulations or simply against the sanction imposed for that breach.

It is a significant portion of Daniel’s sports law work advising upon the merits of appealing a particular decision and as to how best a case can be advanced in that appeal. A party may have the right to seek a “de novo” appeal (meaning that the evidence called at the original hearing is tested again in front of a new panel) or to have the appeal heard “on the papers” meaning that fresh submissions are made upon the evidence as recorded in the original judgement. Each of these two types of appeal require separate considerations in terms of evidence gathering and law. It is vital that proper advice is given to the accused as early as possible, so that the best case can be advanced in evidence or on paper. Where an appeal is required, Daniel can prepare written submissions on behalf of the appellant drawing the panel’s attention to any authorities which have previously been decided on the same issue. Daniel can advise upon which of the leading experts might be able to assist upon a particular issue; be that enhancing video footage, the analysis of anti-doping samples or forensic lip reading.

If you feel that advice or representation by Daniel is or may be required please contact Daniel White.

“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

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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