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Maurice Holmes

Call 2015

"Maurice Holmes is a very bright and clear advocate."
(Chambers and Partners, 2023)

Sports Law

Maurice is recognised as an established 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.

Maurice has been ranked in the Up & Coming section for Chambers and Partners, 2023 UK Bar London Guide for Sport, and he has been shortlisted for Sport Junior of the Year for the Legal 500 Bar Awards 2023.

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 acted in all forms of claim arising under the FA’s jurisdiction including disciplinary proceedings and Rule K arbitration.  He has experience of disputes concerning many of the typical matters arising in football.

Maurice has substantial experience in disciplinary proceedings acting on behalf of the Professional Tennis Integrity Officers, concerning major offences such as match fixing through to lesser offences under the TACP.

Maurice also has particular experience in disputes relating to golf, having acted for players, clubs, professional tours, sponsors and in golf club membership disputes.

Maurice has acted in a range of cases concerning equine sporting matters, including appearing against lead counsel in a dispute over the sale of a valuable showjumping horse. He is comfortable with instructions of any nature concerning equine activities and equine disciplinary matters.

Maurice has also acted in proceedings relating to shooting and shooting rights agreements, including a substantial claim concerning the implication of terms into a shooting rights agreement following damage to crops through the unreasonable operation of a shoot.

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 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:

  • X v Y & Z (Rule K arbitration), in which Maurice acted for a Premier League footballer in a claim against an intermediary arising from breaches of fiduciary duty, seeking disgorgement of secret profits and forfeiture of commission fees (led by Daniel Shapiro KC).
  • (1) Aljaž Bedene and (2) The Lawn Tennis Association v The International Tennis Federation, in which arbitrator Charles Hollander KC was appointed to determine the lawfulness of the ITF’s recently introduced eligibility rules for Davis Cup tennis (led by Thomas de la Mare KC).
  • 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 KC.)
  • 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 KC.)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • X & Y v Z, 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 KC.)
  • 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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“A very good junior with a good approach to details. He’s always on top of things and very tenacious in the way he pursues litigation.”… “He is extraordinary.”

Chambers & Partners, 2024

“Maurice is one of the most impressive new juniors breaking into the sports sector and definitely a rising star.”

Legal 500, 2024

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