Paolo Lombardi is the founder and managing director of Lombardi Associates, a UK-based boutique sports regulatory firm founded in 2010, which acts for a range of football stakeholder clients including clubs, players, coaches, intermediaries, associations, leagues and investors. He also provides external advice to law firms.
Paolo studied law at the University of Padova. He then undertook the FIFA Master (MA) in Management Law and Humanities of Sport in 2002. In 2010 he was named Honorary Professor of the International Sports Law ISDE Masters, Madrid
Paolo began his career in the football industry when he joined the FIFA Players’ Status Department in 2002, becoming Deputy Head in 2006. He was involved in many important cases, which impacted significantly on the existing jurisprudence on contractual stability (Mexes, Mutu, Matuzalem among others) and, as of 2005, was in charge of all agent-related matters. In addition to handling FIFA Players’ Status Committee and Dispute Resolution Chamber proceedings, Paolo represented FIFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a number of cases.
At FIFA, Paolo was involved in the working groups for the drafting and re-drafting of various FIFA regulations, including the Statutes, the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, the Players’ Agents Regulations, the Disciplinary Code and the Code of Ethics. In addition, Paolo conducted discussions with WADA during the creation of the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations.
In 2007 he was appointed Head of FIFA Disciplinary and Governance, where he oversaw all disciplinary and governance matters both in-house and at various FIFA tournaments such as the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
After leaving FIFA following the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Paolo founded Lombardi Associates. His work includes advising over one quarter of clubs in the Italian Serie A, as well as providing advice to Lega Serie A and a number of clubs across Europe. Paolo advises clients on transfers, dispute resolution, breach of contract, training compensation and solidarity mechanism, registration of minors, eligibility and more. With the increasing impact of UEFA’s FFP, he has also assisted clubs with both UEFA and national licensing issues, including in front of CAS. Paolo’s activities for clients include consulting and providing expert opinions on aspects of national and international regulations and regulatory interpretation for investors.
Paolo has been involved in a number of landmark cases, which have shaped the recent jurisprudence of CAS. Including his time with FIFA, Paolo has been involved in hundreds of CAS proceedings.
Paolo lectures on an ad hoc basis for a range of Universities, Masters programmes and conferences. Lombardi Associates also stages the very successful Edinburgh Sports Conference, most recently held in 2019 with high profile speakers including Neymar Senior and Fabio Capello.
He speaks English, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
 Among others, CAS/2014/A/3597, CAS 2014/A/3500, CAS 2014/A/3620, CAS 2016/A/4518-4519, CAS 2017/A/5090, CAS 2018/A/5513 on training compensation and solidarity contribution; CAS 2016/O/4496 on CAS jurisdiction; CAS 2014/A/3701, CAS 2017/A/5100-5106, on the issue of sell-on clauses; CAS 2016/A/4816, CAS 2018/A/5628 on contractual stability; CAS 2017/O/5143.on tax-related issues; CAS 2014/A/3629, CAS 2019/A/6324 on UEFA licensing; CAS 2018/A/5910 on enforcement of FIFA disciplinary decisions.