Sports & Corporate Transactions

We have more than 200 corporate lawyers across Europe, Asia and the Middle East who advise on all forms of corporate transactions, including in the sports sector, as clients are increasingly looking to invest in and acquire sporting assets, often in joint ventures with other partners.  A number of our corporate lawyers specialise in the sports sector and they work closely with our wider sports law team to successfully complete transactions for clients, ranging from individuals through to private equity funds.

We assist our clients in achieving the following key aims and objectives, among others:

  • carrying out corporate due diligence for clients who are considering acquiring or investing in sporting assets;
  • acquiring or divesting sporting assets, most notably sporting clubs or teams, whether by way of private M&A transactions or public takeovers;
  • investing in sporting assets, whether by way of equity joint venture, private equity investment, or venture capital or venture debt investment;
  • structuring or restructuring sporting bodies and federations, for example drafting or reviewing constitutions and by-laws; and
  • preparing clients for a listing on a stock exchange.

Case studies

Pro Rugby Championship: We advised the organiser of the Guinness PRO14 rugby union tournament on a strategic investment by CVC Capital Partners. The competition involves the top Irish, Italian, Scottish, Welsh and South African rugby union clubs. The transaction represents a major milestone for the sport of rugby union.

Several Premier League football clubs: We have advised such clubs on their proposed takeovers, equity investments, joint ventures, listed company compliance work, and general corporate and corporate governance matters, including fiduciary duties of directors and conflict of interest rules. For example, we advised publicly-listed Chinese investment company Fosun Group on its acquisition of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC from Steve Morgan CBE and his Bridgemere Group.

Key Contacts

Matt Bonass, Richard Bloomfield


Bird & Bird “has a formidable corporate practice…the team were strong in focusing on the key items that needed our attention, and worked with our team to get the best results. They were very responsive and went the extra mile.”

chambers, 2019 & 2020