Warren Phelops has been working as a lawyer in the sports media, entertainment and gambling sectors for more than 27 years. Prior to joining the firm, he was Global Head of Sport, Media and Entertainment at an AmLaw 100 firm. Warren completed his training and qualified as a corporate and commercial lawyer at a magic circle international law firm.
Warren has acted for some of the biggest names in the sports, media and commercial rights sectors, involving marquee global, regional and domestic events (Olympics, Asian Games, FIFA World Cup, Cricket World Cup, Rugby World Cup, Six Nations, Ryder Cup and America’s Cup).
He was named in Sports Business International as “one of the world’s 20 most influential lawyers in the sports industry” and has been described in the leading legal directories as “without doubt the foremost rainmaking lawyer in the sports sector”.
The majority of his work focuses on rights/content ownership and exploitation, event staging, governing body regulation, structuring, strategy and broadcast/media issues. Warren has advised many leading governing bodies, broadcasters/production house/media/technology/telco businesses, right holders, merchandisers, sponsors, hospitality/travel and tour operators, and data businesses. These clients tend to operate internationally, and Warren’s work has covered many areas and countries across the world, especially the US, Europe, India, South America and Australia.
Warren’s media experience in sport goes back to when he advised the hosts of the 1996 Cricket World Cup on their global tender and sale of television rights to the event.
Since then, he led his team advising the owners on the key packaging, tender and sale of audio-visual media rights to every Cricket World Cup, from 1996 to 2015 (bar 1999). He has also advised other national cricket boards on the exploitation of their media rights, including ICC Full Member national cricket boards.
He has been at the forefront of other groundbreaking deals, including advising FA Premiership and Scottish clubs and media companies on strategic media alliances (which he helped advise) and other broadcast matters.
More recently, Warren advised seller side for the leading men’s professional tour in tennis and the premier German professional football league. He also advised buyer side for a media company (on its successful tender for Croatian football), a preeminent Indian broadcaster on international media rights tenders, two premier European football leagues, a leading OTT/streaming platform, a leading global sports media production house, a leading provider of augmented reality advertising, and a large owner of horse and greyhound racecourses on media/broadcast matters. His domestic and international broadcasting, digital media and data work covers a wide range of sports, such as football, American football, rugby, golf, rowing, surfing, boxing, mixed martial arts, motor racing and horse racing.
Warren also has a long history of advising on key international and domestic sponsorship deals and programmes for premier global, regional, national and team rights owners, and for recognisable, international brand name sponsors in the telecommunications/mobile, banking/finance, computing, consumer goods, consumer foods, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, insurance, professional services, and travel and hospitality sectors.
These deals/programmes cover international events (such as Olympics, Cricket World Cups, Rugby World Cups, Formula One, America’s Cup and Ryder Cup), national teams, clubs and world-renowned athletes.
Warren has worked with a number of leading brands, particularly involving sports apparel and shoes. Those he has advised on a range of matters, mainly on sponsorship, endorsement and licensing matters with national teams, leading international clubs and players in football, include some of the best known globally in the sports apparel market.
Warren is a director of Sports Resolutions UK, sits on the editorial boards of the International Sports Law Review and World Sports Law Report, and is a co-author of the sports law “bible” Butterworths Sports Law & Practice.
For many years, Warren has advised on a wide range of gambling-related matters in the following areas: regulatory, licensing, commercial, technology and consumer. Some of that work over the years has been for leading operators in the sector, such as Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Betfair and Aspire Global, as well as their suppliers, such as Perform Group (Stats Perform).
Other Media and Entertainment
Warren also has experience in the film and television sectors.