About Me

I am a partner in our Media, Entertainment & Sports group, based in Sydney.

I specialise in advising clients in the media, entertainment and sports industry, and have a unique combination of private practice and in-house experience having worked for Bird & Bird in both London and Sydney and spent 7 years as General Counsel of Rugby Australia.

I began my career in Bird & Bird's London office in 2004 and, after a 7 year stint in-house, re-joined the firm in Sydney in early 2018. I am currently focused on building an Asia-Pacific media, entertainment and sports practice to replicate what Bird & Bird's market-leading international team has achieved in other markets, and am excited about the opportunities and the momentum we are building in the region.

I advise on a wide array of commercial and regulatory matters in the sports and entertainment sector. I have particular expertise in helping clients plan and structure commercial rights programmes, launch innovative products and experiences, execute high-value and strategically important transactions and partnerships, and respond to regulatory developments and challenges. I have a passion for sports governance and have assisted a number of sports achieve major governance reform and implement new governance structures which set a platform to transform the fortunes of the sport.

Having worked as an in-house lawyer for seven years, I have a genuine understanding of the opportunities and challenges which are unique to the sports and entertainment industry. Over the years, I have developed this sector expertise working for a broad range of clients including sports governing bodies, clubs and teams, broadcasters, sponsors, event organisers, video gaming companies, gambling businesses and global entertainment platforms.

I'm co-author of the 'Image Rights' chapter in the leading UK sports law textbook 'Sport, Law and Practice' (Taylor and Lewis, Second Edition).
Experience
  • Advising Rugby Australia on various commercial and corporate matters relating to the hosting of the Rugby World Cups in 2027 (men's) and 2029 (women's).
  • Advising Activision Blizzard on consumer law issues arising from novel and innovative marketplace features in their leading game franchises.
  • Advising Fiji Rugby on the establishment of its first professional rugby team, the Fijian Drua, and its participation in the Super Rugby Pacific competition.
  • Advised Riot Games on Nike's long-term sponsorship of the League of Legends Pro League in China, including the exclusive right to supply all 16 teams and their players with clothing, footwear and accessories.
  • Advised the City of Sydney on the production and broadcast arrangements for the NYE fireworks, including on its host broadcaster contract with the ABC and on the syndication of the live feed and other footage to international broadcasters and news agencies reaching an estimated 1 billion viewers globally.
Education

Studied

  • University of Cambridge, LLM, Law

Admissions

  • Law Society of New South Wales, Australia in 2016
  • Law Society of England & Wales in 2001
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Testimonials

He's calm, smart and commercial. Being a former GC has given Rich an insight into what in-house counsel need from private practice firms. His advice is always clear and he works with us to understand what we need.

Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2023

He is a highly experienced and technically adept lawyer with first-class drafting skills. Rich has a calm but confident style which is reassuring for clients. He is the go-to legal adviser in the sports and media spaces for complex and highly important matters that need a trusted and respected adviser.

Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2023

Rich is the recipient of extensive and highly positive feedback from clients who identify him as a practitioner of 'incredible wisdom and insight,' noted for his 'long experience in sport'.

Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2021

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