21 November 2019
Sports Law Conference 2019 outstanding success
of the World’s leading sports law specialists was the keynote
speaker at the Annual Sports and Law Conference which took place on Friday
15th November 2019 at Malone Golf Club in Belfast.
conference, which is organised by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the
NI Sports Forum, is now in its eighth year has become an anticipated feature of
the legal and sports calendar.
Beloff QC has had a long and distinguished career in sports law and was Ethics Commissioner for the
London 2012 Olympic bid and has been, since 2014, Chairman of the IAAF Ethics
Among his credentials he was described in the Daily Telegraph in 2011 as
"probably the most eminent sports lawyer in the world", by the
Guardian in 2012 as "the go to man for sporting disputes" and in 2016
by The Times as "by far the UK's and maybe the world's most distinguished
specialist in sports law" and by the Daily Telegraph as "the silkiest
assassin in sport".
He was one of a number of speakers who presented at this year’s sports and law conference
on the overarching theme of Mediation in Sport.
the years the conference has examined important sports law related themes
including business and sport, contractual issues, sporting injury risks,
equality and good governance as well as issues in the news including the impact
of concussion injuries in sport.
popularity of the conference has been reflected not only in the increasing
number of attendees drawn from the legal profession, governing bodies of sport
and their clubs but the calibre of speakers which has included Lady Mary Peters
and former Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.
Speaking about the conference, Keith McGarry, conference organiser and solicitor
in Conn and Fenton said,
"We were delighted that Michael Beloff QC and Richard
Harry, CEO of Sport Resolutions UK came to Belfast and spoke at the Sports Law Conference 2019.
Those attending had the opportunity to hear not only from Michael Beloff QC on the
Effective Resolution of Sport Disputes but also from Wilma
Erskine, former Secretary Manager of Royal Portrush Golf Club following a
hugely successful staging of the 148th Open Championship in July.
All of the contributions underscores the increasing importance of the Northern Ireland
Sports Law Conference to the legal, medical and sporting professions throughout
the United Kingdom and further afield."
Harry of Sport Resolutions led a moot mediation process with attendees
whilst Keith McGarry gave a current law update with local and
The conference also included a panel Q&A with Michael Beloff QC and Richard
Harry who were joined by Bernie Fox of Ulster GAA and local solicitor and triathlon
athlete Peter Jack.
Conference attendees also had the opportunity to hear (via a video link) a contribution from Professor Jack
Anderson, a member of the Court of Arbitration of Sport and head of the Sports
Department in the University of Melbourne.
conference continues to be supported by the NI Sports Forum and Law Society of
on behalf of the NI Sports Forum its Chairperson, Richard Johnson, said,
"Unfortunately disputes are common
place in the world of sport and we are delighted to have such experienced
contributors to the Sports Law Conference this year to share their stories".
about the conference the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Suzanne Rice said:
Law Society of Northern Ireland is delighted to support the 8th
Sports Law Conference. It remains the definitive Sports Law Conference in both
the North and South of Ireland, offering discussion and insight on issues of
importance to the legal and sporting professionals. It is an excellent legal
and sporting platform which continues to showcase the thought leaders of