Sports law is an area that can act as a catalyst for growing other practice areas at law firms, according to Fernando Veiga Gomes, the partner leading the sports law practice at Abreu Advogados.
Veiga Gomes says sports law can influence many practice areas, not only in the context of the core work directly relating to sports regulation but also by generating additional work for other practice areas, such as corporate, labour, litigation and tax.
“Sports law is an environment that gets you in contact with people who are representing companies and corporations as well as wealthy people who may have other businesses who we then get to know,” says Veiga Gomes. “All of this helps to increase the firm’s clientele.”
What types of sports law are currently generating work for law firms? One of the major recent trends in Portugal has been “investment in the acquisition of the economic rights of football players and investment in the acquisition and incorporation of public limited sports companies for football clubs”, according to Veiga Gomes. Other instructions frequently relate to the transfer of football players as well as the drawing up of player contracts and sponsorship deals. Sports image rights is another area in which Abreu is involved.
In an effort to enhance its sports law expertise, Abreu Advogados recently recruited former Sport and Youth Secretary of State, Alexandre Miguel Mestre as counsel.
“In sports law, people do not hire you just because you’re good and get things sorted, but because they trust you, have seen you before and know you’re involved in the environment,” says Veiga Gomes. “The fact that Alexandre is well connected will make us stronger on both a national and international level.”