The sporting industry is a diverse field that can be challenging to navigate for even the most successful athletes and sporting bodies. There are a number of areas that need to be expertly managed to ensure that your organisation, or your development as an athlete or coach, is successful both on and off the field.
The last decade has seen sporting clubs and governing bodies take on increased expectations and responsibilities when it comes to their staff, sponsors, members, coaches and athletes. For example, the expectation that they will actively manage staff and player welfare and behaviour – this can involve a range of things including training, investigations and disciplinary action.
We believe that individual athletes and coaches should be empowered to take greater control of their own careers and our role is to facilitate this by educating those individuals on the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ behind decisions so that they can make informed decisions about their career pathways.
We are committed to ensuring that all of our clients will have a complete understanding of all aspects of their offers, contracts and commercial arrangements.
We are a values driven business – we conduct ourselves and produce work in accordance with those values.
We are passionate about supporting the athletes, coaches, clubs and organisations that make up the sports industry – particularly the female sports industry.
We are committed to playing our part in helping the female sports industry grow and thereby ensuring that those who participate in it are appropriately remunerated, recognised and rewarded.
As lawyers, our conduct and work are subject to the professional standards and ethics as monitored by the NSW Law Society.
Our expertise in workplace relations, teamed with our lawyers’ passion for and knowledge of all things sport, makes Workplace Law the ideal partner for clubs, associations and governing sporting bodies. We have worked with a variety of sporting clubs and state sporting organisations on a broad range of matters including – staff employment issues, governance and Board issues.
Through our various sponsorships with sports clubs we have come to know many individual athletes and coaches which has helped us to understand what they need by way of support and how we can help them to be the best version of themselves on the field and off the field.
As a law firm of predominately female professionals, we understand the unique challenges female athletes encounter and are well placed to support them as they navigate their careers.
Our Expertise – how we can help you
Employment in the sports industry requires careful consideration of a number of things such as restraints of trade, transfers, salary caps and the rules and regulations of governing bodies.
From drafting employment contracts to managing performance issues to termination, we are able to assist at all stages of the employment relationship.
We also have the expertise required to assist you during bargaining processes.
As part of our commitment to empowering athletes, we will guide coaches and athletes through the complexities of employment contracts and sponsorship agreements so you can make the right decisions for yourself and in your best interests.
As we do with many of our employer clients, we will work with clubs and sporting associations to ensure that they have the right legal and governance structures in place to ensure its long-term success in the industry.
Whether this is by helping you to set up a compliant governance structure or by supporting Directors or Boards in fulfilling their duties and obligations, we will be there every step of the way.
From the players and coaches, to the medical staff, to the volunteers – every person has an important role to play in ensuring the integrity of the sport.
We can work with your organisation to develop and implement best practice policies and procedures that will bring out the best in each and every person. We are well aware of the importance of setting these foundations up early and reviewing them regularly, particularly when it comes to issues such as anti-doping, performance-enhancing drugs, gambling and player behaviour.
Work, Health & Safety
Employers have work health and safety obligations to their employees. It is no different in the sporting industry and can be more complicated particularly given the inherent health and safety risks to athletes. We can assist organisations in ensuring that they comply with their work health and safety duties and are addressing issues before they arise.
Media & PR
We have experience in crisis management and work with individuals and organisations to ensure they respond to incidents and stories in an appropriate manner.
Privacy and Discrimination
The conduct of sporting organisations and its athletes (whether in a personal or professional capacity) has never been more exposed to the media and the public. We are aware of the importance that public reputation has in ensuring a successful sport and can assist you in protecting both the interests of the organisation and any affected individuals.
We can also assist you in asserting your rights in relation to discrimination across all areas including disability, race, religion, gender and age.
We believe in education as a means to make better organisations and individuals. We have a range of seminar and webinar sessions that are particularly applicable to the sports industry including but not limited to:
- Social Media
- Workplace behaviour and culture
Dispute Resolution and Tribunal Representation
When disputes arise, we will help you find the most appropriate solution. There are many alternative dispute resolutions to Court proceedings and we are experts in facilitating mediations and conciliations.
However, sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Where necessary, we are able to advise and represent you in disciplinary hearings, tribunals and appeals.
We understand that individuals in the female sports industry range from amateur to semi-professional and professional – all with varying degrees of income.
It is important to us that an individual’s level of income is not a barrier to having the best possible support during their career. So, working together with the individual, we will agree on a fee with specific reference to an individual’s financial capacity and earnings.
For sporting clubs, associations and governing bodies, our fees will be set on a case by case basis with reference to your financial capacity and level of competition (ie. grass roots, professional club etc).
Additional Support Services
In addition to all of the above, we partner with many businesses that are able to provide assistance to you when needed, including:
- experts in other areas of law such as immigration, trademark, licensing and technology, as well as property matters; and
- injury and rehabilitation providers.
For further information on our Sports Law services please contact one of our Directors, Shane Koelmeyer, on 9256 7500.