Laura specialises in commercial disputes resolution, sports regulatory matters and equestrian disputes. 

She advises sports national governing bodies (NGBs) and individual athletes in respect of disciplinary and regulatory procedures (including appeal procedure and possible challenges by judicial review), disciplinary disputes and sports tribunal work including appeals to Sports Resolution and the Court of Arbitration for Sport. She also advises on equestrian disputes, including disputes arising out of the sale and purchase of sports horses, and professional negligence.

Laura advises on commercial contract disputes, interpretation and incorporation of terms and conditions, and insurance disputes. Laura also advises on various business partnership disputes. 

Laura did a wonderful and thorough job, always available to advise and always able to calm my concerns. I honestly believe I couldn’t have been in any better hands, she is a jewel in your company.

Kelvin Bywater Show Direct Ltd

Experience

Sport and equestrian

  • Advised National Governing Body on their competition structure and with particular reference to gender equality
  • Advised and successfully defended 2 parallel appeals on behalf of National Governing Body relating to the lawfulness of a team selection decision. The selector’s decision was vindicated.
  • Regularly advises NGBs on procedures, rules and disciplinary matters.
  • Successfully defended an NGB in an appeal by a high profile athlete against the selection decision for a major international competition. The case involved careful analysis of the selection policy for international competitions and the Olympics. The selectors’ decision was vindicated.
  • Laura was the instructing solicitor on behalf of Mr Paul Hart in the first case to be brought before the London 2012 ad hoc Court of Arbitration for Sport: Alex Peternell v South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and the South African Equestrian Federation, and Mr Paul Hart (Third Party). This case involved a selection dispute over the event rider selected to compete for South Africa in their single place in the eventing discipline at the 2012 Olympics
  • Advised British Equestrian Federation and British Showjumping in an appeal to the FEI Tribunal and CAS relating to the decision of the FEI to relegate the Great Britain Show Jumping Team from the top league of the Nations Cup. The appeal was successful, Team GB were reinstated into the 2010 Top Level Meydan Nations Cup and came 3rd overall in the 2010 Series.
  • Acted on several cases before the Sports Resolutions panel acting for National Governing Bodies.
  • Regularly advises sports governing bodies on disciplinary and regulatory issues, including breaches of competition rules, child protection issues and gender equality.
  • Successfully acted on behalf of the owner of an International Grand Prix dressage horse in respect of veterinary negligence.
  • Successfully defended a claim brought against an equestrian show organiser.

Agriculture

  • Advised on, and successfully concluded, an high value partnership dispute regarding a dairy farm.
  • Advised a local Breed Society in respect of a claim for breach of contract and agency arising out of an auction sale and purchase.
  • Advised on various contracts in respect of breaches, interpretation of Heads of Terms and contract farming

Commercial litigation

  • Advised on and successfully concluded a number of contract disputes including breach of contract, interpretation and incorporation of terms and conditions. 
  • Acted for an international company in a claim against its former CEO/Finance Director for alleged breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.
  • Assisted the lead consultant acting on behalf of an international engineering specialist in relation to a multi-million pound shareholder dispute.
  • Has acted for a variety of clients in professional negligence claims against solicitors

Reported Cases

  • Reported case: Arbitration CAS 2010/A/2058 British Equestrian Federation (BEF) v. Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), award of 13 July 2010
  • Reported case: CAS 2012/A/2845 Alexander Peternell v. South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) & South African Equestrian Federation (SAEF)
  • Reported case: PHI Group v Robert West Consulting Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ588
  • Reported case: Daventry District Council v Daventry & District Housing (2010)
  • Reported case: Wright Hassall LLP v Morris (Civil) 15 11 12 [2012] EWCA Civ 1472

Career

Laura graduated from Birmingham University with an LLB Honours Degree and completed the Legal Practice Course at Birmingham College of Law. Laura qualified as a solicitor in April 2008 and qualified to be a Solicitor Advocate with Higher Rights of Audience in 2010.

Laura was appointed to the Sports Advocacy Section of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Pro Bono Legal Advice and Representation Service and has been involved in the Legal Panel Framework offered by Sports and Recreation Alliance.

Interests

Laura enjoys horse riding, particularly dressage, Latin American and ballroom dancing, and scuba diving.