Bringing together the firm’s established expertise in litigation & dispute resolution, employment, intellectual property, brand protection, defamation, immigration, regulatory and disciplinary matters, the Sports Law Team act for a wide array of sporting clients ranging from individuals to amateur and professional clubs to leading regulatory bodies. For more information on the work done by the team also see website www.fullcontactlaw.co.uk.
Dan is also one of a small group of solicitors in the country who regularly provides representation before Sports Tribunals - bringing to bear his wealth of experience as an advocate before the Employment Tribunals where he is a recognised leader in the field. Some examples of the Sports Law Team’s work include successfully acting for Norwich City Football Club in its high profile libel case against the News of the World, securing another confidential libel victory for a leading motor racing driver in a highly sensitive claim against a well-known publisher and representing both Formula One racing drivers and teams.
In addition to football, Dan is best known for his prominent work in motorsport. He regularly appears before the Motorsport UK National Court representing drivers and teams and is one of the very few solicitors in the UK to conduct this type of specialist work. Dan has for many years acted for motor racing teams at all levels of the sport (including Formula 1, F2 and F3) and numerous racing drivers, from junior and karting levels through to Indy Car, F1 and GT racing. In the 2019 motor racing season alone, Dan and the Sports Team were involved in over 35 matters involving either Formula 1 or its two support series (F2 and F3) and are retained by a number of high-profile clients to give rapid and dynamic advice in a range of contractual, commercial, regulatory and crisis management matters. Dan and the Sports Team acted in 2018 for then F2 driver Alex Albon as he signed for the F1 team Toro Rosso for the 2019 season before getting promoted to the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team and again in 2021 when he signed for Williams for the 2022 season. Dan is also the lead lawyer for Hitech GP who compete in F2, F3, British F3 and Asian F3 amongst other series. In December 2020, Dan again appeared before the National Court at Silverstone successfully appealing a sanction imposed against the F3 driver Louis Foster. Also in late 2020, Dan was again working in F1, this time as the lawyer for Nikita Mazepin as he signed a multi-year contract with the US owned Haas F1 Team. In 2021, Dan led on the contractual negotiations for and represented the Title Sponsor of a F1 team in a multi-million pound sponsorship deal.
Recent reported cases:
Leathes Prior acts as Alex Albon returns to the Formula One grid
Successfully represented Louis Foster on his Appeal before the Motor Sport Council’s National Court.
Assisted Nikita Mazepin to sign a multi-year deal with Haas F1 Team.
Dan is one of the few solicitors nationwide to also be an active FA Registered Intermediary (more commonly referred to as a ‘football agent’) and he and his leading team have many years of experience acting for professional players and football clubs in contract negotiations or transfers working with clubs in the Premier League, the Football League, the Scottish Premier League and also overseas.
Dan has appeared before numerous FA, Football League and National League Tribunals and Arbitration Hearings. In particular, he regularly deals with Rule K arbitrations, acting for clubs, players and FA Registered Intermediaries and he also advises those parties in relation to transfers, eligibility issues and a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters. He also has considerable experience advising either clubs or managers/coaches on recruitment, contracts and termination and has drafted or advised upon managerial and coaching contracts at all levels of professional football. In 2018, Dan acted for an entire back-room staff upon their departure from an EFL Championship club to a nearby rival. In 2019, Dan acted for a Premier League football club as they entered into a long-term contract with their Sporting Director and during 2020/2021 Dan acted for a League Two club on the sale of a highly talented young player to a top six Premier League club and also for a non-league club on their club record sale of a player to a Championship club.
The team’s clients include a number of household names and - in addition to football and motorsport clients - the team have a strong practice acting for regulatory bodies in sport. Dan has acted for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for many years on a wide range of legal matters and more recently a further large national regulatory body has started to instruct the team on a regular basis.
Dan regularly commentates on sports law matters for national and specialist media (including the likes of the Guardian, the Times, BBC Radio 5 and the World Sports Advocate) and in the football world he has become a renowned expert in training EPPP and Youth Development disputes and issues, training compensation, Football Intermediary Regulations and regularly advises clubs, players and agents on the myriad of legal issues at play. During 2017, Dan acted on two occasions for a player (and his family) in claims against a Premier League football club.
Dan has contributed to the World Sports Advocate to cover topics such as the employment status of non-league footballers and compensation in football (full, unedited version here).
For further information of how the Leathes Prior Sports Team can help you, please contact us via email or call 01603 610911.