Littleton is ranked in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 for sports law, in particular employment-related sports litigation.
Over the last year, two members of Littleton were appointed as 2 of only 15 barristers as pro bono advocates for the London 2012 Olympics, appearing before ad hoc sittings of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Littleton Sports Group produces an occasional bulletin, 'Insight into Sport', dealing with topical issues in the world of sport. You can download the latest bulletin here.
Littleton members sit as chairman, panel members or appear at FA arbitrations, Premier League adjudications and related appeals to CAS. They are also instructed in high-profile actions in the High Court, tribunals or before internal disciplinary panels in a range of sports-related commercial, employment and disciplinary/regulatory disputes.
Instructions have involved, amongst others, the following football teams: Manchester United FC, Manchester City FC, Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Newcastle United FC, QPR FC, West Ham United FC, Leeds United FC, Cardiff City FC, Middlesbrough FC, Crystal Palace FC and Sheffield Wednesday FC.
Players and managers including Rafa Benitez, Steve Kean, Neil Warnock, Luis Suarez, Joey Barton, Dave Jones, Paul Hart, Steve Bruce and Ian Dowie, and several agents, agencies and overseas companies have also been represented.
Other well-known sporting clients include a member of the Pakistan International Cricket Team involved in the “spot-fixing” scandal, Phil “the Power” Taylor, Andy “the Viking” Fordham, the Amateur Boxing Association, and the Jockey Club.
Members have also been involved in cases concerning rugby union, rugby league, formula one, horse-racing, boxing, golf, darts and athletics.
Key cases include:
Sundew v Middlesbrough FC; Willowshire v Middlesbrough FC (2011) (QBD): Breach of contract claims related to image and economic rights agreements.
Rinaldi v Rugby Football League (2010): Highly publicised litigation concerning the Rugby Football League’s overseas players “quota” system (settled prior to hearing)
Smith v Chelsea Football Club  All ER (D) 205: Dismissal of Chelsea FC’s senior executive
Dwain Chambers v British Olympic Association  EWHC 2028 (QB): Sprinter Dwain Chambers’ challenge to rules preventing him from running in the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Ferrari SPA v M and T Coughlan (2007) (ChD): Breach of confidence/damages proceedings brought against leading designer by Ferrari F1 team (settled prior to hearing)
Doane v MK Dons and others (2007): Vicarious liability for injury sustained in a football tackle transfers under TUPE
Bradley v The Jockey Club  EWCA Civ 1056: Landmark case on the routes and standard of review available for challenging sports regulatory bodies
Crystal Palace FC (2000) v. Bruce  IRLR 682: Termination of football management contract and injunction preventing him joining rival team