Liz Ellen

Liz Ellen

Liz Ellen, Associate, Dispute Resolution

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Liz is a Partner and Head of the Sports Group. Her practice is solely focused on sport, and her in-depth knowledge means that she is always able to provide her clients with the clear and decisive advice they require.

She is strategic and creative in her approach, and finds innovative solutions to complex issues. She is a specialist litigator but also a trusted advisor to clubs, athletes, rights holders, and governing bodies, understanding how their legal situations fit within their public profile and wider business needs.

Liz has represented clients in cases before FIFA, the European Boxing Union, the Basketball Arbitration Tribunal and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as well as domestic tribunals such as the Football Associations of England, Scotland and Wales, the British Boxing Board of Control, the British Horseracing Authority and UK Anti-Doping.

Much of Liz's work has an international aspect, including cross-border transfer deals and disputes, sports immigration and image rights structures. She has expertise in fraud and corruption issues, a strong regulatory knowledge and good commercial awareness.

Liz sits on The Football Association's Agents Panel dealing with contentious agency issues. In 2013, she was featured in the FA's "20 Years, 20 Careers" project, which aims to encourage women to pursue careers in sport. She is a member of the British Association of Sport and Law (BASL) and the Women's Sport Network and a director of Women In Football.

Key Experience

  • Acting for Cardiff City Football Club on a wide variety of legal issues, including disputes with agents and former employees.
  • Acting for Leyton Orient Football Club on claims relating to the Olympic Stadium, including judicial review and arbitration proceedings.
  • Acting for a Premier League football club on reputational issues relating to the building of a new stadium.
  • Acting for Matchroom Sport Limited on the sale of its shares in Leyton Orient Football Club to Francesco Becchetti.
  • Advising on the complicated administration of a football club, and dealing with the subsequent litigation arising from the administration.
  • Representing boxing promoters Barry Hearn and Eddie Hearn on matters before the British Board of Boxing Control and in High Court proceedings against Frank Warren.
  • Challenging a ban imposed by the European Boxing Union on a British champion boxer, leaving him free to challenge for the European title.
  • Defending a boxer in a doping prosecution brought by UK Anti-Doping.
  • Acting for darts legend, Phil 'The Power' Taylor on reputational and commercial matters.
  • Providing general advice to World Snooker Limited and the Professional Darts Corporation.
  • Representing Global Media Productions in their production of the Football Dream television show, broadcast across China.
  • Acting for a Premier League player on a constructive dismissal claim against his club following their exclusion of the player from all first team activities.
  • Dealing with sensitive race discrimination issues for a player against his manager.
  • Negotiating and structuring image rights deals on behalf of high profile sportsmen.
  • Obtaining a unique 'Football Investor Visa' for a Brazilian player who was not eligible for a working visa.
  • Structuring a complicated cross-border transfer deal so as to protect a foreign player's immigration status.
  • Intervening on behalf of a player in criminal proceedings so as to prevent the player being maliciously defamed in open court.
  • Appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, challenging a FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber ruling which prevented a player from being registered with his new club when complications arose relating to the Arab Spring.
  • Advising a global brand on ambush marketing issues and the impact of the London Olympic Games & Paralympic Games Act 2006.

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya
Associate, Mishcon de Reya
Solicitor, Mishcon de Reya
Masters in Sports Management & the Business of Football, Birkbeck College, University of London
Post Graduate Certificate in Sports Law, Kings College, University of London
Legal Practice Course, The College of Law
Law LLB, School of Oriental
African Studies, University of London

Articles and Publications

Liz provides insight on sporting issues to the media. Some of her published work is available to download from the column on the right.

Her Masters dissertation topic was "@Twitter: Should Player Be Trusted To Tweet".

In 2011, Liz was runner-up in the prestigious Coubertain Olympic Awards Essay Competition, writing about ethics, business and sport in the context of the London 2012 Olympic legacy.