Firms To Watch: Media and entertainment: Sports

Established in January 2021, Fleurus Avocats continues to build on its expertise in ethics and sports litigation, in addition to the regulation of lobbying. Fleur Jourdan spearheads the practice and is a key contact.

Media and entertainment: Sports in France

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s dedicated sports group counts international and national sporting bodies, investors, clubs and banks among its key roster of clients. At the forefront of several groundbreaking deals and with a balanced litigation and advisory practice, the team has strong capabilities in the sale of exploitation rights, TV rights, sponsorship and the organisation of major sporting events, from regulatory compliance to financing and infrastructure. Recent highlights include representing the French Tennis Federation on the tender of sale of domestic TV rights of Roland Garros. The team is led by Yves Wehrli, who is a leading expert in the sports industry. Thibaud d’Alès specialises in litigation, representing major clients before arbitration tribunals and high courts, and Gauthier Martin is another name of note.

Responsables de la pratique:

Yves Wehrli

Autres avocats clés:

Thibaud d’Alès; Gauthier Martin

Principaux clients

Fédération Française de Football

Ligue de Football Professionnel

Fédération Française de Tennis

French Rugby Federation (FFR)

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising the French Tennis Federation (FFT) in the context of the sale of the French TV rights of the Roland Garros Grand Slam tournament (Editions 2024 to 2027).
  • Assisting LFP Media, the commercial subsidiary of LFP, jointly controlled by LFP and CVC Partners, in relation to the sale of the broadcasting rights of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 championships for the seasons 2024/2025 onwards.
  • Representing the Ligue de Football Professionnel in the context of a commercial litigation initiated by Groupe Canal+ in relation to the rescheduling of several football games between December 2018 and March 2019.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés is distinguished for its full-service sports offering, whilst working closely with experts in the firm's tax, corporate and IP departments to deliver specialised advice to leading players in the industry. The team, which acts for national and international authorities, federations and high-net-worth individuals, is led by a trio of specialists; Louis de Gaulle’s area of focus encompasses commercial, intellectual and public law, advising major clients in the football sector, such as FIFA and UEFA. Meanwhile, Georgie Courtois plays a notable role in negotiating agreements in the context of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games in Paris and Serge Lederman specialises in industrial property law.

Responsables de la pratique:

Louis de Gaulle; Georgie Courtois; Serge Lederman

Principaux clients


French Football Federation (FFF)

French Tennis Federation (FFT)

French National Olympic Committee (Cnosf)

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)

French Basket Federation (FFBB)



Société d’Exploitation de l’Arena

PARIS 2024 – Hopscotch (COJOP)

Ville de Colombes

Département des hauts de Seine


Fédération Française de Pétanque et de Jeu Provençal



Ile De France Mobilités




Caisse Des Dépôts Et Consignations

Joffe & Associés

Equipped with deep knowledge of the industry, Joffe & Associés is experienced in matters concerning media rights, commercial contracts and sports event organisation, and regularly handles high-stake deals involving leading players, such as Ligue de Football Professionnel, LFP Media and Fédération Française de Football. Romain Soiron heads the practice and advises domestic sports leagues, federations, local organising committees, major clubs, investment funds and other high-profile investors. The practice is further strengthened by Alvyn Gobardhan, who assists clients in commercial disputes and other contentious matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Romain Soiron

Autres avocats clés:

Alvyn Gobardhan

Les références

‘Responsiveness, exceptional market knowledge, creativity and negotiation skills.’

Principaux clients

Ligue De Football Professionnel

LFP Media

FederationFrançaise De Football

Federation Française De Tennis

Paris Saint-Germain Football Club

Fédération Française D’athlétisme

France Galop

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised the French Football Federation on its proceeding against a ticket reseller platform before the French Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation).
  • Advised a sports federation on the acquisition of a company organising sporting events.
  • Advised the French Professional League on its proceeding against a sponsor.

August Debouzy

With a balanced advisory and litigation practice, August Debouzy provides a one-stop-shop service spanning all aspects of sports law. Counting sports companies, brands, federations and athletes among its key roster of clients, the team regularly advises on partnerships with companies beyond the sports sector. The team is jointly led by Alexandra Berg-Moussa, Basile Ader and Laurent Cotret. Berg-Moussa is particularly active in sponsorship and contractual matters, while Ader represents clients in sports media issues and Cotret handles restructuring and financing for sports groups and clubs. Guillaume Aubatier and Pierre Pérot also bring their experience to advise on sports-related matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Alexandra Berg-Moussa; Basile Ader; Laurent Cotret

Autres avocats clés:

Guillaume Aubatier; Pierre Pérot

Les références

‘Very good technical skills, excellent understanding of the issues, responsiveness and availability.’

Principaux clients

Football Club Chateauroux – Le Berrichonne

Rugby club of DAX (US DAX)

Urban sports club GmbH

Jogo Bonito Group (Girondins de Bordeaux – Football club)

Team Bahrein Victorious


Olympique De Biarritz

Agence Française De Lutte Contre Le Dopage (AFLD)

LOSC (Lille Olympique Sporting Club)

Amer Sports Corporation

Riot Games

VAFC (Valenciennes Football Club)


Principaux dossiers

  • Advised the Football Club de Girondins de Bordeaux on its financial restructuring (mount of restructured debt totaling EUR 35m).
  • Advising Diables Rouges Holding, the majority shareholder of Valenciennes Football Club, in the context of the change of control of the Club, pursuant to a subscription and shareholders’ agreement entered into with Sport Republic Holding and a share capital increase of EUR 15m.
  • Assisting Nike with the receivership of Go Sport, which is now facing liquidation.

Bignon Lebray

With particular industry expertise in rugby, Bignon Lebray acts on behalf of several elite professional clubs. This year, the firm acquired La Rochelle and FIFA, adding to an illustrious roster of clients. Golf is another key area of expertise, advising on both contractual matters and sports infrastructure. The team is led by Neil Robertson, who acts as a sports agent, overseeing the drafting and negotiation of sponsorships agreements, employment contracts and services agreements.

Responsables de la pratique:

Neil Robertson

Les références

‘English-speaking team, with in-depth knowledge of European disciplinary bodies in the field of rugby. Availability, efficiency to deal with emergency disciplinary matters taking into account the imperatives and specificities of sport. Adaptability and understanding of club issues.’

‘Neil Robertson has a good knowledge of the disciplinary regulations of French and European Professional Rugby. Pleading before the European Disciplinary Bodies for the Defense of Players (EPCR). Good contact with English-speaking foreign players.’

Principaux clients


Golf de Maisons Laffitte


Racing 92

La Rochelle

Boulogne FC (US Boulogne Côte d’Opale)

NBC Sport

Principaux dossiers

  • Assisted Brive rugby with a significant investment into the club by a British investor and by Vivendi.
  • Advised French international rugby player, Antoine Dupont, in connection with a disciplinary hearing before World Rugby following receipt of a red card in the match France v South Africa.
  • Advised La Rochelle rugby player, George-Henri Colombes, in connection with a disciplinary hearing before the Appeal Committee of the EPCR.


Focusing on sports business matters, FIDAL provides clients with a full-service offering that spans the sports sector. In addition to boasting extensive knowledge of M&A deals in the industry, the sports law team covers contracts, taxation and contentious matters. The practice’s multi-disciplinary approach sees it advise sports federations, clubs and investors on IP, public and competition law issues. Simon Darricau leads the team and has expertise in football matters. Guillaume Pezzali focuses on distribution and sponsorship within the sports sector, while Franck Jallas advises clubs, federations and unions on tax mandates. Pascal Lavie leads on matters in Marseille, while Karine Melcher-Vinckevleugel and Jean-Sebastien Oriou are also key contacts in the group. Sophie Dion left the firm at the end of 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Simon Darricau

Autres avocats clés:

Guillaume Pezzali; Franck Jallas; Karine Melcher-Vinckevleugel; Jean-Sebastien Oriou; Pascal Lavie

Principaux clients

Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels (UNFP)

Paris 2024 (Organization Committee of the Paris 2024 Olympics)

Fédération Française de Handball


AS Cannes

CNOSF (French Olympic Committee)

Consortium Nexity, Eiffage Immobilier, CDC Habitat

S.A. En Avant de Guingamp (EAG)

Principaux dossiers

  • Advises the Union Nationale des Footballeurs Professionnels (UNFP) on all kind of tax, corporate and labour law matters on a daily basis.
  • Advised the French Handball Federation on the drafting and negotiation of a major agreement concluded, on an exclusive basis, with SPORTFIVE.
  • Advised, in cooperation with the Bordeaux law firm TGB, AMISSOS and the former professional soccer player Demba BA in a legal operation to take control of the professional football club USL Dunkerque (2nd division).


With a strong track record advising on tax matters in the sports sector, AYACHE fields a diverse clientele of sport federations, sponsors and unions, as well as players, athletes and sports agents. The sports law team covers M&A and contractual matters related to both the French and the international sports industry. Tax expert Jacques Messeca leads the practice, counting professional sports clubs, leagues and investors among his key roster of clients.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jacques Messeca

Les références

‘Professional, responsive and competent.’

Principaux clients

Racing Club de Lens

Girondins de Bordeaux

Toulouse Football Club

Stade Rennais FC


Paris Volley

BBD Boulazac

Classico Sport Management


Foot Unis

JMG Football

Wout Faes

DWF (France) AARPI

Emmanuel Durand leads the sports team at DWF (France) AARPI, with an established reputation in the sport and media law sector. Durand handles a range of contentious and non-contentious mandates, advising on competition law matters in the sports sector and representing clients in litigation, with additional expertise in the sale of media and marketing rights, and the organisation of international sporting events. Notably, the team has been involved in the organisation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024.

Responsables de la pratique:

Emmanuel Durand

Les références

‘Emmanuel Durand is an excellent lawyer in competition law and media rights in the field of sport. His expertise is unique and is particularly valuable to us in the development of our activities.’

‘Extensive knowledge of the sports sector, proximity of the teams to clients, high responsiveness and excellent value for money for a Parisian firm.’

‘Emmanuel Durand has a lot of experience in the field of sport and his expertise in this area is highly appreciated. He does not hesitate to think “outside the box” and to show initiative and proactivity, which is also very appreciated.’

Klein Wenner

With extensive experience in the sports industry, Klein Wenner caters to a diverse portfolio of clients, including luminaries such as professional football player, Raphaël Varane. The team is co-led by Laurent BadianeMatthieu Bourgeois, Eve Derouesné, François Klein and Marc De Monsembernard.

Responsables de la pratique:

Laurent Badiane; Matthieu Bourgeois; Eve Derouesné; François Klein; Marc De Monsembernard

Principaux clients

Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard (« FC Sochaux »)

Ligue Réunionnaise of Football (LRF)

Le Mans Football Club (« Le Mans FC »)


Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins demonstrates tenacity in commercial sports matters, such as strategic financing, sponsorship deals, digital and IT agreements. Its impressive client roster includes Vivendi Sports and the International Olympic Committee. The highly experienced Jean-Luc Juhan leads the group.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jean-Luc Juhan

Principaux clients


Fortress Investment Group

Vivendi Sports

Authentic Brands Group

International Olympic Committee

Olympic de Marseille

Mc Court Group



Six Streets

AS Monaco





Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Fortress Investment Group in connection with the restructuring of the Club’s indebtedness that consequently enabled it to move back up to Ligue 2.
  • Assisted GOAT on its major multiyear global partnership with French football team Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Advised Authentic Brands Group on its acquisition of Boardriders, a global action sports and lifestyle company, from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

Paul Hastings LLP

Noted for its expertise in sport-related disputes, while regularly handling sports rights agreements, Paul Hastings LLP counts national and international sports leagues and clubs among its key roster of clients. The practice is involved in sports event organisation and management, in addition to handling television rights negotiations and antitrust disputes in the sports industry. Jean-Louis Martin leads the team, with over 20 years’ experience in the sector and an established reputation in the sports business arena.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jean-Louis Martin

Les références

‘Excellent expertise in the field of sport. Open, constructive and customer-friendly thinking.’

Principaux clients




The Friedkin Group



A boutique firm rapidly establishing itself in the sports market, VARET PRÈS KILLY excels at assisting major clients in arbitration and litigation before the courts. The team is closely involved with the upcoming Paris Rugby World Cup and adept at advising on the shifting regulatory landscape. Renowned industry veteran Rhadamès Killy leads the practice alongside Xavier Près.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rhadamès Killy; Xavier Près

Les références

‘Rhadamès Killy is an excellent lawyer, who knows everything, and negotiates well.’

Principaux clients

Daimani Group

Sports Events 365

On Air Fitness

Game Polo

YA’ATS Sports

Sport Cover

Meïssa N’Diaye

AIDA International


French Motorcycling Federation

France Pari


DZA Global

French Professional Volleyball League

British Association of Snowsport Instructors

Léa Godallier

International School Sport Federation

Junior Mwanga


Ovale Ensemble

Abdoullah Ba

Bakary Sako (footballer)

Benjamin Mendy (footballer)

Souleman Bamba (footballer)

Groupe Agence Reygondeau (photograph sepcialzed in motorcycling sports)