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Claude Ramoni

Claude Ramoni

Libra LawMaison du Sport International54, avenue de RhodanieCase postale 1044LausanneVaudSwitzerland1001

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Claude Ramoni draws praise for being “excellent on doping matters” and regularly advises national and international sports athletes in the industry. 

Questions & Answers

Claude Ramoni (PhD in law) is a Swiss -qualified attorney-at-law, partner of the Swiss law firm Libra Law, in Lausanne. Since 2001, Claude Ramoni has advised and represented national and international sports federations, national Olympic committees, clubs and athletes before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, legal bodies of international federations and Swiss courts in various areas, with specific focuses on anti-doping, disciplinary and contractual matters, as well as governance issues. Claude Ramoni is also serving at the UEFA Appeals Body and he is a visiting lecturer for numerous masters programmes worldwide.

How did you come to specialise in sports law?

I started my career as an attorney specialising in sports law by advising the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and numerous large sport federations when the first edition of the World Anti-Doping Code entered into force in 2004.

Then, after having dealt mainly with doping cases for more than five years, I started my own practice where I had the chance to expand my activities and handle numerous different cases, in doping and disciplinary matters, but also in governance issues or contractual disputes.

What qualities make for an effective sports lawyer?

A sports lawyer first needs to love sport. This is necessary as being a sports lawyer means dealing with sporting matters 365 days a year.

Then, a sports lawyer needs to understand the sporting “market” and the needs of athletes, clubs and federations. This means evolving in an international environment, with clients and parties from the entire world. The life of an athlete is rhythmed by competitions, and, quite often, there is only one chance to win a world title or an Olympic medal. Each case is therefore extremely important for an athlete or a team: if the athlete or team is not successful in court, there will be no second chance. The opportunity will be lost forever. 

A sports lawyer needs to be a specialist in the matter, proactive and efficient, ready to work in extreme urgency and under high pressure, while at the same time understanding the global sporting environment.

How have client demands and priorities changed since you began practising?

Twenty years ago, sporting regulations were quite simple; the initial philosophy of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was to offer to the sport market an efficient and simple way to solve disputes.

Nowadays, cases are much more complex than before. Regulations have evolved and are more sophisticated in almost all areas. Clients therefore need specialised advice and competences. It is no longer possible for a general practitioner to act before sporting bodies.

How does your appointment at the UEFA Appeals Body enhance your current practice?

Being an efficient sports lawyer also means understanding how arbitrators or members of a sporting body conduct their reasoning before issuing a decision. As a member of the UEFA Appeals Body, I now have the privilege to be part of a highly qualified decision-making body, mainly in disciplinary matters, seeing the work of attorneys from the perspective of a “judge”. 

How have you seen covid-19 impact the approach of regulatory authorities in the sports industry?

I have been involved in drafting and reviewing regulations and guidelines aiming at setting rules about the way to organise competitions in the coronavirus pandemic. I have also renegotiated host city agreements, as organising a competition with the covid-19 situation means higher costs and significantly lower sources of revenues.

The sports industry has been extremely efficient in setting innovating regulations and guidelines allowing for sporting events to take place despite a truly unfavourable general environment. 

What significant changes do you see arising from the revised World Anti-Doping Code which came into force on 1 January 2021?

The most significant changes introduced by the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code are not about offences or sanctions, but about the procedure. The way result management and hearings are conducted is now subject to a specific standard; first instance decision-making bodies need to be independent from sport federations; there are incentives for an athlete suspected of doping to enter into a case resolution agreement at an early stage of the process.

This is surely a valuable evolution, but this means for an athlete suspected of doping that professional specialised advice is now required at the beginning of the case. It is often too late for an athlete to consult a specialist only when the matter is brought before the CAS.

What is the most interesting case you’ve been a part of and why?

I have been involved in numerous cases about compliance of teams or sporting bodies with their obligations towards WADA or international federations in terms of the fight against doping. Those cases involve not only defending the interests of the team/national federation in the context of disciplinary proceedings, but also helping and assisting in implementing procedures and practices to fight doping and ensure that its affiliated athletes are duly educated and monitored. I have strived to defend such cases to avoid possibly counterproductive disciplinary sanctions, preferring (soft) measures that will help strengthen the fight against doping.

What advice would you give to someone looking to set up their own firm?

Setting up your own practice means being able to bring a true added value to your sporting clients. I would recommend candidates to first acquire enough experience – and ideally a professional network – in a specific field of sports law before setting up a law firm. The sporting regulations are becoming much more complex and only specialists can efficiently defend the interests of their clients.

Global Leader

Sports 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Claude Ramoni draws praise for being “excellent on doping matters” and regularly advises national and international sports athletes in the industry. 

Biography

Claude Ramoni is a Swiss qualified attorney-at-law, partner and co-founder of the Swiss law firm Libra Law, whose offices are located at the Maison du Sport International, in Lausanne. Since 2009, Libra Law has specialised in advising and representing clients in the fields of sports and business law.

Claude Ramoni holds a law degree and a doctorate in law (PhD) from the University of Lausanne.

Since 2001, Claude Ramoni has advised and represented clients from the world of sport, such as national and international sports federations, clubs and athletes in various areas, with specific focuses on anti-doping, disciplinary and contractual matters and governance issues. He regularly acts as counsel before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, judicial bodies of sports federations or Swiss courts, including the Swiss Federal Tribunal. He also advises international sports federations in their day-to-day business.

In July 2020, Claude Ramoni has been appointed at the UEFA Appeals Body.

Claude Ramoni further advises medium-sized and large companies in their business activities. Most notably, he handles M&A operations and complex contract negotiations. He also serves as a board member of several Swiss companies and foundations.

Claude Ramoni is a visiting lecturer for several master programmes, including those at the Academy of Sports Science and Technology (Lausanne); the International Centre for Sports Studies (Neuchâtel); the University of Lleida (Spain); the Qatar Olympic Academy; and the Real Madrid Graduate School. Being fluent in English and French, Claude Ramoni is a frequent speaker at sports law conferences and regularly publishes contributions in the field of sports law, in particular on anti-doping matters.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Claude Ramoni is a renowned international sports lawyer who is applauded by peers for his deep expertise in advising sports federations and clubs. 

Biography

Claude Ramoni is a Swiss qualified attorney-at-law, partner and co-founder of the Swiss law firm Libra Law, whose offices are located at the Maison du Sport International, in Lausanne. Since 2009, Libra Law has specialised in advising and representing clients in the fields of sports and business law.

Claude Ramoni holds a law degree and a doctorate in law (PhD) from the University of Lausanne.

Since 2001, Claude Ramoni has advised and represented clients from the world of sport, such as national and international sports federations, clubs and athletes in various areas, with specific focuses on anti-doping, disciplinary and contractual matters and governance issues. He regularly acts as counsel before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, judicial bodies of sports federations or Swiss courts, including the Swiss Federal Tribunal. He also advises international sports federations in their day-to-day business.

In July 2020, Claude Ramoni has been appointed at the UEFA Appeals Body.

Claude Ramoni further advises medium-sized and large companies in their business activities. Most notably, he handles M&A operations and complex contract negotiations. He also serves as a board member of several Swiss companies and foundations.

Claude Ramoni is a visiting lecturer for several master programmes, including those at the Academy of Sports Science and Technology (Lausanne); the International Centre for Sports Studies (Neuchâtel); the University of Lleida (Spain); the Qatar Olympic Academy; the Real Madrid Graduate School and the FIFA Executive Programmes. Being fluent in English and French, Claude Ramoni is a frequent speaker at sports law conferences and regularly publishes contributions in the field of sports law, in particular on anti-doping matters.

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