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Sports Law

LAC Lawyers provide dedicated legal services to clubs and players in Sports Law matters.

Sports Law is a growing and dynamic local and international field of law impacting on players, clubs, federations and corporations. The impact of this dynamic area on Australian life and culture over the last ten years has been astounding. Sports Law is expanding its unique influence on a global scale and creating an international realm of committees and regulatory bodies such as the International Olympic Committee, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, federal and state bodies of almost all members of the world community. Some examples of these organisations are the IOC, various sports federations and leagues as well as player associations.

Within Australia individual clubs and associations from many sports have organised their own administrative and disciplinary regimes and have developed quite complex constitutions and regulations. In most sports there are standardised rules and regulations governing administrative and procedural functions of clubs or associations.

Alongside Sports Law runs the ever present rule of common law, state or federal legislation in both civil or criminal jurisdictions. This is a very complex mix of laws indeed and one requiring proper professional advice.

Our Sports Lawyers

How Can LAC Lawyers Help Clubs and Athletes?

Our lawyers can help both clubs and athletes in various ways, from drafting contracts to representing players at tribunals. Some areas of our expertise are:

  • Contractual Advice
  • Disciplinary proceedings
  • Dispute resolution
  • Litigation
  • Industrial relations and employment
  • Transfers
  • Representation before Courts and Tribunals including the imposition of sanctions
  • Personal injury advice and representation
  • Governance matters such as commercial advise on the Corporations Act, creation of business and corporate identities, drafting of constitutional laws and by-laws.
  • Advice on criminal matters such as performance enhancing, recreational drug use, ‘deemed trafficking’ of drugs, PCA offences and assault or sexual offences.
  • Sponsorship law including the protection of intellectual property.
  • Events management
  • Trade practices compliance.
  • Property acquisitions and Leasing of sporting facilities
  • Player, team and public security/ safety advices
  • Advice on Commercial Transactions including ticketing, financial transfers and merchandising.

What is Sport’s Law?

In Contract

Sport is international and free from the confines of national politics and prejudices. Through its almost universal popularity, the cash flow generated by activity in sport exceeds any other legitimate cash flow generated by human activity since the dawn of time. If a player is exceptional, the colour of his/her skin is irrelevant, petty bigotry is increasingly swept aside and the player is a definite marketable commodity within the world sports community. Any club or federation may “purchase” such players in order to increase its position and profitability on the world stage.

Contracts are used universally to “cement” arrangements but due to the lure of greater opportunities it is an accepted fact that contracts will be broken and the issue arises not about how to prevent the breach but how much compensation is to be awarded the innocent party.  Expert legal advice is obviously required by clubs and players alike where a breach of contract occurs or where a club is contemplating action against a breaching player.

In Disciplinary matters

Due to the international and national popularity of sport, attention is focussed on players and clubs, unprecedented media coverage is devoted to both on a daily basis, the magnifying glass of the world is focussed on players, teams and clubs. Club, state, national and indeed international prestige often depend upon the fame and reputations of individuals.

Funding of clubs and federations are often secured through various state and federal channels and therefore the political wishes of government may impact heavily on the attitudes of seemingly independant organisations. For this reason, players who may offend their federation of club codes of conduct may suffer sanctions in terms of reprimands, suspensions or other options dictated by the relevant codes.

Punishment including penalties is a method of demonstrating to the world that misconduct will not to be tolerated and the lesson is that the relevant code of conduct is to be rigidly enforced, thereby encouraging approval of the organisation (and sometimes funding) by state, federal or international agencies. Against that legislative position always rests the common law presumption of innocence and the rules of natural justice which demand that full disclosure of allegations or evidence be granted to an accused party.

The ever present scrutiny of the worldwide media is focussed on sporting individuals and their activities. Any breaches of conduct in a professional or private sense are quickly brought to public attention. As a sports person, club or federation, there is nowhere to hide from the eternal vigilance of the media.

In Commerce

In every aspect of your business LAC Lawyers has depth to offer quality legal advice and counsel. We understand your industry and the ANZ Sprts Law Association assists us to remain current.



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Michael Pickering B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M., M. A.
Position:Senior Solicitor
Michael Pickering is our most senior solicitor employed in the Melbourne Branch of LAC Lawyers Pty Ltd. He deals with a wide range of matters. He has over 30 years experience as a lawyer which he applies for the benefit of clients whether large or small.