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Maurice Holmes

Call 2015

Sports Law

Maurice has become highly in demand as a junior in sports law. He is regularly instructed on behalf of sports governing bodies, players/athletes, clubs, coaches and agents. He acts and advises in connection with corruption offences, anti-doping violations, general disciplinary matters, governance issues and all forms of commercial disputes arising within the context of sport and Esports.

Maurice has acted in connection with proceedings before a variety of sports related courts and tribunals, including the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Sports Resolutions, and first instance tribunals in sports such as: tennis, football, cricket, rugby, athletics, golf and squash. He has experience of the major international arbitral institutions (such as ICC and LCIA) both within and outside the background of sports disputes.

Maurice has experience of equine law, where he has appeared against leading counsel. He is also regularly instructed in yacht related disputes, for example involving allegations over defects and/or surveyor’s negligence. He also has experience of legal disputes concerning shooting and shooting rights.

Alongside sports law, Maurice has also acted in matters relating to media and entertainment, including acting for modelling agencies in disputes concerning unlawful conduct by former employees and the protection of IP / confidential information.

Maurice has advised in relation to non-performance or postponement issues arising from Covid-19, with a focus on contractual and/or insurance ramifications.

Maurice has undertaken a secondment with a law firm ranked by the directories as one of the leading sports firms in the UK.

Maurice was previously himself a professional sportsman (playing cricket for Warwickshire), and has a close understanding of commercial practicalities faced by different sectors within the industry.

Selected Cases

A selection of Maurice’s previous instructions is as follows:

  • (1) Aljaž Bedene and (2) The Lawn Tennis Association v The International Tennis Federation, in which arbitrator Charles Hollander QC was appointed to determine the lawfulness of the ITF’s recently introduced eligibility rules for Davis Cup tennis (led by Thomas de la Mare QC).
  • X v Y, a multi-million euro LCIA arbitration to determine a claim and counterclaim arising from the title sponsorship of a European Tour event. Amongst those giving evidence at the final hearing was a former major winner. (Led by Nick De Marco QC.)
  • The FA v X, assisting in an appeal against the FA Regulatory Commission’s finding that disciplinary charges were established against the chairman of one of the UK’s leading sports management companies. Lord Dyson sat as the Chairman of the Appeal Board. (Led by Rupert Bowers QC.)
  • Tennis Integrity Unit v Kilani, disciplinary proceedings resulting in a 7-year ban and a $7,000 fine after Mr Kilani was found guilty of match-fixing offences.
  • Tennis Integrity Unit v Taweel, disciplinary proceedings resulting in a 5-year ban and a $15,000 fine after Mr Taweel was found guilty of match-fixing and other associated corruption offences.
  • Tennis Integrity Unit v Gaviria, disciplinary proceedings resulting in a 3-year ban and a $5,000 fine after Mr Gaviria was found guilty of failing to cooperate with a TIU investigation. Maurice wrote an article (here) outlining some important features of the decision.
  • Tennis Integrity Unit v Safwat, disciplinary proceedings resulting in a suspended sentence and a fine after Mr Safwat was found guilty of failing to report corrupt approaches to the TIU.
  • Tressler-Miller v Wentworth Club Limited, acting for the Wentworth Club in a claim for damages brought by a former member.
  • Mark Lilley v Royne Zetterman AB, a claim by the purchaser of a high value showjumping horse, which was alleged not to conform with representations made by the seller and which subsequently developed a serious illness.
  • Durham Cricket CIC v Arena Event Services, acting for Durham Cricket in relation to the supply of tiered seating which partially collapsed during an international T20.
  • Sir Charles Nicholas Gervase Blois v Julian Warren, a claim for damages and injunctive relief against the lessee under a shooting rights agreement, following excessive release of pheasants and partridge causing crop damage. The estate in question included a Site of Special Scientific Interest such that the Defendant’s actions were also subject to a Stop Notice imposed by Natural England.
  • NADO Italia v Alex Hodgetts, acting in connection with a disciplinary decision of the Italian National Anti-Doping Organisation against a squash player, concerning issues of jurisdiction and procedural unfairness.
  • Mr X & Anor v Y, assisting in a claim against a sports management company concerning alleged failures in arranging for the receipt of remuneration deriving from the image rights of a high profile Test cricketer. (Led by Daniel Shapiro QC.)
  • Yorkshire RFU v X, representing a rugby player in a disciplinary hearing following charges brought for conduct allegedly prejudicial to the interests of the game.
  • BMA Models v Base Models, a claim in the IPEC concerning the infringement of copyright in photographs which had been subject to an exclusive licence agreement for a limited period. The resulting judgment included an additional award for exemplary damages owing to the flagrancy of the breach.
  • BMA Models v (1) Costello; (2) Supa Model Management, a claim in the IPEC relating to the alleged misuse of confidential information by the former employee of a modelling agency, and attempts by her to solicit former clients in breach of post termination restrictive covenants. The claim also proceeded against the individual’s subsequent employer for procuring her breaches of contract.
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