About Me

As head of our Sports Group in London, I advise governing bodies, event organisers and others active in the sector, across all major sports, on a range of commercial, regulatory and contentious issues.

As head of our Sports Group in London, I advise our clients (international and international governing bodies, event organisers, teams, agencies, and commercial partners) in all major sports on a wide range of commercial, regulatory and contentious issues, including commercial disputes, investigations, challenges to regulatory decisions, enforcement of rules in disciplinary proceedings and appeals, and much more.

I am an experienced advocate, appearing regularly before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, as well as a range of internal sports tribunals. I was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2017 in recognition of the quality of my advocacy.

In 2016, I chaired the World Anti-Doping Agency's Independent Observer team at the Rio Olympics.

From November 2016 to January 2020, I chaired WADA's Compliance Review Committee, an independent Standing Committee that reports to WADA's ExCo and Foundation Board on issues relating to Code compliance by Signatories.

From November 2018 to January 2021, I chaired the independent External Review Commission that investigated allegations of wrongdoing by the International Biathlon Union's former president and secretary-general, and helped the IBU strengthen its constitution to avoid repetition, including establishing the groundbreaking independent Biathlon Integrity Unit.

In 2019 and 2020, I conducted a review of the governance of the English Football League, and separately a review into the circumstances leading to the termination of Bury FC's membership of the League in August 2018.

Alongside my practice, I am co-editor (with Adam Lewis QC) of the leading UK sports law practitioners' text, Sport: Law and Practice (4th Edition 2021). I was also a tutor at University College and Balliol College, Oxford (Tort Law and Administrative Law) in 1992/93 and Director of Studies in Sports Law at King's College, London from 2000 to 2007.

I hold both UK and US law degrees and originally qualified and practised as a commercial litigator in New York before moving back to the UK in 1997. Since that time I've focused exclusively on advising clients active in the sports sector.
Experience
  • Bringing spot-fixing charges on behalf of the International Cricket Council under its Anti-Corruption Code against Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir in 2010, and against many others since then.
  • Bringing drugs charges on behalf of the International Tennis Federation under its Tennis Anti-Doping Programme against Marin Cilic, Viktor Troicki, Maria Sharapova, and many others.
  • Defending World Athletics in proceedings brought before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) by Caster Semenya, challenging the legality of World Athletics' regulations on Eligibility for the Female Classification (Athletes with Differences in Sex Development), and by Blake Leeper, challenging the legality of World Athletics' rules limiting the use of prosthetic blades in competition.
  • Defending the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in proceedings brought at the CAS by the Russian Paralympic Committee, challenging the IPC's ban of the Russian Paralympic team from the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio; and defending the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) in proceedings brought before the CAS in 2020 by the UAE Equestrian Federation, challenging the FEI's suspension of its membership based on breach of its obligations under the FEI's statutes.
Education

Studied

  • University College, Oxford, BA in Jurisprudence (1st Class Honors) (1986-89)
  • University of Virginia, LLM (1990)

Admissions

  • The Law Society of England & Wales in 1997
  • State Bar of New York, USA in 1991
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Testimonials

Jonathan Taylor is hailed as 'a giant' of sports law, with clients continuing to be 'impressed with his knowledge, experience and advice.' He remains at the forefront of the field, offering sports governing and regulatory bodies the benefit of his market-leading expertise in tribunals, investigations and reviews.

Chambers UK 2021

Jonathan Taylor has an enormous breadth of knowledge and experience on which to rely, and uses it to great effect. Understands the whole picture - from the minutiae to the broader context - better than anyone.

Legal 500 UK 2021

Jonathan Taylor QC enjoys an 'excellent reputation in doping matters' and is hailed as 'the best in the UK.'

Who's Who Legal 2020 Global Elite Thought Leaders

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