Bishop & Sewell

Wimbledon, as we know, the world’s greatest tennis tournament, gets underway today and many of us are looking forward to it. Recently, over a Pimm’s, the subject came up of just how many people make up the entourage, in particular, of the younger players breaking into the ranking tournaments, writes David Little, a partner in our Corporate and Commercial department who increasingly handles Sports Law cases, too.

Speaking up for the lawyers, I suggest one of the primary areas of support is contract negotiation and management. This involves negotiating sponsorship and endorsement deals, ensuring that the terms are not only favourable but also protect the player’s long-term interests. For players joining professional teams or leagues, I can negotiate playing contracts that cover critical aspects such as salary, bonuses, and other essential benefits. Managing appearance fees for tournaments and ensuring that prize money is appropriately handled and received are also key components of this service.

Legal and regulatory compliance is another critical area where sports lawyers provide support. Ensuring that players comply with all regulations set by tennis’ governing bodies like the ITF, ATP, WTA, and the Grand Slam tournaments is essential. I can provide detailed guidance on anti-doping rules and assist in handling any allegations or issues that may arise, safeguarding the player’s career and reputation.

Protecting a player’s intellectual property and image rights is of utmost importance. Safeguarding the player’s personal brand by trademarking their name and likeness, is crucial for long-term brand management. Additionally, a sports lawyer negotiates and manages the use of their image in various media formats, ensuring they receive fair compensation and maintaining control over their public persona.

As far as financial and career management are concerned, the legal team assist here too, offering advice on tax obligations and strategies to minimise tax liabilities, which is especially important given the international nature of tennis. By assisting in managing earnings and investments, we can help ensure the player’s long-term financial stability. This involves working with financial advisors and accountants to create a comprehensive financial plan that supports their current lifestyle and future aspirations.

In instances where disputes arise, whether with sponsors, tournament organisers, or other parties, obviously lawyers provide representation and dispute resolution services. This includes legal representation in any lawsuits or legal actions involving the player, ensuring that their rights are protected, and their interests are defended.

Career guidance and transition planning are increasingly services taken up by sports lawyers. A professional tennis player’s career is short so assistance in planning for life after tennis, exploring opportunities in coaching, commentary, or other ventures that leverage their expertise and experience needs to be looked into. Buying or investing in property, wills and estate planning and family law matters, are all issues with which my colleagues in Bishop & Sewell can also assist.


Contact our Sports Law and Corporate & Commercial expert

David Little is a Partner at Bishop & Sewell in our expert Corporate & Commercial team. If you would like to contact him, please quote Ref CB480 on either 07968 027343 or, 020 7631 4141 or email:

The above is accurate as at 01 July 2024. The information above may be subject to change.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog, News | Date: 1st Jul 2024

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