Chris Farnell – Senior Partner

Chris Farnell advises leading Premier League and Football League Clubs, leading sporting and media agents and a number of high profile sporting individuals on a wide variety of matters.
Chris' practice areas include: Sports, Media & Entertainment. He specialises in image rights, third party ownership issues, player transfers, intellectual property contracts, contract re-negotiations, sponsorship and endorsement contracts, defamation, sports dispute resolution, footballer and agent disputes, doping hearings, regulatory issues, and both contentious and non-contentious intellectual property law.
Chris has advised on a leading number of high-profile cases in the area of sports law, some of which are listed below: -

  • Roberto Martinez
  • Chris represented Roberto Martinez in his dispute with Everton FC gaining a record pay-out for his Client and also advising on Roberto Martinez appointment to the Belgian FA

  • Swansea City Football Club
  • Chris was the lead lawyer on the sale of the football club to the new owners;

  • Tyson Fury
  • Represented the former World Heavyweight Champion;

  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Chris acted on behalf of Cristiano Ronaldo during his time in the UK on various significant commercial matters;

  • The Football Association v Queens Park Rangers Football Club
  • Chris acted on behalf of Queens Park Rangers in defense of seven charges that were brought by The Football Association in relation to Third Party Investment and Football Agents' Regulations. Five of the charges were successfully resisted which contained the most serious of the charges brought by The Football Association. As a result of defending such charges Queens Park Rangers avoided the possibility of a points deduction and were therefore able to gain promotion to The Premier League as Championship winners. This was the most significant football legal case since the "Tevez" case.

  • Agent v Gavin McCann
  • IPS Law successfully defended the Player in relation to a significant claim brought against him by an Agent.

  • Other notable experience includes:
  • Advising Premier League managers on their employment contracts;
  • Advising leading Premier League managers on sponsorship, endorsement and Image Rights;
  • Providing advice to a Premiership Manager in relation to a motoring matter.
  • Advising in relation to a number of Premier League and Football League takeovers;
  • Advising a leading Premier League club in relation to all of its trade mark and infringements;
  • Advising Premier League and Championship clubs in relation to various regulatory and contractual issues;
  • Providing legal advice in relation to the transfers and negotiated contracts of a number of recent high profile players in the Premier League;
  • Advising a leading Premier League Club in relation to endorsement agreements centered around the World Cup in respect of a number of their high-profile players;
  • Advising Premiership and international players on a variety of contractual and endorsement matters;
  • In addition to work in the UK & European Courts and Tribunals, Chris has represented individuals and professional football clubs before The FA, Premier League and Football League disciplinary panels.

    Chris Farnell – Senior Partner

    Stephen Taylor Heath – Partner

    Stephen Heath is a specialist Sports and Media Lawyer

    In addition to over 20 years in private practice Stephen has held high profile in-house positions in the Sports Industry including Racing UK ,Frank Warren's Sports Network and recently Leeds United Football Club. Stephen is currently General Counsel to Boxnation a specialist Boxing channel forming part of BT Sports.

    In private practice Stephen uses his legal expertise to PROTECT client’s reputations and commercial interests. For example: dealing with ‘trolls’ who steal identities, content, artwork as well as defame and intrude your private life. For example Stephen acted for Didi Hamman to resolve a twitter dispute with Joey Barton.

    Stephen provides representation and advocacy in sporting tribunal proceedings including FA Rule K, EFL disciplinary proceedings, FL Rule C and Rule E proceedings, Boxing Board of Control proceedings and Employment Tribunal proceedings. He represents Clubs, players and agents as well as disputes with governing bodies.

    Stephen has had conduct of include high profile disputes in the High Court with professional clubs and sponsorship agreements, kit supply agreements, agent disputes, injunctions and ownership disputes. Other key matters have included player/agent, player/club and Boxer/Promoter disputes.

    Stephen advises on Brand protection and key Intellectual Property Rights protection including Image Rights contracts for players.

    Clients past and present include

  • Sports Promoters Frank Warren Promotions, Queensberry Media, Seconds Out, Football Agents, KMA, First 11 Sports and several others.
  • Phone hacking victims
  • Pro Boxers – Amir Khan, Joe Calzaghe, Danny Williams,
  • Pro Rugby Players – Keith Senior, Chev Walker, Glen Morrison
  • Rugby League Clubs – Hull KR, Bradford Bulls, Sheffield Eagles, Huddersfield Giants
  • Pro Footballers and Clubs – Leeds United ,Didi Hamman Tom Cleverly, Scott Dann, Victor Anichebe, Leigh Bromby, Phil Jagielka, Sunderland FC
  • Sports and Media Broadcasters – Racing UK, Fitness TV, Seconds Out , Frankwarren.TV, Boxnation
  • Music Management
  • TV Programme Production Companies
  • UK Counsel for several overseas athletes, artists, music /sports promoters and broadcasters including Sauerland GMBH, Showtime, Don King
  • Specialties: Services Stephen currently provides:

  • Your contracts – drafting, advising and dispute resolution
  • Your reputation and the web. Including “trolls "who steal identities, content artwork as well as harass, defame and intrude. Stephen acted for Didi Hamman to resolve a twitter dispute with Joey Barton
  • Your content on the web
  • Your ‘Image Rights’
  • Your Privacy
  • Your Brand Protection:
  • Your hassle
  • All legal aspects of a sports or media event Broadcast and media rights agreements Entertainment law including management and band agreements and recording contracts

    He works closely with top Sports Agencies Accountants, IFA's and PR to offer the complete support solution to anyone who wants to make it in sports media and entertainment.

    Stephen Taylor Heath – Partner

    Morgan Lewis – Solicitor

    Morgan Lewis comes to IPS Law as a newly qualified solicitor having spent 3 years working in a criminal practice which has seen him work on many high-profile cases that have attracted media attention.

    He was part of a team that represented 3 interested parties to the recent Hillsborough inquests. He was tasked with analysing and assessing many different forms of evidence for a trial that broke records as the longest jury trial in UK history.

    Despite his age, he has dealt with a significant number of clients and advised them legally both in an office setting and in representation when questioned by the police.

    He has also assisted his former senior partners in cases involving high profile celebrities in a range of matters spanning from historical sexual abuse to speeding offences.

    Sport has always been a passion of Morgan’s and he is keen footballer having had trials with professional clubs during his university days and played for the Independent Schoolboys Team in an international v Scotland.

    Since joining IPS, Morgan has already advised a Premier League Club in relation to the termination and appointment of their management team. He has drafted and negotiated image rights agreements and advised on players coming in to the Premier League. All of this has been combined with advising in relation to potential disputes between Clubs, Players and Agents and facilitating the pursuit/defence of these claims through the High Court and Arbitration.

    Morgan Lewis – Solicitor

    Natasha Maher – Trainee Solicitor

    Natasha has worked at IPS Law for over two years and is a trainee solicitor qualifying in May 2017. She specialises in licensing and intellectual property law and assists the team on all matters within sports law. Most recently assisting the senior partner, Chris Farnell, in the sale of Swansea Football Club.

    Natasha also has experience of club acquisitions, image rights, player transfers, intellectual property contracts, sponsorship and endorsement contracts, licensing and sports dispute resolution including footballer and agent disputes. She works on all matters within football, boxing, rugby league, speedway and motorsports.

    Previously working for IMG in their Shanghai office, she has worked with major brands and organisations including X Games, PGA Tours and Playboy. Natasha is particularly proficient in dealing with trademark infringement claims, breaches of copyright, registered and unregistered design disputes and has advised on matters in relation to image rights protection and athlete endorsements. Before joining us in 2014 Natasha was a commercial paralegal in the Manchester office of a leading national law firm. Natasha graduated in 2010 (LLB in Law) and is currently completing an LLM in International IP Law.

    Natasha is fluent in Mandarin having worked in Shanghai for 3 years.

    Natasha Maher – Trainee Solicitor
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