Sports Law

Are you involved in a sporting organisation negotiating a high-value sponsorship agreement?

Perhaps you are seeking advice on the licensing of your organisation’s intellectual property, or looking to develop your overarching governance or disciplinary code.

We are your sports lawyers in Canberra. Whether operating at the local or elite level, we understand the unique complexities faced by sporting organisations and can help you to navigate through all industry-related matters.

Commercial contracts and agreements

We can help you prepare clear and precise professional contracts specific to the sporting industry, including in the areas of:

  • media rights
  • sponsorships rights
  • major event participation rights and obligations
  • major event hosting rights and obligations
  • venue agreements including signage rights
  • eligibility of individuals and teams
  • selection of individuals for teams
  • contracts for individual athletes and players
  • criteria for the exclusion of individuals from teams
  • guidelines for disciplining athletes
  • contracts for employees and contractors
  • membership rights in sporting clubs or organisations.

We will help you assess the circumstances associated with your specific organisational structure, your sport and the risks, and take into account whether your contracts require local, national or international aspects.

Competition law

Sport in Australia can be big business – particularly in some of the high-spectator internationally renowned football codes, as well as cricket, netball and athletics.

We can help the many stakeholders involved in sport to ensure that their rules, policies and practices comply with Australia’s competition laws. Some areas of competition law we can assist with are:

  • the creation of competitions
  • structures and leagues within a sports
  • salary caps
  • communication and media agreements such as broadcasting, internet commerce
  • sponsorship and merchandise
  • intellectual property licensing.

Employment and workplace

Employment law issues in sport includes advice on employment contracts, restraint of trade clauses, transfers, prohibited activities and salary cap rules. We can also provide advice on workplace and employment contract disputes, termination and redundancies.

Sporting organisations are in the unique situation of often having a large number of volunteers. We can support you in understanding your rights and responsibilities in relation to your sports much-needed volunteers.

Dispute resolution

Disputes in the sporting industry can often be resolved by alternative dispute resolution methods. A sport may have a tribunal that is used to resolve disputes that relate to the rules and codes of that sport. Our lawyers can assist you with advice and representation at disciplinary hearings, tribunals and appeals.


An effective governance structure for a sporting organisation has a constitution that clearly identifies the duties and responsibilities of directors, board members and participants.

We can assist your organisation to understand the regulations and identify the key governance issues relating to your unique sport and structure.

Good governance practices for sporting clubs will involve key stakeholders, such as volunteers, committees, and managers, working together to define how your sport is controlled.

We can assist you in understanding the existing structure, make recommendations if necessary about future structure, assess risks and develop clear policies and procedures.


We know that many sports have inherent dangers and risks. Sports organisations, administrators, managers, coaches, team doctors, referees and officials owe a duty of care to participants, spectators, volunteers and members, and must, therefore, take reasonable precautions to avoid foreseeable harm or injury. Liability in sport-related injuries relates to a breach of the duty of care.

Intellectual property (IP)

We can provide advice on establishing your IP, including advice on due diligence, ownership, licensing, trademark registration, copyright, patents and design/images.

We can also assist you to commercialise your IP with licensing agreements or the sale or transfer of your IP.

Finally, we can act on your behalf to protect your exclusive rights to your IP should an infringement be discovered.

Member protection policy issues

National sporting organisations (NSOs) recognised by the Australian Sports Commission are required to have a member protection policy (MPP). This policy sets out the rights and protections for everyone who participates in sport, with the aim of eliminating discrimination, harassment, child abuse and other inappropriate behaviours. An MPP is designed to enable a sport or associated organisation to deal with all the off-field occurrences that are not able to be dealt with under the on-field procedures. Importantly, it describes the responsibilities of each and every participant.

NSOs invariably require that their members and all other associated body corporate members (such as clubs, junior associations, umpires associations) have an MPP as well.

We can assist NSOs and individual local sporting clubs registered under the national governing body of your chosen sport, to have a fully updated and comprehensive MPP in place.

Privacy, FOI and discrimination

What are your rights in relation to defamation and privacy? In the ever-evolving area of online defamation, we are abreast of the current issues and can affirm your rights around slander and defamatory comments on the internet.

Discrimination is a hot topic across the sporting sector. We can assist you in asserting your rights in relation to discrimination centred on disability, race, religion, gender and age. We advise locally and nationally on gender discrimination and pregnancy issues. You can also be represented in cases of harassment and vilification.

Sports integrity

Our team is renowned for expertise in sports integrity and is at the forefront of providing advice and solutions in this complicated field of international sport law. We can assist you to devise best practice rules, policies and procedures that champion good sportsmanship, fairness and inclusivity. We can undertake training sessions aimed at your key stakeholders, including management, medical staff and players of key sports integrity issues such as anti-doping, performance-enhancing drugs, match-fixing, gambling and corruption.

Meet your Sports Law team

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As the official legal partner of Canberra United, Snedden Hall & Gallop continually offers quality service and advice across a number of areas.

Regardless of the challenge we face or advice we seek, Snedden Hall & Gallop provides a service that gives us peace of mind that our matters will be supported with the highest professional standard and a genuine care for our interests

Phil Brown, CEO, Capital Football (Sports Law)

24 November 2017

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