Senior/Principal Associate - Sports, Media & Entertainment Disputes - Any Office

Location: United Kingdom
Office: Oxford Norwich London Leeds Manchester Cambridge Birmingham
Discipline: Regulatory public & commercial disputes
Contact name: Himpal Bains

Contact email: [email protected]
Contact phone: 0121 456 8003
Vacancy reference: 023589
Closing date: 03 June 2024
Startdate: 08 March 2024 - 08 March 2024

What does the role involve?

We are looking for a Senior Associate/ Principal Associate specialising in sports law, in one of our 7 offices, working with Mark Hovell, Carol Couse and other members of the Regulatory, Public and Commercial Disputes NSL.

Mills & Reeve’s sports team represents players’ associations, individual sportspeople, clubs and agents on a wide range of sports law matters including regulatory issues and contractual matters, image rights and marketability, as well as on personal matters. The ideal candidate will also handle media & entertainment work. We also have extensive experience advising leagues and governing bodies in relation to corporate governance matters. 

Main duties and responsibilities

Applicants will be expected to apply in depth knowledge in sports law and be familiar with trying to reach commercial solutions for clients in sometimes difficult and pressured conditions. The work will cover, amongst other things, participating in regulatory disputes and conducting international and domestic dispute resolution (including litigation, arbitration and mediations) in various courts and tribunals (primarily domestic sports tribunals, FIFA, UEFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport). The ideal candidate will also have experience handling media & entertainment work. Applicants must have prior demonstrable experience in this field and strong connections in the industry will be an advantage.

Why should I apply?

As a successful and growing team we attract work from significant clients and from all offices of Mills & Reeve. The work is varied, interesting and intellectually stimulating.

This is a great opportunity to join a forward thinking law firm. The firm has been named as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the Sunday Times’ annual survey, and is one of only a small number of organisations nationally to have achieved a listing for 20 years running, and the only UK law firm.

What experience is required?

We are looking for a highly driven and motivated associate who will thrive in an international, fast paced and exciting team.

The successful candidate will have very good regulatory and/or dispute resolution experience from a leading law firm or in-house team, having handled complex regulatory/contentious sports law matters and ideally media & entertainment experience. We are also looking for someone who could generate introductions and potential new work streams for the team. This would represent an excellent opportunity for career advancement whilst working in a friendly and collaborative team.

If an appropriate applicant has sufficient experience and credible network of contacts, it is not necessary to be a qualified solicitor. However, it will be necessary to complete the requisite courses to qualify as a UK solicitor.

 What skills and attributes would I need?

  • The successful candidate will have, as a minimum, the following skills and attributes:
  • Degree or equivalent grades from an overseas university
  • An extensive knowledge of, and strong experience in, sport and football in particular and the legal and regulatory issues involved therein
  • Experience in entertainment & media is ideal but not essential
  • Strong networking skills and the ability to generate leads. A following of clients is preferred but not essential
  • Experience in handling complex regulatory/contentious matters in a sports law context.
  • Commercial awareness and an understanding of financial information (e.g. being able to understand a
  • company’s financial records, Balance Sheets, Profit and Loss statements etc.).
  • Working knowledge of general commercial and corporate laws and employment law.
  • Excellent IT literacy, including advanced skills and experience with MS Office.
  • Effective time and matter management skills with a systematic approach to work.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and team skills with a team-player attitude.
  • Strong delegation skills and the ability to learn from, and give guidance to, colleagues.
  • Drive and commitment to see a job through to conclusion.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Lateral thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • Confidence, energy and enthusiasm.
  • A commitment to regularly update his/her own technical expertise and to achieve continuous improvement and development.
  • Ability and desire to build and strengthen relationships with clients and potential clients, and an enthusiasm for business development.

In addition, while not essential, we hope to find a candidate with some or all of the following:

  • Masters in International Sports Law.
  • Contributions to/ willingness to contribute to Sports Law publications.
  • Language skills (preferably Spanish) or an ambition to learn Spanish. Other language skills are a plus.

Who would I be working with?

The successful applicant will be working primarily with Mark Hovell and Carol Couse in the sports team who are based in our Manchester office. The sports team forms part of the wider Regulatory Public and Commercial Disputes NSL, headed up by partner, Duncan Astill.

Pre-employment screening

Please note that, in the event that we make an offer for a role, we will conduct pre-employment screening that includes, but is not limited to, a basic DBS check, right to work check, any disciplinary history recorded with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and a self-declaration to assess your character and suitability for the role.  A full policy of the screening the firm undertakes is available on request.

Disclosure and barring service check and security clearance

This post is also subject to a satisfactory response from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (to check for any previous criminal convictions and cautions) and, given the nature of the work-type, you may also be required to undergo national security vetting to SC level – the latter can be undertaken following commencement of employment.