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Louis   Weston

Louis Weston

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Louis Weston is sports lawyer with a successful and established practice in Sports Regulation, Governance, Disciplinary Cases, Safeguarding and Anti-Doping.  He has a particular interest in commercial disputes and claims arising from sport and involving complex factual issues. He joined Chambers in April 2019 to continue and develop his practice in Sports Law, Commercial Litigation and Professional Negligence.

Louis has been ranked as a leading junior in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 for many years and acts and advises Sports Governing Bodies and Players in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

He is a hugely experienced advocate, greatly enjoys his work and is tireless in his pursuit of his client’s objectives. He accepts instructions on a Direct Access basis in appropriate cases.

Sport

Louis has specialised in Sports Law for over 12 years, he has appeared in many of the leading cases in the UK involving corruption in sport and has acted for and advised national and international sports regulatory bodies in the UK, Ireland, the Middle East and Asia across a range of sports including Horseracing, Snooker, Badminton, Darts, Cricket, Greyhound Racing, and Rugby.

He has represented governing bodies and athletes both before Disciplinary Tribunals in UK, Switzerland and the far East, the CAS and the Courts (High Court and Court of Appeal).

He acts for sports governing bodies, athletes and their representatives in anti-doping, match fixing and corruption and in on field disputes and appeals as well as in civil actions arising out of sport including commercial and personal injury disputes.

He advises sports governing bodies in the UK and internationally on their governance the regulation of sport and sporting disputes and drafts and advises on the structure of rules and regulations and the structure and methods of policing sports related corruption.

He is a member of the ICC’s Independent Oversight Group of the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, the FA’s Judicial Panel and Sports Resolutions’ and Sport Disputes Ireland’s arbitral panel and its pro-bono group. He is also a member of Lawinsport’s editorial board and writes and speaks on sports corruption issues.

He accepts direct access instructions in appropriate cases.

HORSERACING

BHA Prosecuting

  • PAUL D’ARCY/NAMPARA 2020 – Prosecution of the trainer under the BHA’s anti-doping rules for strict liability offence.
  • ROBERT DOWNEY 2020 – Advising and representing the BHA in opposing a Jockey’s application for non-reciprocation of a sanction imposed by France Galop for an anti-doping violation.
  • ISMAIL MOHAMMED/AMAZOUR 2019 – Prosecution of the trainer under the BHA’s anti-doping rules for strict liability offence.
  • DENIS QUINN/MURDOVANA 2019 – Prosecution of the trainer under the BHA’s anti-doping rules for strict liability offence.
  • BLAZE OF ENCHANTMENT 2017 – Successful prosecution of a Jockey and two bettors in respect of a stopping ride and associated betting.
  • Jim Best 2016 – Successfully prosecuting the Trainer Jim Best for giving instructions to stop two horses, the case has received substantial coverage and attention.
  • AD VITAM 2015, the successful prosecution and resisting the appeals of bettors, an owner and jockey in respect of allegations of race fixing.
  • Darren Egan 2015 – the successful prosecution of  a jockey and bettor for race fixing, focusing on use of covert mobile phones.
  • The Grand National 2014 – the prosecution of 39 jockeys arising from the start of the 2014 Grand National.
  • ROCKET ROB 2014 – the prosecution of three persons involved in an inside information betting conspiracy.
  • KICKAHEAD 2014– the prosecution of a rider and two others for race fixing.
  • Eddie Ahern and others 2014 – allegations of race fixing and an inside information conspiracy involving the jockey Ahern and the former footballer Neil Clement and others.  Represented both at the Disciplinary Hearing and on Appeal.
  • Andrew Heffernan and others 2014 – allegations of race fixing and passing of inside information involving the jockey Heffernan and the footballer Rocky Chopra and others, using mobile phones, texts and covert internet communication.
  • ITS A MANS WORLD 2014 -  allegations of an inside information conspiracy involving a substantial number of jockeys, owners and bettors before the BHA’s Disciplinary Panel and Appeal Board.
  • HITS ONLY MONEY 2014 – insider information conspiracy allegations against Dean McKeown, Paul Blockley and others leading to the case of McKeown v BHA [2010] EWHC 508 (Admin).
  • HUNT BALL 2013 – prosecution of a trainer and owner following ‘ambush marketing’ at the Cheltenham Festival.
  • GOLDEN SURPRICE 2013– insider information conspiracy allegations against an Italian owner and trainer.
  • ALEEMDAR and MIA’S BOY 2013– running and riding offences.
  • TIME TEAM 2012 – the prosecution of a trainer, jockey and bettor for race fixing.

BHA Defending

  • Sir Mark Prescott and Seb Sanders – Successful appeal on running and riding allegations. Ralph Beckett – Successful Appeal on penalty for breach of substance regulations.
  • Milton Harris – Licence Application.
  • Red Lancer – Pat McCabe – Insider dealing allegations. Dean Williams – Insider-dealing allegations.
  • Evan Williams – Trainer not complying with instructions.

Turf Club/IHRB

  • AUBREY MCMAHON/BATICO, 2019, Successful prosecution of a non-trier under the new and revised rules.
  • LUKE COMER 2017 – Successful prosecution of a Trainer for failing to exercise adequate supervision and obstructing Turf Club investigation.
  • LIKE A DIAMOND 2016 & 2017– Successful prosecution and resisting an appeal of a trainer and two other persons for not keeping a racehorse with a licensed trainer.
  • PYROMANIAC 2016 – Acting for the Turf Club in the appeal brought by Tony Martin from the race
    day stewards.
  • BARRY GERAGHTY 2016 – Acting for the Turf Club in the appeal brought by Barry Geraghty from the race day stewards.
  • O’Connell 2014 – Successfully resisting an appeal brought on the grounds of jurisdiction, insufficiency of evidence and wrong application of the standard of proof.
  • O’Connell 2013 – Successful prosecution of a jockey, owner and bettors and under the Rules of Racing in Ireland arising from irregular betting and race fixing.

GREYHOUNDS

Greyhound Board of Great Britain

  • Whelan et al 2019 – Successful prosecution of a 6 licensed persons for doping violations in relation to Greyhounds, indefinite warnings off and fines for 5 of the accused and one reprimanded.
  • Tanner 2018 – Successful prosecution of a sales agent for failing to take proper care of Greyhounds in his charge, indefinite warning off.
  • Wileman 2017 – The prosecution of an owner who chained himself to a fence at a Greyhound meeting leading to indefinite warning off.
  • Calvert 2015 – The prosecution of a Trainer for breach of the anti-doping rules and allegations of betting.
  • Mosdall 2015 – The prosecution of a Trainer for race fixing and doping following the BBC Panorama expose of his improper conduct.
  • Tungatt 2015 – The prosecution of a Trainer for breach of the anti-doping rules.
  • Boothby and Henlow Stadium 2015 – Resisting the appeal of a stadium and its officer following the death of a Greyhound.
  • Berwick 2015 – Prosecution of a Trainer for breach of the anti-doping rules.
  • Mullins 2014 – Acting for the GBGB in its successful prosecution of a trainer who had in his charge a Greyhound which had tested positive for a banned substance.
  • Cronin v Greyhound Board of Great Britain [2013] EWCA Civ 668.  A wide-ranging dispute over the enforcement of the decision of the GBGB’s Disciplinary decision against a trainer and establishing the arguable need for a sports regulator to provide reasons for its decision, and that the fairness of a sports regulator’s disciplinary process was to be viewed by reference to its first tier and appeal procedures.  Arose from Disciplinary Proceedings over welfare issues in 2010.
  • Rees 2013 – representing GBGB on an Appeal arising from a doping case with issues addressed arising from forensic analysis of the samples.
  • Houfton 2013 – Successful prosecution of a greyhound trainer for three cases of welfare issues concerning running of greyhounds with excess feed.
  • Hurley 2013 – Successful prosecution of a trainer for presence of steroids in a Greyhound.
  • Piercy 2012 – Successful prosecution of a kennelhand and owner for lay betting on Greyhounds.
  • Mason 2012 –Prosecution in a case of greyhound doping with cocaine.

SNOOKER

WPBSA

  • Jamie Jones Appeal 2019, Successfully resisting appeal against sanction by Jamie Jones following his being found in breach in 2018 and sanctioned in 2019.
  • David John and Jamie Jones 2019 – Prosecutions of David John for match fixing and Jamie Jones for failing to report corruption. Suspended for 5 years 7 months and 12 months respectively.
  • Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng 2018 – Prosecutions of the two snooker players for match fixing. Suspended for 10 years and 9 months and 6 years.
  • Bingham 2017 – Prosecution of former world champion for illicit betting. John Sutton 2015 – Prosecution of a snooker player for match fixing.
  • Stephen Lee 2014 – Resisting an appeal brought on the grounds of bias, non-disclosure and insufficient evidence.  The Appeal was dismissed.
  • Stephen Lee 2013 – Prosecution of the leading snooker player for allegations of match fixing (including score fixing) at amongst other events the World Championships in 2009 the case concluded in September 2013 with Lee been found in breach of the Rules, banned for 12 years and ordered to pay £40,000 in costs.

BADMINTON

BWF

  • Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chung Seang 2019 before the CAS, acting for BWF in its successful opposition to appeals against findings and sanction before the CAS sitting in Kuala Lumpur. The CAS decision CAS 2018/A/5846 & 2018/A/5847 addresses jurisdiction of the CAS under an arbitration agreement, issues of admissibility and rights in interview, consent to mobile phone investigation, specificity of charges and dismissed the appeals against findings, then went on to uphold sanctions of suspensions of 20 years and 15 years respectively against the extensive match fixing established.
  • Joachim Persson 2019, Successfully prosecuting the Danish former top 10 player for failing to provide information to an investigation and failing to report corruption. Player suspended for 18 months.
  • Raj Gaya 2018 – Acting for the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in its prosecution of Raj Gaya BWF Council Member, Secretary General of the Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) and President of the Mauritius Badminton Association (MBA) for his use of funds intended for sporting purposes, paid into his own bank account over a period of many years Gaya was banned for life and fined $50,000.
  • Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chung Seang 2018, Prosecuting two players for match fixing and point fixing. Following a hearing in February in Singapore, the two players, who contested the charges were found in breach and suspended for 20 years and 15 years respectively as well as fined. The case was the first corruption case brought by the BWF and is a vindication of its robust stand to corruption.

RUGBY

International Rugby

  • Mohamed Haouas 2020, representing the French international prop in respect of disciplinary proceedings arising from his red card in the Scotland v France Six nations, in respect of which he received a 3 week suspension.
  • Sébastien Vahaamahina 2019, representing the French international second-row, for the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR), who was red-carded for a strike to the face of the Welsh flanker in the quarter final of the Rugby World Cup 2019 sent-off and whose absence from the game probably caused the French team to be knocked out. The Player was subject to a sanction decision by World Rugby during the World Cup and received a sanction of a 6 week suspension, notwithstanding the very hostile response to his sending off and the publicity surrounding it.
  • Paul Gabrillagues 2019, representing the French international for the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) on a citing for dangerous play during warm up matches for the World Cup 2019 both at first instance and on appeal. First instance decision of a six match suspension successfully appealed leading to a three week suspension with the important consequence that the player was then open for selection in the World Cup.
  • Sacha Zegueur 2019 – represented the French rugby man and the FFR following the player’s red card during the 6 Nations’ Under 20s opening match.
  • Kevin Gourdon 2018- represented the French flanker Kevin Gourdon in his successful defence to a citing for dangerous play following the match France v NZ (11.11.17).
  • Pierre-Henri Azagoh and Hassane Kolingar 2018 – acting for the French under 20 Internationals following red cards and review of sanction for allegation of dangerous play in the match France v England (9.3.18) before the 6 Nations Disciplinary Committee.

RFU

  • Bryce Heem 2019 – acting for the RFU in successfully resisting the appeal of Bryce Heem against the imposition of a sanction for a “tip-tackle” and ending with the upholding on other grounds of the first instance disciplinary decision.
  • Matthew Hart 2018 – acting for the RFU in the prosecution of a registered agent for breaching the unit betting code and non cooperation. Substantially the case involved challenge to a false ‘basis of plea’ and ended in a 22 months suspension.

DARTS

DRA

  • Gerwyn Price 2019 – acting for the Darts Regulatory Authority (DRA) in successfully resisting an appeal against findings of breach by the leading darts player Gerwyn Price and resisting his appeal against sanctions.

MOTORSPORT

FIM

  • Darcy Ward 2015 – defending before the FIM tribunal in Geneva the Speedway rider Darcy Ward on an alcohol related WADA violation.

ATHELETICS/ANTI-DOPING

UKAD

  • X 2019, advising an international athlete on sanctions before the IAAF following and ADVR.
  • Y 2019, acting for an international athlete for ADVR before NADP and UKAD.
  • Llewellyn 2013 – acting for the boxer before Sports Resolutions’ tribunal in a controversial case brought by UKAD in respect of the use of a contaminated sports supplement.

FOOTBALL

FA

  • Nick Bunyard 2016 – acting for the manager Nick Bunyard in successfully resisting an allegation of breaching a suspension order and mitigating penalty for his admitted breaches of the betting rules.

SAFEGUARDING

  • Acting for an SGB in the prosecution of a Coach over allegations of safeguarding failures and a second Coach for failing to properly address safeguarding failures.

Notable Cases Before the Courts and the CAS:

  • Zulfadli bin Zulkiffli & Tan Cheun Seang v Badminton World Federation CAS2018/A/5846 & 847. Resisting a very wide ranging appeal by two badminton players against their being found to have fixed and manipulated matches and sanctions to suspensions of 20 and 15 years. The CAS decision addresses the scope and jurisdiction of a CAS tribunal, admissibility of evidence from interviews and phone analysis and approves substantial sanctions for match fixing.
  • Cronin v Greyhound Board of Great Britain [2013] EWCA Civ 668.  A wide-ranging dispute over the enforcement of the decision of the GBGB’s Disciplinary decision against a trainer and establishing the arguable need for a sports regulator to provide reasons for its decision, and that the fairness of a sports regulator’s disciplinary process was to be viewed by reference to its first tier and appeal procedures.
  • McKeown v BHA [2010] EWHC 508 (admin). Acting for the BHA with Mark Warby, QC (as he then was) resisting a challenge to the disciplinary process and decision of the BHA’s Disciplinary Panel and Appeal Board. The case establishes that a professional sporting tribunal is entitled to reach a decision without expert evidence before it and dismissed the many other complaints made of the BHA’s processes.

 

Commercial

Louis has specialised in Commercial litigation since 2001.

He has a wealth of experience acting in the Courts (High Court – QB, Commercial, and Court of Appeal) and in Mediation and Arbitration in commercial disputes arising from contractual disputes, failed business ventures or partnerships or fraud, as well as in Sale of Goods and product liability disputes.

He acts in high value claims and claims demanding interim injunctions, and freezing orders for large corporations, SMEs and individuals.

Louis is a team player and works alongside solicitors and either leading or junior counsel.

He has a particular interest in cases touching and concerning sport and has acted for boxing promoters, racehorse owners and trainers, and motorsport enthusiasts, and in cases arising from gambling debts and failure to protect gamblers from the perils of gambling.

Recent Cases of Interest:

  • 2019 C v X – acting for a motorsport competitor in a dispute over the running and management of an international competition.
  • 2017-2018 A v B – acting with Leading Counsel in a contractual performance and fraud claim dispute in arbitration under UNCITRAL in London in a case with a quantum of c$US15m.
  • 2018 R v N – acting for a crane supplier company in a three-party dispute after damage to a hospital’s scanning machine in transit by a sub-contracted haulier, interesting issues under standard terms in RHA and Crane Hire Contract.
  • 2018 – acting for Cyclone Promotions in the UK in respect of the dispute between Barry McGuigan and Carl Frampton.
  • 2018 S v G – acting in the Commercial Court in a dispute between a specialist offshore diving company in respect of pipe laying for windfarms.
  • 2018 G v H – acting with Leading Counsel in a fraud and tracing claim against multijurisdictional Defendants in the Commercial Court.
  • 2017 UKCP v BH – acting for a health care regulator in a dispute arising from the regulators conduct of disciplinary proceedings against a member.
  • 2017 E v R – acting for a freight forwarded and customs agent in a claim against former employee from breach of employees obligations.
  • 2017 N v B – acting for a racehorse trainer in a dispute over fees and their recovery.
  • 2017 LL – acting for a leasing company in seeking to recover property held by police in stakeholder proceedings arising from international car transport of vehicles.
  • 2016 British Gas Trading v Oak Cash and Carry [2016] 1 WLR 4530 – acting for the Defendant in Court of Appeal; appeal against refusal of relief from sanctions following Mitchell and Denton. 2016 L v S, acting for a claimant in a mediated settlement of a claim for loss of high value jewellery kept in a safety deposit box.
  • 2016 H v B – acting for the insurer of a Lamborghini Miura following its catching fire and being destroyed after recent work at a commercial garage.
  • 2015 Tanir v Tanir [2016] 4 WLR 8 – acting for Defendant in setting aside default judgment where service could not be proved on the Court file.
  • 2015 Graves v Brouwer – Court of Appeal decision in respect of a claim for damage by fire, with complicated issues over causation and the fallacy of proving a negative.
  • 2015 B v W, acting for purchaser of a horse against seller for breach of warranty.

Professional Negligence

Louis has specialised in professional negligence since the late 1990s, acting for and against solicitors, surveyors, architects and clinicians (veterinarian and medical) in disputes arising from professional performance and the conduct particularly of litigation as well as before their professional regulators.

Solicitor’s and Surveyors Negligence

Louis acts in cases involving misconduct of litigation by solicitors and misfeasance in the conduct of transactions including participation in fraud, as well as in claims against surveyors for undervaluation or misevaluation. Louis acts for both Claimants and Defendants.

Clinical Negligence

Louis acts in cases involving delayed and missed diagnosis, implantation errors, lack of consent and non-performance of clinical obligations for both physicians and veterinarians and their patients. He is regularly instructed in complicated and high value claims in JSM and Mediation.

Professional Regulation

Louis has acted for the GMC, the HAC and other medical regulators, as well as defending before the RCVS and NMC.

Recent cases include:

  • ARCP – acting for a surgeon in respect of a dispute as to his ARCP outcome.
  • NMC Patricia Annon v NMC 2017 – successful appeal against a practice order which did not impose reasonable conditions.
  • RCVS: David Eccles 2017 – defending a veterinarian in respect of charges for misdiagnosis and treatment of a small animal.
  • Joseph Holmes 2016 – defending a veterinarian in claims of unnecessary surgery and treatment in small animals.
  • John Wilson 2013 – defending a veterinarian in claims of misfeasance in TB tests.

Appointments & Memberships

  • BASL
  • PIBA
  • Recorder

Awards

  • 2017 International Advisory Experts Award: Sports Law Lawyer of the Year in England
  • Miller Barstow Prize (1991)

Louis Weston is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

Areas of Law


Testimonials


“Louis is sharp, provides thoughtful advice and proactively looks for solutions.” Chambers UK 2021, Sport – Band 1

“His advice and advocacy is extremely high quality. He is a pleasure to work with and his advocacy style is well suited to disciplinary panels. His demeanour with participants is a huge strength, being able to defuse a hostile respondent and narrow issues in a difficult case.” Legal 500 2021, Sport – Band 1

“Razor-sharp and genuinely specialises in this area of practice. The go-to practitioner, without a doubt, in the area of sports integrity and regulation.” Chambers UK 2020, Sport – Band 1

“Strong intellect and easily able to identify the issues and formulate strategy to address them.” Legal 500 2020, Sport

“The best in the country for corruption cases.” “He particularly shines out in sports regulatory work.” “Good for parachuting in on big cases.” Chambers UK 2019, Sport – Band 1

“Very good with witnesses.” Legal 500 2018/19, Sport

“He is completely on top of the law that applies to sporting tribunals. He has a very good manner, is very easy to work with and very clear in his advice.” Chambers UK 2018, Sport – Band 1

“He has the strongest experience of match-fixing matters in the UK.” “He is a very good and charming advocate; very natural on his feet.” Chambers UK 2018, Sport – Band 1

“Manages a blossoming sports practice and has key knowledge of match-fixing cases. He receives instructions relating to snooker, motor racing and horse racing.” Chambers UK 2017, Sport – Band 1

“An excellent barrister in all respects. He is extremely bright and has a keen analytical mind.” “He has a great sense of humour in front of panels, but he still takes the work seriously.” Chambers UK 2017, Sport – Band 1

“A dexterous advocate.” Legal 500 2017, Sport – Leading Juniors

“Has a fantastic reputation for his strong regulatory and disciplinary work before the British Horseracing Authority and the Greyhound Board of Great Britain. He also undertakes doping and corruption cases across the world of sport.” Chambers UK 2016, Sport – Band 2

“He is extremely bright with a keen analytical mind. He is able to quickly identify the key issues in any dispute and communicate them in a clear manner.” Chambers UK 2016/Sport – Band 2

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