Charles Russell Speechlys and Couchmans Join Forces to Create a New Model for Legal Services in Sport

Published: 18 Jan 2018


Charles Russell Speechlys today is delighted to announce that the partners and staff of Couchmans LLP will be joining the firm on 22 January 2018.

By combining its pre-eminent full-service s‎ports law offering with Couchmans’ s‎ports law boutique service, Charles Russell Speechlys will be uniquely placed to advise clients internationally on all the legal and strategic issues that they may encounter in the s‎ports and related technology, media and lifestyle sectors. ‎

Couchmans is a Tier 1 boutique practice and has been one of the leading brands in sports law for nearly two decades.  Their 11 strong team advises clients operating in the sports, media, technology and lifestyle sectors around the world. It was founded in 2001 by Nic Couchman, who will become Head of Sport at Charles Russell Speechlys.

The arrival of the Couchmans team coincides with the appointment of Darren Bailey as a consultant. Darren was previously Director of Football Governance and Regulation at The FA, and is a leading expert in sports law, integrity and regulation.      

James Carter, Managing Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys, says:

“We are delighted to join forces with Couchmans. Charles Russell Speechlys has been at the forefront of providing legal advice to the sports sector for over 100 years and has acted in many of the leading cases and projects that have helped to shape what is now known as sports law.  The addition of the market leading Couchmans team is a bold and innovative step forward for both firms and creates what we believe will quickly become the pre-eminent international sports sector legal practice.

We firmly believe that through this combination, we will stay at the cutting edge of the sports business as it becomes increasingly global. Clients will have access to a commercially orientated, sector specialist service on a full service international platform, but will continue to benefit from the personal attention that is the hallmark of both firms.”

Nic Couchman comments:

“Charles Russell Speechlys provides the perfect platform for us.  Both firms are immersed in this sector and have a track record of innovation and working on ground breaking projects. We have helped to shape and guide the change and growth in the sports sector over two decades.  This exciting next step in our development allows us to meet the needs of our clients who want sector specialist advice across the full range of legal disciplines with a global outlook.

We intend to set a new standard for sports law firms, not just in the UK, but internationally.” 


About Charles Russell Speechlys

Charles Russell Speechlys works with clients in the UK and throughout the world. Our lawyers are based in 11 locations across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia and through each of these locations clients are able to access the full range of the firm’s skills and expertise.

Our skills and experience span the full spectrum of business and personal needs. This gives us a wider perspective, clear insight and a strongly commercial long-term view.

This approach has made us a leader in the world of dynamic growth and family businesses, and among the world’s leading creators and owners of private wealth and their families. Major corporates and institutions find our more considered and personal approach a refreshing alternative to conventional business law firms.

About Couchmans

Couchmans is a market-leading boutique law firm renowned for its expertise in the sport, media, technology and lifestyle sectors. We provide commercial, legal and business advice to clients from around the world who value our deep sector focus, our approachability and our innovative approach to client service.  We are listed as a top tier law firm in the Legal 500 and have been voted Law Firm of the Year in Sport internationally by Who’s Who Legal for 2 years in succession.

Nic Couchman

Nic is the founder and Chairman of Couchmans LLP and has led the firm since 2001. A specialist sports business and rights lawyer, and a well-known figure in the UK sports business, he has extensive experience in developing and implementing commercial rights programs and strategies for a large number of sports, events, investors, sponsors and sports businesses. Nic has worked in over 25 sports.

Nic’s clients have included the International Olympic Committee, Formula 1 Management, Rugby World Cups 1991/1995/1999/2003, Ascot Authority, Six Nations, European Rugby Cup, International Tennis Federation, England and Wales Cricket Board; Premier Rugby, Poland 2012, British Champions Series, Volvo Ocean Race, Nova International, The Great Run Company, World Match Racing Tour; International Rowing Federation (FISA), Aviva, BT, Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Haymarket Publishing, Heineken, Nationwide Building Society, Nike, Nokia, News International, Panasonic, Rio Tinto, Sports Investment Partners, and UK Sport, as well as various high profile players and athletes and player associations such as the Gaelic Players Association and World Pro Surfers.

Nic is a co-founding partner in sports specialist investment firm, Sports Investment Partners, chaired by Sir Martin Broughton and co-founder of sports strategy company, Sport360 Consulting.

Nic was named as one of the world’s twenty most influential sports lawyers by Sport Business magazine, and featured in The Times “Top Ten Sports Lawyers” list.



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