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We provide legal services to the sports industry at all levels.

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Sport in the community

We support a number of local sports clubs and individuals; here are a collection of shots:

Leeds 10K Pre Race 
Leeds 10K Post Race
Wooden Spoon Annual Touch Rugby Tournament at Headingley Stadium

Blacks / Sagars / BBC Radio Leeds and Yorkshire CCC 5 a-side tournament
Blacks Solicitors versus Yorkshire CCC annual 11 a-side football match at Guiseley AFC

James Farad cycle from Leeds to Paris; Yorkshire Mafia

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The Sports Team has an envied reputation within the sport industry, particularly in relation to our work with sports individuals and our extensive industry knowledge and the Team is annually recognised for its expertise in the Legal 500 for sports law.

The Sports Team acts for individual sportsmen and women and those working in the sports industry.

Our sports consultants provide a truly niche service to sportsmen and women in relation to their professional and personal lives. The sports consultants bring to the table vital industry knowledge which extends beyond the law and adds value to our clients as they have been there and done it. 

The Sports Team serves new and existing clients of the firm who are involved in all aspects of sport, thus providing a comprehensive ‘one-stop’ service that ultimately enhances the profile of Blacks and provides opportunities for all departments. 

The Sports Team acts for and advises numerous professional sportsmen and women in a range of sporting and personal-related matters and legal issues. We also advise a number of sports clubs, sports associations, sports manufacturers and sports retailers.

We are able to link into various areas of sports media and networks, enabling us to provide a legal perspective on news concerning topical sports issues. We have also become a focal point for media interviews and features: members of our Sports Team have written a number of articles, reports and features for sports journals and magazines and have frequently appeared on national and regional television and radio.

The firm is a corporate member of the British Association for Sport and Law ("BASL"), a professional association representing sport law practitioners, sports administrators and sports law academics and students.

We are also members of the Sports Lawyers Association ("SLA") and the International Association of Sports Law ("IASL").

Chris Allen, Nick Rhodes and David Paterson are all registered lawyers with the Football Association. 

David Paterson is also a registered lawyer with the Rugby Football League. 

Meet the Team

Blacks’ nationally recognised Sports Team (recommended in the Legal 500) provides advice to sports people, clubs and organisations alike. The Sports Team is headed up by Chris Allen . The Sports Team is bolstered by a Team of current and ex sports professionals.

You can meet the members of the Sports Team here:

Latest Sports Law blog post

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Rugby Union doing a ‘Neymar’

Wednesday September 06 2017

There has been something in the water this summer, in the parallel transfer markets of rugby union and football. In the latter, Neymar Jr. transferred to PSG in a deal worth an eye-watering £370m, a sum of money inconceivable within … Continue reading

Is now the time for the Aviva Premiership to be ‘ring-fenced’ – Part II?

Friday August 26 2016

Richmond RFC will make a welcome return to the Championship following their catastrophic demise in 1999 when millionaire backer Ashley Levett pulled his cash and the club went into administration and was sent crashing to the ninth tier of English … Continue reading

Is now the time for the Aviva Premiership to be ‘ring-fenced’ – Part I?

Monday August 01 2016

Earlier this week a new deal worth £225 million between the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby was announced, but where does that leave Championship rugby with play-off rugby only guaranteed until the end of this season? The thrilling … Continue reading

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Chris Allen
Chris Allen
Managing Partner
0113 227 9228

Chris Allen qualified as a Solicitor in 1993 and joined Blacks Solicitors in 1994, where he has held the position of Managing Partner since 2008.

He specialises in advising on the drafting and negotiation of Settlement Agreements, drafting contracts of employment, and conducting Employment Tribunal proceedings.

Chris is recognised by The Legal 500 for “leading by example” and for being “friendly and reasonable”. He has also been flagged by Chambers & Partners as “an absolutely first class communicator, whether that is with his clients or with the community more widely.”

He is also a member of the firm’s Sports Law team which acts on behalf of a number of sports clubs, associations, manufacturers and retailers. The Team is recommended by The Legal 500 for providing “a very high level of service.” Chris is noted as a Leading Individual in this area of law and is described as a “consummate professional and a concise lawyer with a fine eye for detail.”

Matt Diskin
Matt Diskin
0113 207 0000

Brian Deane
Brian Deane
Sports Consultant
0113 207 0000

Dave Paterson
Dave Paterson
0113 227 9341

Dave Paterson joined Blacks Solicitors in 2004, where he trained and qualified, and is now a Partner in the Corporate & Commercial team.

Dave regularly drafts and advises on lending and finance documents and has vast experience at dealing with all types of corporate matters for Owner Managed Businesses (OMBs) including acquisitions, disposals, and restructuring. He has acted on several management buyouts (MBOs) in the last 12 months and has been lead advisor on several multi million pound transactions acting for both Buyers and Sellers, including a Share Sale valued at £64m and a Share Purchase at £51m.

Dave has built a strong reputation advising Family Owned Companies (FOCs) on succession planning and issues. He recently advised one high profile Yorkshire based FOC on complex succession issues which involved extracting shareholdings which were held in Trusts.

He also regularly drafts and advises clients on commercial agreements. Recent particularly commercial work included: advising an IT service provider on a £10m+ maintenance agreement; advising a client on its “shirt front” sponsorship agreement with a Premier League Football Club; and drafting a Software Licence and Support and Maintenance Agreement for a local PLC.

Dave is also recognised by The Legal 500 for his “breadth of corporate knowledge” and for being “to the point, avoiding excessive fluff”.

Andrew Gale
Andrew Gale
0113 207 0000

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