Squire Patton Boggs, one of the leading international sports law teams operating across 20 countries, has appointed Steven Bainbridge as a partner in its Dubai Office and also as its head of the sports and entertainment group in the Middle East.
A key player in the region, Squire Patton Boggs advises clients in range of disciplines including football, US football, baseball, basketball, cricket, tennis, motor racing, cycling, athletics, equestrian sports, parkour and boxing.
Bainbridge joins from Al Tamimi and Company in Dubai where he was head of its sports law and events management practice, the region’s first dedicated sports law practice. Joining Bainbridge is senior associate Andrew Moroney, also from the sports law and events management practice at Al Tamimi.
Bainbridge advises on a wide range of transactions across a number of sports, such as motorsports, cycling, golf, tennis, cricket, football, horseracing and triathlon, amongst others.
He acts for individuals, corporate entities, governing bodies and institutions, on matters involving sports regulation and governance, stadium naming rights and sponsorship deals, broadcasting, merchandising and licensing agreements, athlete endorsement agreements, player contracts, disciplinary issues, safeguarding and anti-match-fixing protocols, and venue management arrangements.
Welcoming the duo into the fold, Stephen Sampson, global leader of the Sports & Entertainment Group, said: "Our practice has long-standing client relationships with Government Ministries and agencies, sports bodies, clubs, players and coaches in the GCC and our strategy is to significantly grow our work in the region."
Sampson pointed out that with their arrival, the practice has taken a major leap forward, to become the leading one in the Middle East.
"They bring with them the special combination of local and global multi-sport expertise and insight that defines the sports law group at our firm," he noted.
Having trained at DLA Canada, Bainbridge practised in both North America and Asia-Pacific before moving to the Middle East in 2008. He spent five years (2001-2006) at one of the largest law firms in Tokyo advising on broadcast rights and entertainment contracts in connection with events including FIFA World Cups and PGA tour sponsorships.
He is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association, American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, International Bar Association and the Canadian Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
He is a World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal member, a lecturer and advisor to numerous Sports Law LL.M. programs, and has been recognised in The Legal 500 (TMT), Chambers Global (Commercial) and Who’s Who Legal as a leader in Sports & Entertainment.
His colleague Moroney too is an expert having practised sports law in the Middle East since 2018. Qualifying at Fieldfisher LLP in London as a litigation lawyer, he later spent two years as legal counsel at
The Football Association where he advised on integrity, safeguarding, player transfer, and intermediary issues, as well as compliance with FIFA/UEFA Statutes and Regulations, the sanctioning and licensing of competitions, spectator banning orders, and various claims.
During his time at The FA, Andrew also acted as the Secretariat of the Rule K Arbitration process and he currently sits on the International Paralympic Committee’s Anti-Doping Panel and Board of Appeal of Classification.
"With Bainbridge and Moroney in Dubai, and Warren Phelops and Mike Llewellyn coming from K&L Gates in London last year, the practice continues to attract leading talent in the international sports law sector, he added.
UAE Managing Partner Tom Wilson said: "It’s great to have them with us. Their reputation in the sports sector in the region is second to none and their extensive cross-border commercial experience will be of great benefit to our varied client-base."
"Sport is booming in the Middle East and there are numerous opportunities for businesses to get involved," he added.