couchmans

When Couchmans LLP was founded fifteen years ago we made a very conscious decision to position ourselves as the specialists in the global sports industry.  

Focusing on this niche specialism was a highly strategic decision. With revenues exceeding $100bn, the global sports business is a massive growth market offering enormous commercial opportunities, as well as increased competition and deepening regulatory complexity.

The global sports business requires truly experienced and independent advisors with not only the insight to understand and anticipate emerging issues, but the creativity and specialist legal acumen to help clients capitalize on every opportunity.

Work and practice

Couchmans is the go-to provider of legal and commercial counsel across the spectrum of global sports services, from intellectual property rights, sponsorships and media rights, to data, betting and integrity, sports investments and M&A activity. Operating in more than 25 countries and across more than 30 sports, from major football events to pro surfing, Couchmans is truly immersed in sport.

Though much of our work is extremely high profile, our role is frequently behind the scenes. This has seen Couchmans develop long-standing and valuable relationships with some of the best-known names in sport, from renowned Olympic, Premier League and Tour de France stars, to leading sponsor brands such as Barclays, Aegon, Aberdeen Asset Management and cycling brand, Rapha.

We have worked extensively with major sports bodies, leagues and clubs to help develop, structure, exploit and protect their commercial rights and interests. A huge range of clients, from the International Tennis Federation, the ATP and Royal Ascot, to the Premier League, La Liga, Liverpool FC and Inter Milan FC have benefitted from our experienced counsel.

In addition to well-known clients, we also represent minority sports, junior athletes, entrepreneurs and small sports and tech businesses working at the cutting edge of sports innovation. It’s our ongoing aim to help them grow and thrive in this competitive market.

This commitment to supporting innovation has seen us in recent years broaden our client base beyond fan-based sports, working increasingly with the emerging mass participation and fitness sector, assisting event owners, wearable tech companies, performance brands and sponsors.

Talent and values

Part of our success stems from the fact that adding value is a core component of our ethos. We are a commercially-minded firm skilled at using our insight and experience to add tangible commercial value to our clients’ strategies. At the same time, our relatively small size allows us to be flexible and entrepreneurial in our methods and advice.

The whole team shares in the firm’s identity and we work closely together to maximise the benefits of our collective expertise for our clients and, importantly, to use our passion for sport to fuel our work. The entire senior team are independently recognised as leading experts in sports, while our associates are real stars in the making.  

We always aim to attract the most talented, commercially minded, sports lawyers to join us. We have successfully recruited many lawyers with blue chip City law training, who have a real passion to work in the sports sector, and who want to work in an environment where they are given the freedom and flexibility to develop and build their practices.

The future

The biggest development for us in recent times is the growing global demand for our services. Our experience working for major sports franchises and brands in the UK, Europe and beyond is enormously helpful when advising investors and companies from China, South East Asia, the Middle East and the USA who are increasingly seeking to make strategic investments in sports franchises and businesses with global appeal or scalability.

Our niche focus on sports law is without question our biggest asset and we pride ourselves on the 360ᵒ perspective we are able to offer clients. The breadth and depth of our experience across numerous sports in multiple markets, has given us unique and privileged access to the innermost workings of the industry.

Technological, political and commercial developments are constantly shifting the goalposts and sports businesses and professionals need now, more than ever, to be able to respond to the risks and capitalise on the opportunities.

If you would like to find our more about Couchmans and our work, please contact Nic Couchman - nic.couchman@couchmansllp.com

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