Sports Law in Geelong and Melbourne
The objective of every sporting club is to win. This aligns with our objective to achieve the best outcome for our sporting clients, whether they are a grassroots sporting club or one of the most successful AFL clubs of the last decade.
What is Sports Law?
People will often refer to “Sports Law” as though it is a single body of law. However, a wide range of laws can affect sporting clubs, including, but not limited to, contract, property, not-for-profit, employment, construction, and litigation. Sporting organisations and clubs (sport entities) are operated like a business. Like any other business, a sport entity’s legal requirements will vary at each stage of its growth.
What is Coulter Roache’s experience in Sports Law?
Our Sports Law team acts for a number of sporting organisations, including:
- the Geelong Football Club (GFC). We are proud of its partnership with the GFC, and have acted for the GFC in a number of high profile matters including:
(i) advising the GFC on stages 1 to 4 of the redevelopment of GMHBA Stadium,
(ii) advising the GFC on the amendments to its club constitution (including its disciplinary processes);
(iii) advising the GFC on its licence agreement with the AFL for the AFLW competition;
(iv) acting for the GFC on the acquisition of Geelong’s Gym;
(v) the preparation of sponsorship agreements with the GFC’s key corporate sponsors; and
(vi) advising the GFC on a number of employment matters;
- the Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC). We have advised RGYC on the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project, which involves the installation of a new publicly accessible wave attenuator, and the construction of education facilities;
- Australian Windsurfing Association (AWA). We have advised AWA on its constituent documents, and insurance related matters; and
- Hockey Australia. We have assisted Hockey Australia with a number of commercial matters and employment issues.
How can Coulter Roache help?
Our Sports Law team can assist with the following aspects of your sport entity:
Structure – the preferred structure for a sport entity (for example, an incorporated association or a company limited by guarantee) will depend on a number of matters, including the sport entity’s objectives and membership numbers. We will advise on the characteristics of the preferred structure and the regulatory steps for the establishment of the applicable operating entity, and prepare the necessary constituent documents (rules of association or company constitution, as the case may be);
Sponsorship Agreements – sponsorship is key to the survival and growth of all sport entities. It is important to detail those sponsorship arrangements in a sponsorship agreement which clearly sets out the parties’ respective rights and obligations. Our Sports Team has extensive experience in drafting, advising on and negotiating such agreements;
Property Agreements – a sport entity will require premises, a sporting ground and/or facilities. Whether the sport entity acquires premises, sporting ground or facilities (as the case may be), or enters into a lease or licensing arrangement with local government or a private owner, we will be able to advise on the relevant transaction, and assist in the preparation and negotiation of the sale, lease or licence documentation;
Construction Agreements – once established, a sport entity may wish to expand or upgrade its premises, sporting ground and/or facilities. This will quite often involve a procurement process to select preferred contractors to undertake the upgrade works. We will guide a sport entity through that process, advise on the procurement documentation, prepare the necessary construction contracts for the works, and assist with the negotiation of such contracts;
Governance – we can advise on and assist with constitutional amendments, the preparation of codes of conduct, membership rules and other policies;
Employment – we can advise on and assist with the preparation of employment contracts. We can also advise on issues relating to employee misconduct and other disciplinary matters, and restraints of trade;
Waivers of liability – most sporting activities are inherently risky. As such, managing risk is essential for sport entities. We can advise on and assist with the preparation of terms and conditions, and waivers of liability; and
Intellectual Property – a sporting club’s logo and associated intellectual property are key assets. We can advise on measures to protect such intellectual property, including through the registration of trademarks.