Will’s Sports Law practice encompasses advising and representing clients in regulatory and disciplinary disputes. Will has a particular expertise in football, and regularly acts in high profile cases for sports’ governing bodies, such as the Football Association (the FA) and the English Football League (the EFL).
Will is adept at dealing with both on and off-field disputes. On-field, he is often instructed in matters relating to violent or abusive conduct by players, coaches or supporters. Off-field, Will specialises proceedings relating to intermediaries (i.e. players’ and clubs’ agents), and disputes which centre on the ownership, and ownership structures, of football clubs. Will has extensive experience dealing with as well as safeguarding disputes and Anti-Doping Regulation Violations.
Will has represented the FA at appellate level, and advised both the FA and the EFL in relation to High Court proceedings.
Will was seconded to the Football Association in 2018.
Will is a member of the British Association for Sport and Law (‘BASL’)
Will’s current instructions include:
- Advising the FA in relation to alleged breaches of the Working with Intermediaries Regulations by a club, club director and intermediary as a result of the hidden ownership structure of a club;
- Advising the FA in relation to alleged sham contracts paid by a Championship club to third parties to secure playing contracts;
- Advising the FA in relation to alleged breaches of the Anti-Doping Regulations by a first team coach found to have purchased performance-enhancing drugs online;
- Advising the FA in relation to alleged breaches of the Working with Intermediaries Regulations arising as a result of monies paid by a high-profile Intermediary to the family of a young player to secure a Representation Contract;
- Advising the EFL in relation to alleged breaches of the Owners and Directors Test arising as a result of the ownership structure of a club; and
- Advising the EFL in relation to alleged breaches of the Owners and Directors Test arising as a result of the attempted hostile takeover of a club.
Will’s recent cases include:
- The FA v Millwall Football Club: Represented The FA in a case brought against the club as a result of racist chanting heard at a match against Everton at the den in January 2019. Millwall were fined £10,000 and ordered to implement an action plan.
- The FA v West Ham United Football Club: Represented The FA in a case brought against the club as a result of significant crowd disorder at a match against Burnley at the London Stadium in March 2018. The case was complicated by WHUFC’s contract with the operators of the London Stadium. The FA successfully proved its case, and the Club was fined £100,000;
- The FA v David Manasseh: Represented The FA in case brought against a leading football intermediary and managing director and co-founder of the Stellar Group, for approaching and entering into a representation contract with a player aged under 16. Mr. Manasseh denied the charge, but The FA successfully proved its case. He was suspended from intermediary activity for three months and fined £50,000.