The Legal 500 – Sports

The Legal 500 – Sports

We are delighted that Mills & Reeve has been once again nominated by The Legal 500 as a top-tier law firm in the sports sector in Manchester/North West, as well as in East Anglia and London. Our team was also ranked in Tier 2 for Media and Entertainment in the North West. 

Our team is considered to have ‘very good lawyers at the senior end and some capable and keen juniors’ and to be ‘excellent’ and ‘approachable, commercial and very good on regulatory matters’.

Mark Hovell has been named a leading individual and described as ‘senior statesman’ with ‘very wide experience, including as a CAS arbitrator’. Mark, a partner and head of the sports team at Mills & Reeve, is a leading arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), where he has been selected to hear over 200 cases since his appointment in 2002. As a result of his experience and reputation as an arbitrator, he was selected to the CAS ad-hoc committee for the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games. He was also selected as one of twelve arbitrators to the ad-hoc panel for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Over the past twenty years, Mark has advised hundreds of athletes on their sporting contracts, image rights, and endorsement deals. As a noted insolvency expert, he has also advised nearly sixty football and rugby clubs in insolvencies and restructurings. Mark is also on the UK’s Sports Resolutions tribunal panel and is a member of the UK’s National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP).

Carol Couse is considered to be ‘very hardworking’ and someone who ‘delves into all aspects of a dispute, never leaving a client short-changed’. She was commended for using her fluency in Spanish ‘to great effect in the Spanish and Latin American football industry’.

Carol, a consultant in the sports team at Mills & Reeve and head of the Latin America Desk, has over thirteen years of experience in sports law, both in-house at Manchester United and in private practice. Carol frequently advises top athletes, agents, and clubs in Spain and Latin America.

Chris Belcher was quoted to have ‘his pragmatic approach to problem solving, client rapport, and knowledge of tax and the law’ as ‘major attributes’. Chris has ‘good empathy with his clients and provides clear advice that it is easy to follow, even though it may be complicated in practice’.

Partner and team leader of private client team, Chris advises many high-profile international footballers on commercial endorsements, image rights and tax matters, as well as on their complex trusts and tax planning.

Richard Plaistowe ‘has a deep understanding of patent law’. He is a dual qualified South African attorney and English solicitor, who has specialised in intellectual property law since 1992 and works with clients in the UK and across the world to protect, enforce and exploit their IP. Richard advises athletes and sports bodies on image rights, endorsement agreements and trade mark protection, from a contentious and non-contentious standpoint.

Rachael Somerset, who advises corporates, education establishments, high-net-worth individuals and sports clients is particularly known for her work on reputation management issues in the sports sector.

In compiling the contents of The Legal 500 Series, independent experienced researchers interviewed over 10,000 lawyers and around 250,000 client references were taken up.

For a full profile of Mills & Reeve's listing in The Legal 500, click here.

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