September 1, 2018
Muckle is the only firm recognised for sports law in the North of England. The firm is described as ‘a clear leader in the field’, taking top spot in the Legal 500 UK league table for the past seven years.
Its dedicated sports legal team has built up a strong reputation, with national and international clients including The Football Association (FA), Premier League, the EFL Trust, England Athletics, parkrun, the Rugby Players’ Association and the Caribbean Premier League T20 cricket tournament.
Earlier this year, Muckle was re-appointed to the national legal panel framework for Sport England, UK Sport, Sport Wales and the Sport & Recreation Alliance, making it one of only ten UK law firms authorised to provide a full legal service to over 300 national governing bodies and affiliated members.
Muckle LLP’s sports legal team is led by partner John Devine, who has spent over 17 years advising governing bodies, leagues, clubs, professional sports people and agents. His team’s reach within this niche sector has made a tangible impact at policy level, having advised Sport England on HMRC’s national consultation leading to the reform of the Community Amateur Sports Clubs Regulations.
One of the team’s most significant projects is The FA’s £200m Parklife initiative. The project aims to more than double artificial turf pitch use by 2020, introducing up to 100 new artificial 3G pitches nationwide and establishing a network of regional charities to run the new community football hubs.
The firm has advised on a string of high-profile charity exhibition football matches with Europe’s elite clubs – including the legends of Rangers, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle United, each hosting top European opposition from Italy and Spain. Muckle also advised on last year’s highly successful #Game4Grenfell at Queens Park Rangers’ Loftus Road ground, with former Newcastle favourites Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand leading the two teams of legends involved, raising over £908,000 in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Lee Hoos, CEO of QPR FC, says: “The impact of the fire on the local community around Loftus Road was devastating, so both the club and the QPR in the Community Trust were determined to play our part in supporting those affected by the tragedy. John helped us to structure the celebrity fundraising match in the best way, so as much of the money raised was able to benefit those most in need.”
John Devine, partner and head of Muckle LLP’s sports team (pictued), adds: “Lee and everyone behind #Game4Grenfell have done such an amazing job of raising funds and spirits after such a harrowing tragedy. We were honoured and privileged to be able to help, using our skills in a sector we are incredibly passionate about.
“We have a strong sporting culture within Muckle and many of our staff take part in the firm’s regular running, walking and cycling clubs. I’d hope that this enthusiasm for and enjoyment of sport comes across in how we work with our clients in this field.”