Sports Law

Litigation and arbitration

For a long time, we have been one of the top law firms for dispute resolution in sport both nationally and internationally. We represent your interests before national courts, internal dispute resolution bodies of sports associations, and arbitration tribunals such as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne. And if you are looking for highly specialised sports arbitrators, you will find what you are looking for with us.

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Early on, our founder, Dr Dirk-Reiner Martens, established himself as a counsel in some of the most spectacular disputes in sport – for example, in the damages litigation involving Katrin Krabbe, the “international court marathon” in the Stanley Roberts doping case, or in representing Adidas AG in arbitration proceedings against the German Football Association (DFB) for the exclusive equipment of the German national team. He was also one of the first, most respected and, with well over 200 cases, also the most active arbitrators of the CAS.

Our law firm has retained this specialisation in dispute resolution in sport, on top of its recognized expertise in commercial dispute resolution. Therefore, litigation and arbitration in sports law are particularly close to our hearts because they allow us to combine our core fields of expertise like hardly any other law firm.

We regularly represent well-known clients in sport in complex and often pioneering proceedings before German courts. Furthermore, we are very active as counsel before the CAS and before internal dispute resolution bodies of sports associations. The disputes we handle cover the entire spectrum of sports law. This includes, for example, procedures in disciplinary cases (incl. doping and match fixing), in disputes under the law of associations, or on questions of eligibility/nominations as well as multiple ownership. We also have a lot of experience with purely financial disputes in sport, in particular regarding contractual or tort claims for damages, transfer fees, training allowances, or solidarity payments in accordance with FIFA regulations.

In addition, lawyers from our team regularly act as arbitrators in sports proceedings, for example at the German Court of Arbitration for Sport or the Permanent Court of Arbitration of the German Ice Hockey Federation.

Finally, the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT) is a milestone in the field of dispute resolution in sport. The BAT is an international court of arbitration for the settlement of disputes between clubs, basketball players, and player agents in professional basketball. This arbitration tribunal was developed by Martens Rechtsanwälte in 2007 and has been administered by us with great success ever since.

Notable cases

  • Representing the International Skating Union (ISU) before German courts in the Pechstein case
  • Representing the World Bridge Federation (WBF) before German courts in the “coughing scandal”
  • Representing Atletico de Madrid before the CAS regarding transfer-related sanctions
  • Representing Fenerbahce Istanbul before the CAS, FIFA and UEFA in different proceedings, inter alia related to match-fixing allegations
  • Representing Panathinaikos Athens before the CAS in different proceedings, e.g. damage claims
  • Representing PAOK FC before the CAS in an employment dispute.
  • Representing a German Bundesliga club before the CAS regarding the FIFA solidarity payments
  • Representing a German Bundesliga club before the CAS regarding the registration of a player
  • Representing the five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo before the CAS as an intervening third party regarding a disciplinary sanction against Valentino Rossi
  • Representing a multinational before the CAS regarding a post-M&A arbitration