During the latter part of the twentieth century, sport shifted from being a recreation of the few to being a central component of the human experience. The same trajectory took the commercial aspects of sport from the preserve of the well intentioned amateur to a multinational industry.
Sport raises issues which arise in no other industry, as well as testing to their limits legal tools evolved for other contexts in other times. As "killer content", sport also becomes a test bed for the new media technologies that look set to revolutionise modern life yet further over coming years.
McCormicks has long been universally acknowledged as a leading player both regionally and nationally in the ever evolving discipline of sports law, and offers an unparalleled wealth of experience, expertise and innovation in the field.
McCormicks is widely acknowledged as one of the outstanding Sports Law practices in Europe.
Peter McCormick is one of the leading sports lawyers in the UK with an international reputation. The team at McCormicks has hands-on experience of the legal issues affecting sporting organisations and an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the regulatory issues that surround the sports industry today.
McCormicks advises numerous sporting bodies, including the Premier League on a variety of matters. These include:
Regulatory and Disciplinary
Commercial and Contractual Matters
Corporate Recovery and Insolvency
The firm also acts for a number of sports personalities, advising on both professional and personal matters.
"The 'fantastic' Peter McCormick is clearly the team’s lynchpin. One commentator described him as 'at the pinnacle of football regulatory work,' while others add: 'He has been in the industry so long he understands all the politics.' He has provided advice in relation to the ‘Quest’ transfer inquiry chaired by Lord Stevens, and has worked on the redrafting of the FA’s agent regulations." Chambers UK
"The profile of this well-regarded practice has changed over the last few years. Once known mainly for its work with Leeds United Football Club, McCormicks is now seen simply as a firm that handles football matters well. As well as advising the English Premier League, lawyers here specialise in commercial issues concerning Leagues and various clubs, including sponsorship and media rights. The group is also commended for its proficiency in disciplinary matters. Away from football, the group enjoys representations in rugby and horseracing." Chambers UK
"McCormicks continues to punch above its weight in the market. It is a major player in the football sector where it acts for the Isthmian League, Leeds United FC and the Premier League. One client said: 'They understand our needs completely.'" Chambers UK
"Harrogate-based McCormicks is highly influential in the football sector, where it maintains strong relationships with the Isthmian League, Leeds United FC and the Premier League. Market observers say: 'They have a really thorough knowledge of football, both the market and the law.'" Chambers UK
“Renowned for his sports and media expertise, Peter McCormick of McCormicks is ‘a great communicator and outstanding with client relationships.’” Chambers UK
“This Professional Discipline team impresses clients with ‘its cooperative work ethic. The lawyers make you feel important and they prioritise your work.’” Chambers UK.
“Clients dub Peter McCormick ‘an intellectually clever, commercially astute lawyer who is very good to have on your side in a time of crisis.’ He applies his great depth of experience and legal knowledge in a calm and efficient manner.” Chambers UK
“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
“Offering ‘unrivalled industry knowledge in sport’, Peter McCormick at McCormicks continues to advise at the highest level in the football world.” UK Legal 500
“Peter McCormick is a star figure within the world of football.” Chambers UK.
“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
“McCormicks’ Peter McCormick has an excellent reputation for contentious and non-contentious work across broadcasting, IP rights and sponsorship and for defamation complaints relating to print and broadcast media.” UK Legal 500
“Clients say the firm is ‘a very professional outfit with excellent credentials, contacts and knowledge.’"
"Peter McCormick is known for his experience in sports law and has a reputation as being a powerful advocate of his client’s case. Clients say he is a ‘very commercial, straight-talking lawyer who is incredibly driven with a clear determination to succeed.’” Chambers UK
“The well-regarded Peter McCormick leads the team which handles both contentious and non-contentious work and acts for high-profile companies as well as individuals. The practice spans broadcasting, media, personal contracts, sponsorship, defamation and complaints relating to broadcasters and the press.” UK Legal 500
“Clients say ‘They don’t just lay down the law. The advice we receive is pragmatic, common-sense and fits with the environment we are working within. Peter McCormick offers clients an authentic understanding of sports regulation and is applauded by sources for infusing his advice with commercial sense.’” Chambers UK
“McCormicks maintains a well-respected team. Practice head Peter McCormick is ‘knowledgeable, reliable, helpful and authoritative.’” UK Legal 500
“Harrogate-based McCormicks is highly influential in the football sector. Market observers say: ‘They have a really thorough knowledge of football, both the market and the law.’ Clients say the firm is 'immensely responsive, very prompt, very quick, respond carefully to all the requests we’ve made.’
Peter McCormick is a towering figure within football. 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.
“McCormicks has established itself as one of the few English media firms outside London with a profile in the wider market.” Chambers UK
“According to one source this team ‘does what is said on the tin’. Peter McCormick is ‘thoroughly competent and absolutely responsive.’” Chambers UK
"McCormicks’ ‘excellent’ team has ‘unrivalled knowledge of football’. The ‘very commercial’ Peter McCormick is highlighted for his ‘expertise’ and ‘sound advice.’” UK Legal 500
“This Harrogate-based team plays an integral part in the region’s sports sector. However it is the team’s work for the Premier League which marks it out as one of the country’s elite sports practices.” Chambers UK
“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
“McCormicks’ Peter McCormick is ‘vastly experienced, savvy, an able advocate and a fearsome opponent’. As chairman of the Premier League Legal Advisory Group, he continues to advise on Portsmouth FC’s insolvency and the Olympic Stadium dispute. He was also involved in bringing to Harrogate Le Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France. Other clients include Leeds United FC, Yorkshire County Cricket Club and a number of non-league football clubs. Philip Edmondson is also recommended.” Legal 500
“McCormicks is ‘a market leader in the field of sports law’. Peter McCormick is an ‘able advocate and a fearsome opponent’, and his ‘vast experience has allowed him to gain the ear of The Premier League’. He recently acted in arbitration proceedings relating to the FA’s Rule K, brought by Leyton Orient concerning the decision to approve West Ham United’s move to the Olympic Stadium. Philip Edmondson joined from Cobbetts LLP to head the litigation team.” Legal 500
“McCormicks’ highly respected name partner Peter McCormick continues to advise the Premier League on football regulatory, brand reputation, commercial and IP matters. Other prominent clients are Leeds United FC and Yorkshire County Cricket Club.” - Legal 500
"They have total command of the subject area. Their hard work, tenacity and good humour impressed me in particular." - Chambers UK - Sport
"Sources say Peter McCormick is 'a realy leader who ensures that his team delivers. He is not afraid to roll up his sleeves either, and everything he does he does with humour and charm.' He acts on a wide range of regulatory, commercial and contractual matters for the Premier League." - Chambers UK - Sport
"The 'outstanding' Peter McCormick of McCormicks is ably assisted by the 'very bright' Philip Edmondson. It handles all legal matters (apart from IP protection and media contracts) for the Premier League." - Legal 500
"At McCormicks, the 'sophisticated and shrewd' Peter McCormick is the 'doyen of football law', and handles a raft of work for the Premier League. Alongside the 'modest and charming' Philip Edmondson, MCormick is acting for the Premier League in the defence of a challenge brought by Leyton Orient FC to the decision to allow West Ham United to play its home games at the Olympic Stadium." - Legal 500
"Yorkshire practice providing expertise in a range of matters including contentious and non-contentious football work, with additional clients in shooting and cricket. Involved in grassroots football development and provides experience in arbitration and mediation." - Chambers UK - Sport
"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’. Recent highlights for his key client include advice in relation to the continuing financial difficulties of Portsmouth FC, representing the League in the landmark challenge to the football creditor rules brought against it by HMRC, which ultimately led to a claim dismissal and costs award, and advising and drafting broadcasting and media access rules following the broadcast deal that came into effect in August 2016. Other football clients include the Premier League Charitable Fund and Leeds United FC. The firm also acts for shoot proprietors and assist members of the public and shoots with applications for shotgun and firearms certifications, including appeals. Philip Edmondson was promoted to the partnership in August 2016.” - Legal 500
“McCormicks is well known for its work for the Premier League, though it also acts for clients across a range of other sports on contentious, commercial and regulatory matters. ‘Market-leading’ name partner Peter McCormick has ‘excellent judgement’ and is ‘vastly experienced’; he advised key client the Premier League on the continuing financial difficulties of Portsmouth FC. McCormick is also a ‘fearsome opponent’ in contentious matters: he successfully represented the Premier League against the HMRC’s challenge to the football creditors rule, and defended it in arbitration brought by Leyton Orient FC concerning the League’s decision to approve West Ham United FC’s move to the Olympic Stadium. The ‘very impressive, cost-effective’ Philip Edmondson, who made partner in August 2016, is ‘a hard worker with a good eye for detail’ and ‘exudes an air of calm capability’. An experienced arbitrator and litigator, Edmondson acted for Professional Game Match Officials in proceedings against a former referee looking to set up a rival training programme. Shooting is a niche area of expertise for the practice, which acts for various shoot proprietors.” - 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