About Me

I am a partner in the sports group of our London office, I advise clients in the sports sector on a variety of different issues such as rules and regulations, discipline and anti-doping, ticketing, brand protection, player contracts, sponsorship and dispute resolution.

Over nearly 20 years in the sports industry, I've represented national governing bodies, international federations, event organisers, clubs, athletes, sponsors and agents across all the major sports. I have worked on (for example) the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, FIFA World Cups, Rugby World Cups, Cricket World Cups, British and Irish Lions tours, Premier League investigations, Six Nations rugby disciplinary cases, tennis regulations, cycling regulations, golf regulations, horseracing disputes, anti-touting campaigns in football and broadcast and sponsorship disputes across all sports. I enjoy working with a quality team and for great clients, whether on one-off pieces of advice or complex pieces of litigation or regulatory issues. I like to think, given our experience across many sports and in different contexts, we can save clients time and money by identifying (and fixing) some issues before they arise.

I am a co-author of Bloomsbury's Sport: Law and Practice and I contribute regularly to legal journals and the mainstream media on sports law issues. I am a CEDR-accredited mediator and a member of Sport Resolutions' Mediation and Arbitration Panels.

I won two rugby union blues at Cambridge and played briefly as a professional in England and France.
Experience
  • Celtic Rugby: advising on a wide range of issues related to the expansion of the tournament to include teams from South Africa, including its agreement with the South Africa Rugby Union, and the variation of agreements with its various commercial partners.
  • International Tennis Federation: advising on disciplinary proceedings brought against Mr Ilie Năstase, Romania Fed Cup team captain and former men's world number one tennis player, for various breaches of the ITF Welfare Policy as a result of his conduct at a Fed Cup tie held between Great Britain and Romania in April 2017.
  • Premier League: representation in a dispute against Hull City Football Club, held before an independent commission. The case focussed on the interpretation of the Premier League's Rule R.8 that deals with concessionary ticket pricing for junior supporters and senior citizens.
  • Premier League: advising on disciplinary proceedings against a major football club and Liverpool FC in respect of breaches of the Premier League's Youth Development Rules, specifically those rules dealing with offers of inducements and early approaches.
Education

Studied

  • Queens' College Cambridge MA
  • Queens' College Cambridge LL.M

Admissions

  • Law Society of England & Wales in 1996
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Testimonials

Max Duthie is a respected figure in the sector for his stellar record acting for governing bodies in football and rugby in relation to compliance and enforcement mandates, as well as acting on commercial contract instructions. Sources say he is 'sensible, practical, approachable and very down to earth,' adding that 'he quickly understands what the client wants, and then works hard to deliver the same in a human and friendly way.

Chambers UK 2020

Max Duthie is a fantastic litigator, equipped with all the required knowledge, technical skills and advocacy technique, but without the bluster and faux-aggression that comes with many operators in the contentious sports market.

Legal 500 2020

Max Duthie is intelligent, articulate and able to master details incredibly quickly.

Legal 500 2021

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