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Daniel Saoul

Sports Law

Dan has developed a reputation as a prominent player in the sports law arena. He is rated by both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as a leading barrister in this field, and is described as a "rising star of the Sports Bar",  distinguishing himself through his personal involvement in the sector” with "an excellent reputation, particularly in doping cases."

A former rowing cox, with honours at the Rowing World Cup, Commonwealth Rowing Championships and Henley Royal Regatta to his name, he has remained actively involved in the sport having recently been Secretary of Britain’s leading rowing club, Leander and also served on the Council of British Rowing, the national governing body of the sport in the United Kingdom. He therefore has first-hand experience as a competitor, coach and administrator of the kinds of legal issues that arise in sport.

In addition, he is on the arbitral panel of Sport Resolutions, the UK's leading sports dispute resolution body, and on the Lawn Tennis Association's disciplinary panel, giving him valuable judicial perspective, and is a director of the British Association for Sport and Law. His expertise in sports law was also recognised by his appointment to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Sports Advocacy Service.

Dan acts for sporting governing bodies, athletes, clubs and other entities in the full range of sports related matters, including relating to selection, doping, funding, governance, media concerns, disciplinary issues, sponsorship contracts, broadcasting deals and other commercial matters. He will act as advocate, adviser, arbitrator or mediator in disputes and also takes instructions in non-contentious matters, such as constitutional or transactional advice and drafting. He has appeared before domestic and international tribunals at all levels, including the National Anti-Doping Appeal Panel and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Examples of Dan’s sports work include:

  • Acting in numerous eligibility and selection disputes relating to participation in major Games and Championships, both for and against National Governing Bodies, National Olympic Committees and International Federations, including in boxing, rowing, wrestling, shooting, taekwondo, fencing, bobsleigh and speed-skating  amongst others. He has also been appointed as independent chairman of Olympic selection panels, as well as in an arbitral capacity in selection disputes, and has advised upon and drafted selection policies.
  • Being instructed on a wide range of doping matters both for prosecuting authorities and for athletes and other third parties implicated in breaches of the World Anti-Doping Code. Dan has been involved in cases relating to the use of anabolic steroids, synthetic hormones, stimulants (including methylhexaneamine) as well as recreational substances, and has handled matters involving the provision of substantial assistance. He has also advised governing bodies on their anti-doping policies and compliance with their anti-doping obligations generally.
  • Advising on myriad governance matters at the national and international level, including re-writing the constitutional documents of governing bodies, navigating member unrest at general meetings, guiding boards of directors on corporate best practice and managing relationships with international federations and other overarching sporting bodies.
  • Representing athletes and agents, as well as sitting as arbitrator, in player-agent disputes in a range of sports, including football, boxing and rugby, resulting in hearings before bespoke panels such as FA (Rule K) arbitral tribunals and British Boxing Board of Control tribunals.
  • Prosecuting and defending a range of disciplinary matters, including acting as prosecutor before the Motor Sports Association’s National Court and defending high profile Olympic athletes accused of misconduct. Dan has also been instructed to draft or update governing bodies’ disciplinary policies.
  • Advising sporting event organisers on the negotiation of contracts with broadcasters, as well as advising parties involved in sport on a range of other commercial agreements.