Leading Sports Lawyers in Middle East Join Firm in Dubai

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    Squire Patton Boggs has appointed Steven Bainbridge as a partner in its Dubai Office and as its Head of the Sports & Entertainment Group, Middle East. He joins from Al Tamimi & Company in Dubai where he was Head of its Sports Law & Events Management practice, the region’s first dedicated sports law practice. Joining Mr. Bainbridge is senior associate Andrew Moroney, also from the Sports Law & Events Management practice at Al Tamimi & Company.

    Welcoming Mr. Bainbridge and Mr. Moroney, Stephen Sampson, global leader of the Sports & Entertainment Group, said, “Our practice has long-standing client relationships with Government Ministries and agencies, sports bodies, clubs, players and coaches in the GCC and our strategy is to significantly grow our work in the region. With the arrival of Steve and Andrew, the practice has taken a major leap forward, to become the leading practice in the Middle East. They bring with them the special combination of local and global multi-sport expertise and insight that defines the sports law group at our firm. With Steve and Andrew in Dubai, and Warren Phelops and Mike Llewellyn in London last year, the practice continues to attract leading talent in the international sports law sector.”

    UAE managing partner Tom Wilson added: “It’s great to have Steve and Andrew with us. Their reputation in the sports sector in the region is second to none and their extensive cross-border commercial experience will be of great benefit to our varied client-base. Sport is booming in the Middle East and there are numerous opportunities for businesses to get involved.”

    Mr. Bainbridge advises on a wide range of transactions across a number of sports, such as motorsports, cycling, golf, tennis, cricket, football, horseracing and triathlon, amongst others. He acts for individuals, corporate entities, governing bodies and institutions, on matters involving sports regulation and governance, stadium naming rights and sponsorship deals, broadcasting, merchandising and licensing agreements, athlete endorsement agreements, player contracts, disciplinary issues, safeguarding and anti-match-fixing protocols, and venue management arrangements.

    Having trained at DLA Canada, Mr. Bainbridge practised in both North America and Asia-Pacific before moving to the Middle East in 2008. He spent five years (2001-2006) at one of the largest law firms in Tokyo advising on broadcast rights and entertainment contracts in connection with events including FIFA World Cups and X-Games, PGA tour sponsorships, videogame licensing, stadium naming rights and athlete endorsement deals. He joined Al Tamimi & Company in 2008 overseeing corporate projects teams advising clients on sports investment and management issues, all phases of cross-border investment, M&A issues and commercial work. In 2011 he moved in-house as GC at Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management LLC, where he managed the central legal function of the iconic F1 venue Yas Marina Circuit for two years, before rejoining Al Tamimi & Company in 2013 to establish the Sports Law & Events Management practice there.

    Mr. Bainbridge is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, International Bar Association and the Canadian Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates. He is a World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal member, a lecturer and advisor to numerous Sports Law LL.M. programs, and has been recognised in The Legal 500 (TMT), Chambers Global (Commercial) and Who’s Who Legal as a leader in Sports & Entertainment.

    Senior associate Andrew Moroney has practised sports law in the Middle East since 2018. Qualifying at Fieldfisher LLP in London as a litigation lawyer, he later spent two years as legal counsel at The Football Association where he advised on integrity, safeguarding, player transfer, and intermediary issues, as well as compliance with FIFA/UEFA Statutes and Regulations, the sanctioning and licensing of competitions, spectator banning orders, and various claims. During his time at The FA, Andrew also acted as the Secretariat of the Rule K Arbitration process and he currently sits on the International Paralympic Committee’s Anti-Doping Panel and Board of Appeal of Classification.

    As one of the leading international sports law teams, operating across 20 countries, Squire Patton Boggs advises clients in range of disciplines, including football, US football, baseball, basketball, cricket, tennis, motor racing, cycling, athletics, equestrian sports, parkour and boxing. The firm’s sports lawyers have acted for national and international governing bodies, national Olympic committees, leading clubs, kit manufacturers, sports marketing agencies, player agencies, sponsors, banks, investors and individual sports people.

    The appointment of Steven Bainbridge and Andrew Moroney follows the expansion of the practice in 2020 with the arrival of Warren Phelops and Mike Llewellyn from K&L Gates in London.

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