The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Teacher Stern is recommended in the Legal 500 specifically for sport

The sports industry has grown significantly over the last 20 years both in terms of monetary value and complexity. That complexity has been further increased in recent years through the advent of digital technologies and social media, not to mention the introduction of ever increasing laws and regulations.

At Teacher Stern, we have a dedicated team of expert sports lawyers who can advise you on a wealth of legal issues and challenges unique to the sporting industry.

We advise a broad spectrum of those involved in sport, both in the UK and internationally, including clubs, sports bodies and sports agents as well as Premiership footballers, Olympic athletes and other international sports men and women. We are widely recognised in the legal press as a leading member of the sports law sector, and have been consistently recommended in Chambers, Legal 500 and other guides to the legal profession for our expertise and leadership in all areas of sports and sports regulatory work.

We have in-depth experience in handling the specific legal needs of our sporting clients and pride ourselves in being able to offer commercial and pragmatic advice. The types of instructions we regularly accept include:

  • Drafting and providing advice in relation to the various different types of sporting agreements.
  • Corporate restructuring, with a specific focus on the sale and purchase of football clubs.
  • Disputes relating to contractual, regulatory, employment or disciplinary matters.
  • Media related issues such as defamation and breach of privacy claims.
  • Anti-doping issues.
  • Advising on the regulatory framework of individual sports.
  • Employment related issues and immigration.

Our team is passionate about sport and we take the time to ensure that we fully understand our clients’ sport specific needs so that we can provide hands-on, focused and solution driven advice. As a group of innovative, creative minded individuals, we are committed to building long-term client relationships and our fundamental aim is to achieve success for our clients.

What We Do

The areas covered by our Sport practice include:

Representative Sport Work

Examples of our sport related work include:

  • Advised in connection with the high profile transfers of Paulhino (Tottenham), Willian (Chelsea) and Oscar (Chelsea).
  • Advised third party rights holders in relation to economic rights and recovery of transfer proceedings and disputes relating to Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano in claims against West Ham United.
  • Advised a third party rights holders in the transfer of Carlos Tevez to Manchester United and subsequently to Manchester City FC; advising Carlos Tevez on his disciplinary issues with Manchester City and in his subsequent transfer to Juventus.
  • Advised the owners of Charlton Athletic Football Club in the sale of the club to Roland Duchatelet.
  • Advised third party rights holders in the transfer of Javier Mascherano to Liverpool.
  • Advised third party rights holders in disputes over football player Carlos Alberto, Gonza Higuain, Luis Fabiano and others.
  • Advised Manchester City FC regarding corporate and IP matters and also reputational management issues.
  • Advised Ashley Cole in two High Court privacy actions.
  • Advised on many high profile transfers between football clubs, specifically acting on behalf of the clubs, players, economic rights holders, banks or agents.  Amongst many others, these include Robinho from Real Madrid to Manchester City, Jo from CSKA Moscow to Manchester City, Ramires from Benfica to Chelsea, Nigel de Jong from Hamburg FC to Manchester City, Craig Bellamy from West Ham United to Manchester City , Manuel Fernandes from Benfica to Valencia, Carl Jenkinson from Charlton Athletic to Arsenal and Rob Elliot from Charlton Athletic to Newcastle United.
  • Advised the purchasers of Charlton Athletic, a potential purchaser of West Ham United and a potential bidder for Southampton.
  • Advised Mark Hughes in relation to his managerial appointment at Manchester City.
  • Advised leading Great Britain athletes in respect of the selection policy of their respective governing bodies in the lead up to London 2012 and Commonwealth Games 2014.
  • Advised a Football Agent and his client in respect of highly sensitive issues relating to Twitter.
  • Advised on the departure of a Chief Scout from a Championship club and a Sports Scientist from a Premier League club.
  • Advised on contractual issues for Heurlho Gomes (Tottenham).

Contact our team:

Photo of David Salisbury

David Salisbury

Partner Corporate and Commercial
Work 37-41 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7611 2394


As head of the firm’s corporate and commercial practice, David’s broad transactional experience includes acquisitions, disposals, take-overs and mergers, asset sales/purchases, joint ventures and company restructuring. He also advises clients on a range of corporate and commercial matters, including company/partnership formation, partnership/shareholders agreements and employment issues.

David has particular experience in the field of sport, acting amongst others for prospective purchasers of Premiership and Football League clubs in takeovers. He is also at the forefront of the development in England of the investment in and transfer of the economic rights of sportsmen and women.

For property investor clients, he has particular expertise in the disposal and acquisition of corporate and similar structures which assist in mitigating stamp duty land tax.

Representative Experience

David has experience:

  • Acting for investors in the economic rights of football players playing in the Premier League and the top divisions in other European Countries as well as in South America. Over the years, David has been involved in providing advice connected with the transfers, economic rights participation and/or playing rights of various Premier League and foreign based players including Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano, Jo, Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Fabiano and Heurelho Gomes to name but a few. More recently David has provided advice in relation to the following players: Paulhino (Tottenham) Willian (Chelsea), Oscar (Chelsea) and Carlos Tevez (Juventus).
  • Advising on a £430 million acquisition of a mixture of offshore and onshore companies owning 180 petrol stations and advising on the sale thereof three years later.
  • Acting on a series joint ventures for a leading UK celebrity magazine and newspaper publisher with a combined value in excess of £280m.
  • Acting for the prospective purchasers in their takeover of a Premier League Football Club.
  • Advising on the £166 million sale of a group of companies with an industrial portfolio.
  • Acting on the acquisition and financing of 545 public houses, worth £163 million.
  • Advising on the £25 million sale to a UK plc of a leading UK independent internet service provider.
  • Advising the founders and owners of a high end chain of London coffee shops on the sale, earn out and rollover of the owners’ differing interests in the business to a well known industry leading private equity firm.
  • Advising the owners of a mining public relations agency on the sale of the worldwide operations to a UK quoted company.

Career History

Partner, Teacher Stern

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37-41 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH United Kingdom