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Call: 2005
John Mehrzad



John Mehrzad specialises in commercialemployment 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 "runs a very impressive practice which covers commercial, employment and sports law” who "is said to create a great relationship with his clients and his knowledge is really first-rate”(Who’s Who Legal: UK Bar 2016)

"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 agentsHis diligence, advice, responsiveness and willingness to see the bigger picture are impressive" (Chambers & Partners2015 - sport)

"He knows the law, but equally importantly he knows how sport works (Legal 500, 2015 – 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 5002014 - 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.


    Commercial Law

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.
  • HMA (Holdings) Ltd. & Ors. v. IDL Plastics Ltd. & Ors (QBD) 2015 (Supperstone J. & HHJ Gore QC): Jurisdiction of High Court to injunct party in New Zealand.
  • Ideal Industries Ltd. v. Harrison (QBD) 2015: Non competition injunction. Led by Gavin Mansfield QC.
  • Hamell Communications Ltd. v. Edmunds (QBD) 2015 (Edis J. & Patterson J.): Confidential information injunction.
  • Mostell Ltd & Or. v. Camilleri & Costello & J Sykes & Sons (Manchester) Ltd (QBD) 2015 (Dingemans J.): Non-competition/non-solicitation/non-deal/delivery up/deletion of confidential information/affidavit injunction.
  • Randstad Ltd. v. Bridge & Bridge Education & Training Ltd. (QBD) 2015 (Green J.): Non-solicitation/non-deal/delivery up/deletion of confidential information/affidavit injunction.
  • Berry Recruitment Ltd. v. Hall & Career Caterer Ltd. (QBD) 2015 (Dove J.): Non-competition/non-solicitation/non-deal/deliver up/deletion of confidential information injunction. 
  • Green & Hillersden Estates Ltd. v. Heim (QBD) 2014 (Lewis J.): Delivery up/freezing order injunction.
  • Equity Housing Group v. King (Ch.D.) 2014 (HHJ Hodge QC): Delivery up/deletion/preservation/affidavit injunction.
  • Silverson Machines Ltd v. Aplin & Ors. (QBD) 2014 (Mitting J.): Freezing order injunction.
  • Seaco & Ors. v. Buss Capital & Ors. (QBD) 2012: Conspiracy, confidential information, restrictive covenant, breach of contract, injunction claim. Led by Paul Goulding QC and Damian Brown QC.
  • Rubicon LLP & Ors. v. Attias & Ors. (Ch.D) 2012 (Sales J.): Conspiracy, confidential information, restrictive covenant, breach of contract/fiduciary duty claim involving 1.2bn in hedge funds redemptions. Led by Chris Quinn.
  • Malik v. Golpeykar & Harrington (Ch.D) 2011 (HHJ Walden-Smith): Whether there was a partnership in law.
  • Humphreys v. Norilsk Nickel International (UK) Ltd. [2010] IRLR 976; [2010] EWHC 1867 (QB) (HHJ Seymour QC): Contractual bonus claim.
  • K2 Partnership Solutions Ltd v. Nina Strauss & Or. (QBD) 2010 (Tugenhat J.): Non-solicit/non-compete injunction.

    Employment Law

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: 

  • Carreras v. United First Partners Research UKEAT/0266/15/RN (HHJ Eady QC): Proper approach to identification of a PCP, the reason for resignation and the procedure for reply submissions.
  • British Transport Police v. Hill & Ors. UKEAT/0445/15/BA (Singh J.): Amendment of Public Interest Disclosure Claim.
  • Game Retail Ltd. v. Laws UKEAT/0188/14/DA (HHJ Eady QC): Social media misconduct.
  • Charlesworth v. Amey Plc & Ors. UKEATPA/0326/13/MC (HHJ Peter Clarke): Tripartite employment status.
  • Tavistock School & Ors. v. Richards & Ors. UKEAT/0244/13/SM (HHJ Peter Clarke): Timing of assessment of redundancy dismissal and construction of employment contract.
  • Stuart v. London City Airport Ltd. UKEATPA/1651/11/MAA (Cox. J.): Whether misconduct investigation into alleged criminal act requires heightened level of scrutiny.
  • Blazevic v. Hayashibara International Inc. & Ors. UKEATPA/0738/11/CEA (Langstaff J, President): Whether a strike out and costs order should have been made.
  • Odukwe v. Partners of Hoare Lea Consulting Engineers UKEAT/0547/10/SM (Underhill J., President): Statutory dispute resolution procedures and time limits.
  • Bullimore v. Pothecary Witham Weld Solicitors & Ors. [2011] IRLR 18 (Underhill J., President): Advice on whether a reference can amount to an act of victimisation.
  • Parsons v. Burworth Estates (a firm) UKEAT/0547/08/MAA (Underhill J., President): Statutory grievance procedures.

    Sports Law

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.
  • CAS case on non-payments to a football agent by Middle Eastern club following player transfer.
  • UK Anti-Doping v. Bilton Mitigation and sanction for doping offence under overlapping 2009 and 2015 WADA Codes.
  • FA Arbitration on when a replay should be ordered if club fields an ineligible 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.


  • Sports Law Barrister of the Year at the 2016 ACQ Legal Awards.
  • Barrister of the Year - United Kingdom - in employment, commercial and sports law at Global 100 2015.
  • Sports Law Barrister of the Year at the 2015 ACQ Global Awards.
  • Corporate Advisory Barrister of the Year – London, UK in the Corporate LiveWire Global Awards 2015. John also received nominations as Employment Law and Sports Law Barrister of the Year 2015.


  • Member of the FA Chairman's Anti-Discrimination Panel of Chairman, hearing disciplinary cases concerning acts of discrimination in football.
  • Director of British Association of Sport and Law.
  • Selected by the Law Society of Scotland, Faculty of Advocates and the Management Committee of Sport Resolution to be an advocate at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
  • Selected by the Bar Council, Law Society and British Association of Sport and Law to be an advocate at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games.
  • Nominated an FA arbitrator on several occasions.
  • Panellist for Sport Resolutions, the leading domestic sports appeals/arbitration service.
  • An FA Rule K ‘Fast-Track’ Arbitrator.


John has acted as a mediator and is also Head of Littleton's Sports Law Group.


  • "The selection of athletes and the grounds for challenges”, World Sport Law Report, January 2016 (co-authored with Edward Wheen, Partner, Hewitson Moorhead LLP)
  • "Moral Damages for Terminating a Football Player’s Contract”, LawInSport.com, 20 August 2015
  •  "’Wild West’ or ‘Brave New World’: The new FIFA and FA Intermediaries Regulations”, LawInSport.com, 27 March 2015
  • "Match-Fixing, Betting and Corruption”, Sports Arbitration Handbook 2015-2016, Sport Resolution, March 2015
  • "New Guidance on How Clubs Should Treat Social Media Misconduct by Footballers”, LawInSport.com, 3 February 2015
  • "Ched Evans: Release, Retribution and Rehabilitation”, LawInSport.com, 28 November 2014
  • "Player Contracts: FIFA Regulations on Working With Intermediaries: analysis”, World Sports Law Report, November 2014
  • "Restraint of Trade in Player Contracts”, LawInSport.com, 3 September 2014
  • "Why Suarez’s CAS Appeal may succeed”, LawInSport.com, 8 August 2014
  • "Could Liverpool sack Suarez?”, LawInSport.com, 23 June 2014
  • "David Moyes’ Sacking and Legal Rights”, LawInSport.com, 22 April 2014
  • "State Intervention into Football”, LawInSport.com, 22 April 2014
  • "The Post-DJ Campbell World of Football Governance”, LawInSport.com, 11 December 2013
  • "Age and Disability issues in Playing Contracts”, World Sports Law Report, January 2013
  • "Fixed Term Contracts in Sport”, World Sports Law Report, November 2012
  • "A study of Eurosceptic Groups 1990-97”, The European Journal, August, September and October issues 2006
  • "A good pint by way of Dickens, Disney and the Dictionary”, The Times, Law section, 10 June 2006
  • "The Schuman Plan”, The European Journal, March/April 2006
  • "Let’s Raise a Glass to Old Traditions”, The Times, Law section, 11 October 2005
  • "A Supreme Court for the UK; A Flawed Necessity”, BPP Obiter, May 2004

    Recent Talks

  • Equalities and Discrimination in Sport, University of Gloucestershire Think Tank, 6 April 2016
  • Selection Challenges, Sport Resolutions Seminar, 11 February 2016
  • Fooball Mis-selling, Littleton Sports Law Seminar, 10 February 2016
  • Total Law: overlapping commercial, employment and sports law issues, Sheridans, 30 September 2015
  • Whistleblowing: dealing with troublemakers and protecting genuine whistleblowers, Simons Muirhead & Burton, 14 July 2015
  • Employment Law in Sport, Couchmans, 26 May 2015
  • Off-the-Field Misconduct by Players, IBC Sports Law Conference, 28 April 2015
  • New FIFA Intermediaries Regulations and Future Agents Disputes, Wasserman Media Group, 18 March 2015
  • Social Media Misconduct, Charles Russell Speechleys, 12 March 2015
  • Twitter misuse in the workplace, Doyle Clayton, 11 March 2015
  • Regulating Agents in Sport, LawInSport Conference, 26 February 2015
  • Social Media Misconduct, Lewis Silkin, 10 February 2015
  • Challenging Sports Bodies’ Decisions, MSc Management and Sport, Birkbeck, University of London, 14 January 2015 
  • Recent Developments in Restrictive Covenants, Clintons, 15 December 2014 
  • Equality and Discrimination Challenges in Sports, Sports Resolutions seminar, 5 November 2014
  • The Magic of Player Contract Termination, World Sports Law Report Player Contracts conference, 29-30 October 2014
  • Funding and Litigating Shareholder Disputes, Littleton Manchester Commercial Seminar, 1 October 2014
  • Football Agents Disputes, Fladgate, 18 September 2014
  • Player Contracts: Formation to Termination, Stephenson Harwood, 22 May 2014
  • Unfair Prejudice, Fladgate, 18 March 2014
  • Athlete Selection Challenges, Harbotte & Lewis, 17 March 2014
  • Shareholder and Member Disputes, Doyle Clayton, 6 February 2014
  • TUPE/Administration, Stephenson Harwood, 22 January 2014
  • Football Contract Termination, Clarke Willmott, 21 January 2014
  • Interpreting Commercial and Employment Contracts, Burgess Salmon, 21 January 2014
  • Sporting Just Cause, Charles Russell Sports Group, 30 October 2013
  • Social Media at Work, MBL Webinar, 14 October 2013
  • The Right to Play, World Sports Law Report Player Contracts Conference, 11 July 2013
  • Restraint of Trade in Sport, Brabners and Pinsent Mason, 19 March 2013
  • Non-solicitation and non-dealing, Charles Russell Employment Group, 29 November 2012