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Stephen Townley

A long, unconventional & fulfilling career that is still keeping pace with developments in sports & entertainment, business and the law.  Read more ....



1974 LLB honours (Anglia Ruskin University)

1975 LLM in Company and Maritime Law (University College London & London School of Economics)

1976 Law Society (Guildford Law School)

1999  Arbitrator (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators)

2009  Mediator (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) 


UK Solicitor since 1978

Court of Arbitration for Sport since 1999

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators since 1999

Singapore International Mediation Centre since 2015

World Intellectual Property Organisation since 2018

JAMS International Neutral since 2019


Co-authored first international legal textbook "Sponsorship in Sports, Arts and Leisure" 

Created and lead the first and biggest International Sports Law firm 

First UK Lawyer appointed to board of the US Sports Lawyers Association

Inaugural chair of the Sports and Gaming Committee of the International Bar Association

Founder and Chairman of LawAccord, held annually at the SportAccord convention organised by GAISF & IOC

Style and Values

Discretion - no need to brag about his client list.  For new clients who do not know him personally, he can easily provide access to a referee.  

Full availability to his clients including evenings and weekends is a common requirement.

With no team of fee earners to feed, the focus is on delivering results by sourcing the best of breed team.  He does not earn any hidden commission for appointments. 

With great experience as an in-house counsel, he works well with clients' leadership team, internal resources and professional advisors.

He is certainly not cheap - but he strives to be value for money.

Expert Status

Sport, Entertainment and Technology: creation, protection and exploitation of IP and associated rights.

Sport & Entertainment: broadcast &  media; sponsorship; merchandising; and ticketing.

Sport (inc e-sports): all legal aspects including governance & regulations; events, leagues, teams,  athletes & fans; venues; and equipment.  

Corporate Affairs: incorporated and unincorporated bodies & JVs; Creation, acquisitions, mergers, listings & disposal; fiduciary duties; Chairman and non-exec director roles; Funding raising and dispute financing.

Multi-national matters: Europe, Asia, Middle East, US, Australia & NZ, Africa.

Passions & Ventures

1 great wife - read about her here.

4 great children - see what they are doing here.

Stepping up to deliver first mover technology solutions like NetResult - created to tackle video piracy in real time for live events.  

Steering as Chairman great businesses like SynchroArts.  See what they do here

Creating for the NSPCC a partnership with Sports Relief that raised over £2m for their Full Stop campaign.

Food & hospitality have always been a passion, (clients may remember the Friday lunches he cooked for clients at Townleys) but now it is also a business for Stephen. 

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