Littleton has a particular expertise in sports law. It is ranked by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 in that practice area with several members of chambers individually ranked by those legal directories. The Littleton Sports Law Group has been noted in legal directories as having, amongst other remarks, "great strength in depth" and being "the go-to set" for employment-related sporting matters.
Littleton’s Sports Group’s expertise is spread across different sports and issues. Historically its strength lies in contractual disputes between players, managers, clubs, agents and commercial third parties. In terms of specific sports, members of chambers have appeared in cases concerning football, rugby, Formula 1, golf, boxing, horse-racing, skiing, swimming, athletics and darts disputes.
“Littleton Sports Law Group Q&A with Martin O’Neill, 27 October 2016” (held at the London Transport Museum)
In addition the Sports Group understands the unique regulatory framework governing sport both domestically and internationally, including amongst other selection challenges, funding disputes and doping cases.
Littleton’s Sports Group produces a regular email bulletin, On Sport, dealing with topical issues in the world of sport. Audio-visual clips are also regularly produced on prominent sporting issues.
Recent instructions have involved, amongst others, the following football clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle, Sunderland, QPR, West Ham, Wigan, Leeds, Cardiff, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday. In terms of players and managers – Malkay Mackay, Gus Poyet, Paolo DiCanio, Rafa Benitez, Mark Hughes, Steve Kean, Neil Warnock, Dave Jones, Paul Hart, Ian Dowie, Luis Suarez and Joey Barton. Littleton was also instructed in the F1 "spy-gate” dispute and advised in relation to the Pakistan "spot-fixing” scandal.
In terms of forum, members appear before domestic civil courts and tribunals as well as before sport-specific forum, including the FA, Premier League, RFU, UK Anti-Doping, UEFA, FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Members have also been appointed advocates to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games as well as at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. We are also panellists for Sport Resolutions, the leading domestic appeals and arbitration service for 52 national sporting bodies. Members of chambers also sit as arbitrators or appeal panellists for different sporting bodies.
Littleton is particularly prominent in terms of its publications as a regular contributor of blogs to LawInSport.com and the World Sports Law Report. Members also speak regularly at conferences and also provide in-house talks.