At MinterEllisonRuddWatts we are privileged to advise on a wide range of sports and major events matters, both in New Zealand and around the world.

Our practice predates the first significant modern sports event in New Zealand, the World Rowing Championships in 2010, which we were the lead legal advisers for. Since then, we have advised on all major sporting events including Rugby World Cup 2011, Cricket World Cup 2015, Volvo Ocean Race, World Masters Games 2017, and the V8 Supercars Australia.  We also advise clients involved in rugby, netball, rugby league, triathlon, athletics and a host of other Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

We are legal advisers to the AUT Millennium Institute (New Zealand’s National High Performance Training Centre) and have been recognised by Chambers and Partners Legal Directory as a Top Tier Sports Law Practice.

We advise on commercial issues, organisational governance, integrity risk management, player welfare, anti-doping, and major events (including under the Major Events Management Act).

We regularly act for high profile sports people and organisations on a range of legal matters, both on-field and off-field.

Recent work

Providing legal and strategic advice to FIFA
Supporting Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) with its tax and legal requirements to successfully deliver the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ competition across New Zealand and Australia during July and August 2023.  We are working collaboratively with MinterEllison’s Australian offices to ensure that all matters are addressed on a trans-Tasman basis.  The tournament will be one of the largest and most significant sporting events New Zealand has ever hosted and will be the largest FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ ever, involving 32 teams from across the globe for the first time.

Volvo Ocean Race
Provided external legal resources for Volvo Ocean Race’s Auckland Stop-Over since 2011. In 2017/18 we will also be assisting the delivery partners for the Melbourne and Hong Kong Stop-Overs.  Involved at all stages of the event delivery process, we have advised on the appointment of event delivery partners, procuring major event status, assisting with supply and procurement, risk management and regulatory compliance, troubleshooting commercial issues and resolving disputes with external parties.

Rugby franchises
Act for all five New Zealand based Super Rugby Franchises – the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Highlanders – along with the Argentinian Super Rugby Franchise, the Jaguares.  We also act for a range of offshore rugby unions (including Wales, South Africa, Italy and Argentina) and leading Mitre 10 Cup/National Provincial Championship sides. We have acted in this area since 2009 representing a host of teams, players and administrators, and are proud to be local legal counsel for the British & Irish Lions for their tour of New Zealand in June 2017.

World Masters Games 2017
Advising the Local Organising Committee for the World Masters Games 2017 (WMG), the world’s largest multi-sport event. We were appointed to a panel to assist with WMG’s partner programme and cornerstone partnerships. We also assist with other sports issues including ticketing, terms and conditions, supply contracts, IT platform development, volunteers, privacy and HR.

New Zealand Racing Board
Advised the New Zealand Racing Board since 2005 on a range of matters, including corporate governance, compliance with the Racing Act 2003 and the Gambling Act 2003, major broadcasting and media distribution arrangements, legal compliance of promotion and marketing campaigns, integrity matters, as well as general commercial and property matters.

AUT Millennium Institute
Legal adviser to the AUT Millennium Institute (AUTM), New Zealand’s National High Performance Training Centre for sport, and the home of a large part of AUT University’s sports and recreation research facilities.  We advise AUTM in relation to all aspects of its operations, including construction and development of the AUTM campus, HR and commercial contracting, health and safety, and sports integrity matters.

Who can help