Over the course of our research, we have identified 312 sports lawyers and 213 entertainment lawyers as leading figures for their expertise in topics that range from handling high-profile international sports arbitration to advising clients on complex regulatory frameworks governing gaming and gambling operations.
The Global Elite Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
Who’s Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
Adam Lewis QC’s “approach to cases is extremely impressive” according to peers who single him out “the leading sports QC on his feet”.
The “excellent” Nick De Marco QC has an “encyclopaedic knowledge of football law” and is recognised by sources to be “rapidly becoming the go-to QC for football disputes”.
Michael Beloff QC is a leading light in sports law with an unparalleled knowledge of the industry. He is certainly “one of the masters of international sports law”.
Jane Mulcahy QC ranks highly among peers thanks to her “amazing ability to retain every detail” which makes her “the best-prepared advocate in the market”.
Kate Gallafent QC is held in high esteem for her “pragmatic approach” and is widely considered as a “real star in the sports market”.
Ian Mill QC is praised as a “ferocious advocate” who is highly commended for his “tireless hard work” when acting for sporting individuals and teams.
Carol Couse draws praise for being a “pleasure to work with” on sports law matters and is “focussed on client care and ensuring the finished product is of the highest quality”.
Mark Hovell is an “extremely good” sports arbitrator who is considered “one of the best arbitrators in the market” as a result of his “calm and bright” approach.
Tiran Gunawardena is a “rising star” in the market with a “growing reputation” and has a particular forte in advising high-profile clients on regulatory and commercial matters.
Ross Wenzel is the “most experienced” and “best anti-doping lawyer around”, with observers calling him “extremely hard working” and “impressive in the hearing room”.
Commentators regard David Casserly as “one of the top practitioners in the field” as he excels on football related disputes and “works to understand every detail of the case to see the bigger picture”.
Jean-Pierre Morand is a talented sports lawyer with strong experience in international sports arbitration proceedings. He is highlighted as “very practical and professional” in his approach.
The internationally renowned François Carrard is held in awe by peers who place his “extensive experience” and arbitration expertise in high regard.
François Kaiser is a “very well-connected sports lawyer with deep experience in the field” and in advising Swiss and international clients on contract-related matters.
Peers have every confidence in recommending Jonathan Taylor QC, who enjoys an “excellent reputation in doping matters” and is hailed as “the best in the UK”.
Martin Schimke is “deservedly often nominated as arbitrator” in international sports disputes and is described by market sources as both “highly intelligent and experienced” in the sector.
Sources commend Max Duthie’s “dogged determination” which they liken to “scrummaging an immovable object”. They effuse he is “very experienced and knowledgeable” and “very well known for his work in rugby”.
Felicity Reeve is “one of the top practitioners in the sports field” and leaves clients “very impressed with her excellent work”.
Juan de Dios Crespo Pérez has an “extensive list of clients in football, particularly clubs” and is recognised as the “number one” practitioner in Spain.
Enric Ripoll is a “great lawyer with ample experience in CAS and other sports-related proceedings”, and “belongs to one of the best firms around”.
Agustín Amorós Martínez is “recommended for sports litigation matters” by peers, who applaud his impressive track record in international dispute resolution proceedings.
Sports specialist Alfonso León is credited with an excellent international reputation by observers who express considerable praise of his work before the Court of Arbitration.
Lucas Ferrer “is an excellent lawyer” who draws plaudits from market sources for his experience in contentious matters and deep knowledge of issues relating to football contracts.
Jose Juan Pintó Sala is celebrated as one of the “most experienced sports lawyers” in the market and gains recognition for his expert handling of football-related disputes.
Antonio Rigozzi has a “wealth of experience” in representing high-profile clients in international sports tribunals and is an “outstanding” lawyer in his field.
Brianna Quinn is a “very smart and through” practitioner who has “worked on many high-profile cases”, making her a go-to name in sports law.
Sébastien Besson is distinguished by sources as “very personable, very responsive, and great to work with”. They commend his work for always being “of the highest quality”.
Javier Ferrero Muñoz is held in high esteem thanks to his “professionalism and technical expertise”, coupled with his “deep knowledge of soccer regulations”.
Sources describe Íñigo de Lacalle as a “top sports lawyer” who regularly “advises clubs, agents and players” in the football industry on a range of matters.
Julio Senn is a highly sought-after practitioner who has extensive expertise in providing high-profile clients with economic legal advice in the sports industry.
With over 30 years’ experience in the entertainment sector, Julian Harris is commended for his encyclopaedic knowledge and distinguished reputation, notably when it comes to gambling and licensing matters.
John Hagan approaches gambling and licensing matters with the utmost dedication and is adept at representing the leading online operators in the market.
Hilary Stewart-Jones is a “gaming law expert”, highly sought after for her immeasurable expertise and excellent reputation in eSports in particular.
Other leading individuals
At Altius, Sven Demeulemeester is highlighted as an “excellent all-round lawyer with a fantastic team around him”, with a particularly “excellent classic sports practice”.
Keane Legal’s Benoît Keane is hailed as an “expert in European sports law” and possesses “excellent knowledge and reliability and flexibility as to client’s needs”.
Lars Hilliger of Advice Law Firm is “the top” lawyer in the Danish market, with observers noting him as a “very knowledgeable” practitioner with “extensive expertise across the field of sports law”.
Peter Lambert of Lassen Ricard has a “very broad client base” and has established a reputation among peers for consistently being “very active in the field” of entertainment law.
At CMS, David Zeffman is a “highly respected” individual with over 25 years’ experience in representing high-profile gambling, sports and entertainment companies.
The internationally renowned Tony Coles of Ince is a “well-regarded” practitioner who has garnered a stellar reputation for his expertise in gaming and betting matters.
Morgan Sports Law’s Mike Morgan is “one of the biggest names in the market for high-profile disputes” and is considered the “best anti-doping lawyer in the UK”.
At Centrefield, Matthew Bennett is widely regarded as a “skilled regulatory advocate” who is “excellent on footballer’s contractual issues”.
Ian Lynam of Northridge Law is a “specialist in rugby law” according to peers who note they “cannot recommend him enough for his excellent work”.
Squire Patton Boggs’ Stuart McInnes MBE is “excellent on anti-doping and football” matters and has international expertise, regularly sitting as arbitrator for the CAS.
Stephen Sampson is a renowned litigator in the market who draws plaudits from peers and clients alike for his extensive expertise on sports and brand management matters.
Stephen Ketteley of Wiggin is an “excellent gambling lawyer” who is “very active” in the online gambling and gaming sectors.
From Moyersoen Avocats, Patricia Moyersoen is “very well regarded” by peers and clients alike as a result of her experience in advising French football and rugby clubs.
Jörg Hofmann of Melchers is a “well regarded practitioner” who brings deep experience and a sweeping knowledge of gaming law to his work.
Martens Rechtsanwälte’s Christian Keidel is an “excellent” lawyer who has become a renowned specialist for disputes in the sports industry.
Joachim Rain of Schickhardt Rechtsanwälte draws praise for being “great on labour law matters in the field of sport” and regularly works on complex international football transfers.
Efraim Barak of EB SportLaw is “one of the best arbitrators in sports” with a “great reputation” and “lots of experience in the CAS”.
The internationally renowned Gil White of Herzog Fox & Neeman has an excellent reputation among peers who applaud his first-class gaming and gambling practice.
At Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale, Ernesto Apa is distinguished for his “outstanding work” in the data and entertainment sectors and draws praise from market commentators for his “deep experience”.
Luigi Fumagalli of Studio Prof. Luigi Fumagalli is “one of the very best CAS arbitrators” in the market say peers who add he is “calm, super sharp” and “always well prepared”.
From Coccia De Angelis Vecchio & Associati, Massimo Coccia is widely regarded as “one of the best arbitrators in the world” and is hailed “the top sports lawyer in Italy and the most experienced”.
Giorgio Mondini of Mondini Rusconi Law Firm is a “very prominent music lawyer” who excels in representing large Italian media companies in transactional and contentious matters.
Dennis Koolaard of De Kempenaer Advocaten is a “rising star who has been involved in lots of arbitration proceedings and has a huge understanding of how the CAS works”. Peers regard him as having “the most expertise for a lawyer in his generation”.
The “outstanding” Manfred Nan is a “highly recommended CAS arbitrator” who holds a great reputation among peers for his deep international expertise.
Coelho Ribeiro e Associados has an “excellent” practitioner in Rui Botica Santos, who is a “great CAS arbitrator” and the “top Portuguese sports lawyer” in the market.
Joao Nogueira Da Rocha of Global Lawyers is a “top sports lawyer” according to market commentators, who describe him as a “great CAS arbitrator and very tough opponent”.
Daniel Muñoz of Muñoz & Arias Sports Lawyers is “recommended for international transactions” as a result of his “excellent knowledge of the sector” and “knowledge of international regulations”.
Josep Vandellos Alamilla of Vandellos Sports Law regularly sits as arbitrator for the CAS and specialises in representing clubs and athletes on the international market.
Bellver Sports’ Reyes Bellver is an “outstanding lawyer who is very knowledgeable and dedicated” and “stands out for her commitment to promote education in the field of sports law”.
From Bär & Karrer, Michele Bernasconi “always impresses” peers and clients and is considered “one of the brightest minds in the sports law universe” and “one of the best in Switzerland”.
Jan Kleiner is hailed as a “very smart sports lawyer” who has an “outstanding” reputation and is “very well known” in the Swiss market.
Ulrich Haas of Times Attorneys is the “top CAS arbitrator” in the market and certainly “one of the most prominent”, combining a “very analytical and skilful” approach in his work.
Stephan Netzle comes highly recommended by peers and clients alike and is described as “an outstanding sports lawyer with an impressive client portfolio”.
Luca Tettamanti of Elite Law has “extensive knowledge over a wide spectrum of legal matters” and is “very precise on the details” and provides “practical solutions”.
From Libra Law, Claude Ramoni draws praise for being “excellent on doping matters” and regularly advises national and international sports athletes in the industry.
Jorge Ibarrola has established a reputation among peers for being “truly one of the best in the world” and particularly “excellent in governance cases”.
Marc Cavaliero of Cavaliero & Associates has “gained lots of experience from working at FIFA” and “is doing an excellent job after setting up his own firm” according to impressed peers.
William Sternheimer of Morgan Sports Law is a “very experienced” practitioner who impresses peers with his “attention to details”, “practical insight”, and “availability and reactivity”.
Patrick Lafranchi of Lafranchi Meyer is “an experienced arbitrator with the CAS” and is “a true expert of sports law” according to observers.
Despina Mavromati of SportLegis is a “brilliant and accomplished” lawyer, well renowned for having “built a great name and profile in the market”.
At Vischer, Rolf Auf der Maur is lauded by peers for being “excellent” on intellectual property matters in the media and entertainment field.
At Akalp Law Firm, Koray Akalp stands out as “one of the best lawyers in matters relating to FFP and transfers” and is certainly a “star” in the market.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
Bob Tarantino is a leading light in the Canadian market thanks to his extensive experience advising on film and television production and copyright matters.
Juliet Smith is a “leading lawyer” in entertainment law, who is looked upon with enormous favour for her work on film, television and media-related matters.
David Steinberg is a “top lawyer” according to market sources, who applaud his deep knowledge and experience in the television and music industry.
Ken Dhaliwal is a “pleasure to work with” say sources who note he “understands the industry very well and is great at facilitating the completion of complex deals”.
Jim Russell is a well-recognised figure in entertainment law, who draws praise from peers for his adept handling of bank financing across the sector.
Jeffrey Mishkin comes highly recommended by peers and clients alike for his “outstanding” practice and wealth of experience in anti-doping matters in the NBA.
Anthony Dreyer is a “well-known” and well-respected figure in the market, who is held in awe by peers for his IP and litigation work in the sports sector.
Shephard Goldfein has a wealth of experience in serving as arbitrator and litigator in the sports industry and is renowned for working with high-profile clients.
The internationally renowned Carolyn Stamegna is a “top-class” lawyer who excels at advising Canadian public and private media companies.
The established David Zitzerman is “always great to work with on a deal” and “represents clients well while taking a practical approach to getting things done”.
Sources set great store by Tara Parker, who is tremendous when dealing with major US and Canadian studios and broadcasters.
Wayne Katz is an “excellent attorney” recognised for his deep experience working with the NHL and NBA in commercial matters.
Joseph Leccese enjoys an “excellent reputation” among peers as a result of his wealth of experience and significant expertise providing first-rate counsel to sports leagues and teams.
Casey Chisick is deemed an IP specialist by sources, who recognise his strong experience in providing transactional advice to film and television companies.
Stephen Selznick has a “rare combination of technical legal knowledge and practical examples and anecdotes” and gives clients “tremendous peace of mind by having him as their advocate”.
Leonard Glickman is widely acknowledged as being “one of the top lawyers” in the Canadian market for providing expert IP advice to entertainment clients.
Jason Bullen is a “huge talent” in Canada. His “attention to detail is very impressive”, as is his “big picture vision and strategic insight”.
The “excellent” David Budd comes highly recommended for his “wealth of experience” in advising on the financing of international sports franchises.
Founding partner Skip Brittenham is a vastly talented practitioner who draws plaudits for representing major studios and entertainment multinationals.
With over 30 years’ experience, Cliff Gilbert-Lurie is recognised for his outstanding work in negotiating contracts for major television clients.
Co-founder Kenneth Ziffren impresses clients and peers alike with his market-leading expertise in representing national television and film clients.
Mark Clayton is “very well regarded” in entertainment law by peers, who admire his US and international gaming practice.
The greatly experienced Jay Cooper is an “esteemed lawyer” who specialises in representing artists, directors, and writers in contract negotiations.
Other leading individuals
Richard McLaren of McKenzie Lake Lawyers is “one of the world’s best” lawyers and is renowned for his leading work on anti-doping matters.
The internationally renowned Richard Pound QC at Stikeman Elliott is a “well-known professor and lawyer” in the Canadian market who excels on anti-doping matters.
Dickinson Wright’s Michael Lipton QC is an “expert in regulatory and gaming” matters and draws plaudits from observers for his deep experience in advising casinos and gaming enterprises.
At Buchli Goldstein, Christina Buchli is praised as “very knowledgeable and practical” in her handling of financing, distribution and IP matters relating to the film and entertainment industries.
From Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond, Ron Hay stands out for his domestic and international practice focusing on the film and television industries.
Diana Cafazzo comes highly recommended by peers and clients alike for her significant expertise representing international media clients in co-ventures.
Susan Abramovitch of Gowling WLG has a “deep knowledge” of the music and film sector and is widely regarded as an “excellent” transactional lawyer.
Howard Jacobs of The Law Offices of Howard L Jacobs is an “excellent attorney for athletes” and is “greatly experienced in sports doping matters”.
Winston & Strawn’s Jeffrey Kessler is an “excellent attorney” who is “especially reputable in the sports arena” and belongs in the “top-tier” of advocates.
At Global Sports Advocates, Paul Greene is an “extremely successful” sports lawyer, hailed as “highly skilled” and “always ensures his approach mirrors the clients’ preferred strategies”.
Fox Rothschild’s Nicholas Casiello Jr stands out for his “deep knowledge” of the international gaming market and has amassed over 30 years’ experience in representing casinos and gaming manufacturers.
Covington & Burling’s Gregg Levy is a “very accomplished” practitioner who receives high praise for his work in acting as counsel for the NFL.
Sources express considerable approval of Benjamin Block, thanks to his sweeping knowledge of the sports industry and experience in representing high-profile US clients.
Maidie Oliveau of Arent Fox is an “excellent” lawyer who excels at advising professional sports teams and leagues, both domestically and internationally.
Richard Brand is an “excellent naming rights attorney” who is singled out by sources as “very smart and great negotiator”.
With over 40 years of experience, Richard Young of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is “very knowledgeable on anti-doping law” and is adept at related dispute resolution proceedings.
Peter White of DLA Piper is a “highly skilled sports lawyer”, who has over 25 years’ experience in representing teams in the world’s leading sports leagues.
The greatly experienced Don Passman of Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown is an “incredibly well regarded” entertainment lawyer known for his strong specialism in the music business.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Scott Edelman has a sweeping knowledge of the entertainment industry and represents high-profile studios and television networks.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
Stefano Malvestio is “the best in South America” according to peers, who describe him as a “top-notch practitioner who knows player transfers very well”.
Marcos Motta is widely regarded as being “one of the best in the world”, with deep experience representing high-profile clients in the football and film industries.
Sources have every confidence in recommending Bichara Abidao Neto, thanks to his knowledge and experience of contracts and international football transfers.
Mariano Claria is a “very active sports lawyer” who is “among the best in South America” for “defending clubs in significant CAS cases”.
Rafael Trevisan is “one of the top names in South America” according to clients, who applaud his extensive expertise in representing clubs and athletes.
Other leading individuals
Ariel Reck of Reck Sports Law is described by peers as being “among the best in the world” and “one of the leaders in sports law”.
At Cravo Pastl and Balbuena Advogados Associados, Daniel Cravo Souza is regarded as “one of the best in South America”. He “never stops fighting for his clients and for what he believes”.
Breno Costa Ramos Tannuri of Tannuri Ribeiro Advogados is an “excellent advocate” who specialises in football law and representing agents.
From Mattos de Paiva Nogueira & Ribeiro Advogados, Luiz Fernando Pimenta Ribeiro is commended for his “excellent” labour law expertise within the football industry.
Marcelo Goyanes of Murta Goyanes Advogados is “recommended for his audio-visuals work” and is very knowledgeable about trademarks in the media and entertainment sector.
César Giraldo of Gher & Asociados is hailed as the “best in Columbia” and “an expert in sports law” by peers, who commend him for “contributing to the development of sports law” in the region.
With over 25 years’ experience, Ricardo De Buen Rodríguez of DE BUEN is considered the “go-to” lawyer in Mexico thanks to his extensive expertise in international sports law.
González Mullin Schickendantz & Asociados Estudio’s Horacio Gonzalez-Mullin is distinguished as “one of the best in the world” for sports law. Sources note he is “a great teacher, a fierce lawyer and has been involved in several landmarks cases in the CAS”.
Antonio Quintero of Carrero & Quintero Abogados is a “very professional and prompt” practitioner who has “helped clubs achieve great successes from his work”.
Global Elite Thought Leaders
Stuart Corbishley of Corbishley Sport & Law is an “excellent” and “pragmatic” practitioner who excels at advising clients on major sporting events.
Martin Ross of Hall & Willcox is a leading sports lawyer renowned for his extensive experience in representing high-profile athletes and sponsors.
The internationally renowned Jamie Nettleton of Addisons comes highly recommended by peers for his in-depth understanding of gambling and betting law.
From Allens, Tim Golder is a “technically excellent” practitioner “with a deep knowledge of the sports industry”. Sources note he brings “outstanding legal analysis” to his work.
Alan Sullivan QC of Eleven Wentworth Chambers is “the leader of the sports law bar in Australia”, an area in which he is described as being “vastly knowledgeable and experienced”.
Paul Hayes QC of Owen Dixon Chambers West is an “extremely knowledgeable” practitioner with “extensive knowledge of sports law” and “deep experience in sports-related disputes”.
Eleven Wentworth Chambers has an impressive arbitrator in Malcolm Holmes QC, who has “an outstanding international reputation as a sports law arbitrator and educator”.
Sources would not hesitate from recommending David Wu of Llinks Law Office as a result of his deep experience in assisting clubs and agents in the sports industry.
Haldanes Solicitors and Notaries’ John Paul McLellan is “regarded as one of the leaders in the region for media and entertainment matters” and has “excellent legal and industry knowledge”.
Maria Clarke of Maria Clarke Lawyers is a leading sports lawyer in New Zealand, leaving clients “impressed by her thorough approach” and profound industry knowledge.