Peter heads the Sports and Media/Entertainment practice at McCormicks and is an internationally recognised expert in these areas of work. Recently, he was voted by his peers one of the best Sports and Entertainment lawyers in the world, following research by the leading guide, Who's Who Legal.
Regarded as one of the top sports lawyers in the UK, Peter is best known as the Chairman of the Legal Advisory Group of the Premier League and Chairman of the League’s Football Board, both Executive positions. In August 2015, he was unanimously elected by the 20 Clubs of the League to be a Director of the Football Association (FA) and a member of the FA Council. Prior to these appointments, he was Chairman of the Premier League 2014/15.
In March 2016, he was elected by the Premier League and the Professional Game Board of the FA to the Football Regulatory Authority (FRA), which performs the regulatory, disciplinary and Rule-making functions of the FA. He is also an FA Ambassador, representing England and the FA at international matches abroad and away from Wembley.
In May 2016, he was appointed Chairman of the Panel of Ambassadors and a member of the FA Group Remuneration Committee and the FA Council Membership and Appointments Committee.
In August 2016, he was appointed Chairman of the FA Group Remuneration Committee, serving a six year term until July 2022. In addition, he was made Chairman of the FA Premier League Medical Care Scheme Ltd, a company providing private health care to 95% of professionals in football in this country.
In July 2017, he was unanimously elected Vice Chairman of the FA, serving a five year term until July 2022.
In November 2018, he was elected Chairman of the Professional Game Board of the FA.
In November 2020, he was appointed interim Chairman of the FA, a position he held until January 2022, when the new independent Chair took office. Peter continued as an FA Board Member until the end of his term, in July 2023.
Also in January 2022, Peter was unanimously elected by the 20 Premier League Clubs as interim Chairman of the Premier League. He served until January 2023, when the new independent Chair took office.
He is Chairman of Premier League Stadium Fund, a Trustee of the Football Foundation (the UK’s largest sporting charity), Chairman of The Football Foundation Trading Ltd and a Chairman of Sport Resolutions (UK). He is also an experienced Arbitrator and Mediator.
In July 2023, he was elected Chairman of the FA Challenge Cup Committee.
He advises businesses, organisations and individuals on Corporate and Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Media and Entertainment, Regulatory and Disciplinary, Defamation and Reputation Management issues.
Peter is also a leading national figure in Charities Law. He advises charity clients on a local and regional basis and also national charities, including The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and The Outward Bound Trust. He is Chairman of the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation, Chairman of War Memorials Trust and a Trustee of the Helen Feather Memorial Trust and several other charities. He is a Vice President of the Future 50 Campaign for Harrogate International Festivals. The Festivals have celebrated their 50th anniversary and launched a £1 million campaign to secure the next 50 years. Other Vice Presidents include Lesley Garrett, Mark Billingham, Lee Child, the Earl of Harewood, Peter James, Mark Lawson, Julian Lloyd Webber and Val McDermid.
He was awarded the OBE for services to charity on 1 January 2000. He was awarded the Order of Mercy, in July 2016, by the League of Mercy Foundation, for outstanding voluntary service.
Peter was voted the inaugural Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year and Niche Practice Lawyer of the Year by the Yorkshire Law Societies. He has been ranked as a leading expert by the Legal 500 and Chambers UK, the leading independent guides to the profession, in Sport, Media and Entertainment, Corporate and Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Defamation and Reputation Management, Professional Discipline, Charities, Agriculture and Estates and Contentious Trusts and Probate.
The Legal 500 ranks him as an outstanding and leading lawyer nationwide and a leading individual in Yorkshire and the Humber.
He was the inaugural Chairman of Visit Harrogate, the Destination Management Organisation for business and leisure tourism in the Harrogate district, one of the largest in the country. In April 2017, he was appointed a Harrogate Conference Ambassador for the Harrogate Convention Centre.
In 2008, Peter received the Lifetime Achievement in Business Award at the Ackrill Media Group Business Awards.
Best in Sports Law Services - Global Awards - Corporate Live Wire
One of the leading Sports & Entertainment lawyers in the World - Who's Who Legal
What People Say About Peter...
"Peter McCormick has an 'impressively commercial overview of the sector,' according to sources. He is the firm's senior partner and has a broad corporate/commercial practice." Chambers UK - Charities
"Peter McCormick is a towering figure within football. His prominence stems largely from his role as the chairman of the Legal Advisory Group of the Premier League. Opponents, colleagues and clients alike are quick to attest to the value of the 'practical, common-sense advice,' provided by 'a lawyer who not only understands football, but always sees the commercial realities as well.'" Chambers UK - Sport
“Peter McCormick is ranked as a ‘star performer.’ This Harrogate-based team continues to operate on a national level for which a great deal of the credit must go to Peter McCormick, a solicitor whom clients simply could not praise enough. ‘A legend in the field of football’, he is extremely active for marquee client, the Premier League. ‘McCormick is an intellectually brilliant, commercially astute and hands-on lawyer – he’s as good as it gets’, proclaim happy clients. The team attracts praise for its commendable work ethic and excellent client skills: ‘these lawyers make you feel like you’re their priority – they’ll work day and night to get the job done.’” Chambers UK - Sport
“Peter McCormick at McCormicks is ‘an outstanding sports lawyer’ and a ‘striker who any informed client would choose to lead his team.’ Clients say the firm ‘punches way above its weight and is a true specialist in the field.’”UK Legal 500 - Sport
“Peter McCormick is a prominent figure within sport, especially football. One client was highly impressed with his ‘very practical approach to commercial business – when I make big decisions, I run them past him. He’s so streetwise that while I know his expertise is in sports law, I feel confident asking him about anything!’” Chambers UK - Sport
"At McCormicks, the 'sophisticated and shrewd' Peter McCormick is the 'doyen of football law', and handles a raft of work for the Premier League. - Legal 500
"Senior Partner Peter McCormick is identified by peers as a towering figure in football law, advising on a suite of matters as chairman of the Premier League's legal advisory group. A source observes: 'He has national credibility and comes cheaper than using a London lawyer who probably isn't as good.'" - Chambers UK - Sport
“‘Godfather of sports law’ Peter McCormick heads the sports department at Harrogate firm McCormicks and is ‘vastly experienced, savvy and has the ear of The Premier League’.” - Legal 500
"Peter McCormick is praised by commentators for being "extremely experienced, savvy and commercial." He is known to be a leading light in football, serving as chairman of the Premier League's legal advisory group. According to a source, "he leads by example and is one of the most impressive lawyers I have ever worked with." - Chambers UK