Sports law: Assizes bring together nearly 200 lawyers

What type of contract for a professional athlete? Which associated clauses? What future for the status of sports attorney? What exploitations and what revenues from the image of an athlete? So many themes addressed during the Assises du droit et du sport, organized on May 6 by droitdusport.com, Edara and the Bar of Lyon, at the Matmut Stadium.

Among the current news, the status of the sports attorney and the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal to annul on October 14, 2021, a deliberation of the Council of the Paris Bar Association (dating from June 2 2020) which had amended its rules of procedure (article P. 6.3.0.3) by specifying:

“A lawyer may, as a sports representative, carry out the activity of bringing together, for remuneration, the parties interested in the conclusion of a contract either relating to the remunerated exercise of a sporting activity or training, or which provides for the conclusion of an employment contract having as its object the remunerated exercise of a sporting or training activity. A lawyer acting as a sports agent may only be remunerated by his client”.

A victory for the sports agents who saw with a dim view the arrival of lawyers on their playground, a real monopoly for the profession.

“The place of the lawyer as a trusted partner is established” explained at the opening of the conference Robert Galletti, president of Edara, the school for lawyers in Lyon.

And to clarify these sporting and legal issues, the first workshop entitled “The sportsman’s (and coach’s) employment contract: a specific contract? », was the subject of a very successful role-playing game which clearly highlighted the various associated issues: the establishment of prerequisites and suspensive conditions in the context of the hiring of a player by a club; manage the injury of a player who denounces the poor physical preparation offered by the club while this athlete is renowned for his lifestyle incompatible with high-level sport or, should the risk of relegation or of an economic crisis of a club partly on the sportsmen?

“Legally secure the course of an athlete”

Present at the Assises du Sport in Lyon, Jérôme Gavaudan, president of the CNB spoke about the evolution of the legal profession, precisely in this sporting context.

Jerome Gavaudan, President of the CNB

The lawyer a trusted third party, especially in the world of sport, do you confirm?

The legal profession evolves with the times. Of course, he manages criminal and civil defence, but there are other areas of expertise that he has been able to develop, such as that of sports agent. This is a gain for the profession insofar as it evolves in a sector, the transaction relating to athletes, which needs to be secured on the legal level, independently of the financial stakes.

A word on the decision of the Court of Appeal of Paris?

The Court of Appeal rendered a decision which in reality does not necessarily upset the situation. This limits the possibilities of lawyers to engage in the sports mandate. The scope of this decision should therefore not be limited because it only concerns a modification of the rules of procedure of a bar, in this case that of Paris.

Ethics and trade are thus hardly compatible?

A lawyer is not a sports agent, because his independence is recognized by the public authorities and which confer on him moral and legal authority; which is not compatible with the notion of commerce inherent in the profession of sports agent. It is a question beyond ethics, security for the client and independence of the lawyer.

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