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Fast-growing sports law offers ‘unique challenges’

Hong Kong, 7 November 2019: Colin Cohen offered his thoughts on the rapid expansion of the multi-billion-dollar global sports industry and the impact it is having on the legal profession when he spoke before a large audience at the LAWASIA Conference today.

Colin, Senior Partner in Boase Cohen & Collins, was part of a panel discussion examining the complexity and importance of sports law in relation to issues such as contracts, image rights, governance and regulation, broadcasting, doping and social media.

“There is no doubt that major advances in media, technology and the global marketplace have revolutionised sports in the past decade and turned it into a multi-billion-dollar industry in which governments, sporting bodies, clubs, athletes, agents and media companies are playing for high stakes,” said Colin after appearing on the panel.

“As a consequence, sports law is one of the fastest growing and most complex fields in the legal profession and one that offers unique challenges to law firms throughout the world with a vast array of commercial, regulatory and even moral issues to be considered.”

In today’s session at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the panelists discussed contract management and dispute resolution in a series of scenarios involving a fictitious, high-profile Olympic athlete. Situations discussed included a positive doping test, controversial social media posts and commercial contract issues.

Colin was joined on the panel by Dr Trisha Leahy, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Sports Institute; Philana Poon, Executive Director, Legal and Compliance with the Hong Kong Jockey Club; Rui Botica Santos of the Macau Lawyers Association; and Dr Chen Huarong, a law professor from Yuncheng University in China.

The session was moderated by Richard Wee, Managing Partner of Richard Wee Chambers in Malaysia and considered one of his country’s foremost authorities on sports law, while commentary was given by Anthony Miller, an Australian lawyer with considerable experience in the sports industry who is Director of Miller Sockhill Lawyers in Queensland.

LAWASIA is a regional association of lawyers, judges, jurists and legal organisations which advocates for the interests and concerns of the Asia Pacific legal profession. The Annual Conference is LAWASIA’s flagship event and the highlight of its professional events programme.

SportsLaw PHOTO

Colin Cohen makes a point to the audience during today’s panel discussion on sports law.