Eastwoods’ team of experienced sports defence lawyers is equipped to advise institutional and individual clients in an amateur or professional sport setting. With our extensive experience of regulatory and litigation defence, we can assist with representation before governing bodies, disciplinary panels, selection and funding committees, sports-related arbitration and personal injury litigation.
Examples of Eastwoods’ Sports Defence Experience
Sport Resolutions Pro Bono Panel
Sport Resolutions (SR) is an independent, not-for-profit dispute resolution service for sport based in the UK. In the lead-up to the London Olympics in 2012, SR established a pro bono legal advice and representation service, which provides access to a panel of sports defence lawyers who assist individuals with matters conducted by Sport Resolutions panels and other national governing body tribunals. Eastwoods has been a member of that Panel since 2012 and our sports defence lawyers have assisted a number of individuals, examples of which include:
- Para athlete – advice given in regard to Paralympic deselection issues;
- Referee – advice and representation in challenging a National Governing Body, following revocation of a refereeing licence. We assisted with consideration of “out of time” appeal;
- Paralympic athlete – advice and assistance following deselection from a National Programme;
- Weightlifter – advice and assistance in regard to anti-doping rule violations;
- Coach – advice and representation in challenging a National Governing Body proposal to withdraw a national coaching licence for safeguarding reasons, before a Sport Resolutions Panel. Proposal successfully resisted.
- Volunteer – advice and assistance to a participant in local administration of National Sport, challenged through the National Governing Bodies processes.
- Winter Olympics athlete – advice and assistance regarding non-selection in a National Programme, and health issues.
Personal Injury Litigation
Eastwoods’ sports defence lawyers have considerable experience of defending sports-related claims.
This has meant defending clients from a wide range of different sporting disciplines, including football coaches, fencing coaches, amateur wrestlers, judo instructors, diving instructors, leisure centres and many others.
Our sports personal injury defence lawyers have successfully defended several cases all the way to trial and are well-equipped to defend any sport-related personal injury claim.
Medical Malpractice/Clinical Negligence Claims
As part of our wider experience of defending clinical negligence claims, our sports defence lawyers have defended doctors in a sporting context. Examples include:
- Defending a part-time medical officer at a Premiership Football Club in relation to a court claim for alleged clinical negligence (failure to advise / failure to refer).
- Defending a doctor employed by a Premiership Football Club in relation to allegations of failing to adequately screen and treat an academy player suffering from a serious underlying disorder. A court claim was made against various healthcare employees of the Premiership Club, and independent healthcare professionals.
High Profile Cases
- At the time of opening the firm in 2004, Eastwoods’ sports defence lawyers represented Dennis Wise, former captain of Chelsea Football Club, with regard to an alleged incident which occurred during a pre-season tour by whilst he was employed by Leicester City FC. In due course, Mr Wise was dismissed by the club, and Eastwoods represented him, assisted by Counsel, at the internal disciplinary hearing and subsequent appeal, together with Employment Tribunal Proceedings, which led to a determination that Mr Wise was unfairly dismissed.
- Eastwoods assisted and advised a doctor involved in a high-profile sporting incident, in regard to the termination of employment by Trust. An out of court settlement was agreed.
- Carneiro v Chelsea Football Club / Mourinho – Eastwoods represented Dr Eva Carneiro in her claim for unfair dismissal against Chelsea Football Club. Working with Mary O’Rourke QC, Eastwoods was able to secure an out of court settlement for Dr Carneiro.
- Advising and assisting a healthcare professional employed by a National Governing Body, in the context of an international anti-doping investigation, including advice in regard to and attendance at an interview, and a request to attend a DCMS Parliamentary Committee Hearing.
- Advice and assistance to a doctor employed by National Governing Body in relation to a UK Anti-Doping Investigation, DCMS Parliamentary Committee Inquiries and evidence, as well as a subsequent GMC investigation.
Simon Eastwood has shared a particular interest with Mary O’Rourke QC in relation to the role and duties of doctors undertaking healthcare duties in a sporting context, and several of the above cases have been undertaken with Miss O’Rourke QC as Counsel. Simon Eastwood delivered a lecture in relation to these issues to the Medical Equestrian Association, in November 2017.
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