Sports Law

Litigation and arbitration

Preventing and resolving disputes is a key focus of our work. We regularly represent our clients before the internal dispute resolution bodies of federations and associations, for instance, the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body and the FIFA Dispute Resolution Body, as well as before national courts and arbitral tribunals, such as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne. Our experience of working in international commercial law firms and our expertise in handling commercial law conflicts makes us stand out as the preferred choice of our clients.

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In sport, issues are increasingly revolving around more than just the interpretation and application of the rules and regulations of sport governing bodies. Commercial disputes are becoming more and more prevalent. A sound knowledge of structures, mechanisms and other specific characteristics of sport are indispensable for resolving these conflicts. Furthermore dispute resolution in sport routinely involves many different areas of law and often involves several jurisdictions. Consequently successful dispute resolution calls for efficient, interdisciplinary thinking and action.

Besides acting as arbitrator and legal counsel in national and international proceedings before the various sports tribunals, the firm’s lawyers also act before state courts and courts of arbitration for sport, both in Germany and abroad. The firm has unparalleled experience drawn from well over 200 cases where its lawyers served as arbitrators or legal counsels, particularly in proceedings before the CAS.

Martens Rechtsanwälte achieved a milestone in the area of dispute resolution in sport with the development and administration of the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT), an international court of arbitration for settling disputes between clubs, professional basketball players and their agents. The BAT has been running since 2007 with resounding success.

Notable cases

  • Representing Atlético de Madrid in proceedings against FIFA before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
  • Advising adidas AG in arbitration proceedings against the German Football Association (DFB) regarding its exclusive right to equip the German national team (amount in dispute: over 100 million euros)
  • Acting as legal counsel to Fenerbahçe FC in a case before the CAS and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court concerning the defence against disciplinary sanctions imposed by UEFA on the account of match-fixing
  • Representing Panathinaikos FC in a transfer dispute case before the CAS (amount in dispute: around 40 million euros)
  • Representing the International Skating Union (ISU) in proceedings against the speed skater Claudia Pechstein before the Regional Court and Higher Regional Court of Munich
  • Representing athletes in defence cases against disciplinary measures, e.g. for a doping offence