John Mehrzad specialises in commercial, employment and sports law. He acts in cases before the High Court, specialist tribunals or arbitration panels. John was formerly Vice President of a corporate advisory and investment fund and uses his experience in banking/funds, shareholder and partnership disputes. John regularly makes interim applications in his practice areas.
John has received numerous awards and appointments in recognition of his professionalism and expertise across all his areas of practice. For details see the Awards and Appointments tabs below.
John is one of only two juniors at the Bar of England & Wales below 14-years’ call who is ranked by Chambers & Partners in both employment and sports law. Overall he is 1 of only 4 junior barristers ranked in those areas. Recent legal directory comments include:
"He has a real eye for detail and is always prepared to advise in-depth at short notice." "He is very good at partnership and director disputes." (Chambers & Partners, 2016 - employment)
"He is an extremely impressive junior counsel. He takes time and great care to really understand the client’s business. He's also very accessible during case preparation." (Chambers & Partners, 2016 - sport)
"Excellent at injunction work and recommended for his handling of restrictive covenant cases". "He has a really good manner with clients but is also tenacious. He punches above his weight" (Chambers & Partners, 2015 - employment)
"John is involved in contractual disputes and disciplinary proceedings in football and rugby, acting on behalf of players, managers and agents. His diligence, advice, responsiveness and willingness to see the bigger picture are impressive" (Chambers & Partners, 2015 - sport)
"He knows the law, but equally importantly he knows how sport works” (Legal 500, 2005 – sport)
"John is frequently engaged by a range of leading silks, and was recently led in a substantial breach of fiduciary duties case. He’s got the right balance between demonstrating his intellect and fitting in as part of a team when appropriate. He’s exactly the sort of person you want for sensible responsive employment advice, and offers first-class legal analysis” (Chambers & Partners, 2014 - employment)
"He really understands the legal framework of sport and sports regulation” (Legal 500, 2014 - sport)
John is experienced before the Court of Appeal, High Court, Employment Appeal Tribunal, Court of Arbitration for Sport, FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber and Player Status Committee, Premier League Adjudication and Appeal Panels, FA Arbitration Panels, Premier League Managers’ Arbitration Tribunal and RFU Disciplinary and Appeal Panels. He also maintains an Employment Tribunal practice across the UK, including Scotland and Northern Ireland.
John makes interim applications, final appearances and attends mediations on the following commercial issues: shareholder disputes including unfair prejudice petitions or derivative actions; partnership disputes within LLP and Partnership Act contexts; bonus/commission claims; restrictive covenants; fiduciary duties; confidential information; penalty or liquidated damages clauses/claw-backs; agency agreements; freezing or search orders.
Notable cases include:
Elcom Funding Solutions Ltd. & Ors. v. Crossflow Payment Solutions Trading Ltd. (QBD) 2015 (Sweeney J.): Delivery up/deletion and affidavit injunction. Subject to appeal to Court of Appeal.
John appears in multi-day Full Hearings, Preliminary Hearings as well as before the EAT and the Court of Appeal, representing both claimants and respondents in cases involving all aspects of employment law, including unfair dismissal; breach of contract/unauthorised deduction of wages; all forms of discrimination; "whistleblowing”; TUPE; and jurisdictional issues/practice and procedure. He has a particular expertise in City-related disputes with past cases involving Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and other financial institutions or funds.
Recent EAT cases include:
British Transport Police v. Hill & Ors. UKEAT/0445/15/BA (Singh J.): Amendment of Public Interest Disclosure Claim.
John is Head of Littleton’s Sports Law Group, which he formed in 2011. He was awarded Sports Law Barrister of the Year 2015 by two legal directories. He is an Anti-Discrimination Panel Chairman for the FA. He is regularly appointed as an FA Rule K Arbitrator and is panellist for Sports Resolutions, the leading independent domestic sports appeals, arbitration and mediation body. He was a selected advocate to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games as well as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games for ad hoc sittings of CAS. He also represents parties in all sporting jurisdictions both nationally and abroad, including the FA, Premier League, RFU, UEFA, FIFA and CAS. He is currently a Director of the British Association of Sport and Law and an Executive Board member of LawInSport.com.
Bristol Rugby v. Borthwick v RFU Injunction application to prevent RFU poaching club’s coach (led by David Reade QC).
FA Arbitration on whether Rule K applies to a representation contract between a player agent and an overseas player.
Advice on liquidated damages clause in Premier League manager's contract.
FA Arbitration on breach of representation agreement and fiduciary duties.
FIFA & CAS cases on agent's commission, jurisdiction clauses, non-payments to player, "just cause" and compensation.
FA Appeal about interpretation of FA Rules and Regulations concerning relegation.
Classification and non-selection appeals by Paralympic champion and to Sochi Winter Games respectively (via Sports Resolutions).
Take-over of Leeds United.
Advice on George North's contract with Northampton Saints (led by Damian Brown QC).
High Court claim over FA Cup Final tickets (led by Andrew Clarke QC).
Premier League Managers Arbitration about termination payment (led by Damian Brown QC).
Jones v. Cardiff City Claim for unpaid salary and bonuses (led by Damian Brown QC).
Cross-border image rights dispute (led by David Reade QC).
Allardyce v. Blackburn Rovers & Kean Defamation action by Sam Allardyce.
Slough v. Milton Keynes RUFC; RFU v. Bristol RFC RFU disciplinaries into race and biting allegations respectively.
Social Media Misconduct, Charles Russell Speechleys, 12 March 2015
Twitter misuse in the workplace, Doyle Clayton, 11 March 2015
Social Media Misconduct, Lewis Silkin, 10 February 2015