Sports Law firm expands Irish operation

Courts Service DublinA UK law firm which represents the Ryder Cup, the All England Lawn Tennis Club and the English and Welsh Rugby Unions is to target the Irish sports law field having opened up a Dublin office in 2011 and now looking to expand.

Kerman & Co is headed by managing partner Daniel O’Connell who hails from Tipperary. It states itself to be a medium sized firm of commercially minded lawyers and is looking to expand its sports law practice to take account of the increasing relevance of EU jurisdiction over sports policy and sports funding.

“Our sports law and natural resources offerings distinguish Kerman & Co from other law firms practicing on both sides of the Irish Sea,” said managing partner and Tipperary native Daniel O’Connell speaking to Business and Leadership this week.

“Our Irish roots – we have five solicitors who are qualified to practice in both Ireland and the UK – and niche offerings in sport and natural resources make Dublin a natural move for us.”

“We already have a strong portfolio of Irish clients and represent them in the UK and further afield. Given the amount of two-way business between Ireland and the UK we are already finding that our Dublin office is attracting a good deal of business.
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“Sport operates within a complex framework of sometimes competing legal disciplines, both domestic and international. As with so many spheres of activity, it is also not immune from the reach of European law. Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009, the EU has acquired a ‘supporting competence’ in the field of sport. As a result, the EU has legal jurisdiction to co-ordinate and supplement the sports policy actions by all 27 EU member states.”

It may well be that Ireland’s success in attracting many of the leading social media companies has a role in this move, given their increasing interweaving into sports marketing while the presence of the International Rugby Board, RBS Six Nations and European Rugby Cup in Dublin is also a draw given the likely changes and challenges facing the sport in the coming months and years as a new contract for the Heineken Cup comes onto the horizon.

The sports law sector is already well served by firms including Beauchamps, Mason Hayes and Curran, Arthur Cox, A&L Goodbody, McHale Muldon and others and the expansion of Kerman highlights the increasing role of sport within the international business world.

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