The annual event, which is held by a different sporting or law company each year, sees both undergraduate and post-graduate law students from across the UK compete against each other to negotiate a commercial solution to a fictitious legal issue within the sports industry.
The competition aims to provide vital experience to the next generation of lawyers, by presenting an opportunity to receive real-time feedback from practicing solicitors and other industry specialists.
Teams from universities across the country, including Birmingham University, Edge Hill, The University of Sheffield and De Montfort, took part in the competition, hosted at Premier League Manchester City’s home ground.
Rob Lucas, partner in Commerce, Technology and Media (CTM) said: “We were pleased to host this year’s event and to see so many aspiring lawyers wanting to attend.
“Gateley has an enviable reputation for its expertise in handling some of the biggest deals in sport. Our work includes everything from sponsorship and merchandising agreements, personality rights, property and stadia matters to brand promotion and exploitation, commercial contracts and data protection.
“This was a fantastic opportunity to be able to extend our knowledge and expertise for the benefit of tomorrow’s top legal talent.”
Competition winners Tommy Watson and Eve Story, from Northumbria University impressed the judges with their legal understanding and negotiation abilities, with Alex Maguire of Greenwich University taking second place.
Tommy said: “I decided to enter this year because I have just started studying sports law and it’s a subject that I have a serious personal and professional interest in. Football is a huge part of my life and the opportunity to take part in this event and go to the Etihad Stadium, was one I could not miss!
“A major benefit I have found from attending the competition was the chance to talk with many of the judges, who all came from exciting places and companies throughout Sport.”
Eve added: “The competition gave me the chance to experience negotiations, which is something that I have never done before. It also gave me an opportunity to network with people in the sporting industry.
“My advice to anyone thinking of applying next year is to just do it, even if you’ve had no previous exposure to legal negotiation. It was a great experience and a great day!”
Runner-up, Alex Maguire commented: “The competition was of great value to me and gave me an insight into what a career in sports law could entail, as well a platform to be able to practice negotiating in different scenarios with a variety of people.”
Prizes included tickets to the English Football League Championship and the Netball World Cup, Manchester City and WASPS merchandise, as well as two opportunities for one weeks’ worth of work experience at Gateley Plc. All competitors also received a Manchester City or ADI TV notepad as a takeaway from the day.
The Corporate team in the Manchester office of Gateley Plc were recently ranked as the most active legal advisor for deals across the North West for 2018, in a report by Experian. Gateley were also ranked top in Yorkshire and the Midlands.