Al Tamimi & Company, the Middle East’s largest full service law firm with 13 offices across seven countries, has launched the region’s first dedicated sports law practice.
According to a PwC report, the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) market is currently ranked as the second largest sports market in the world, and is worth an estimated US$44.8 billion, which represents nearly a third of the global market.
Sport is considered a key growth market for Al Tamimi, as governments across the Gulf look to further diversify their economies and build on the success of major global sporting events, such as the Formula One races in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, Dubai World Cup and Qatar Masters. For example, Qatar could potentially become the third Gulf country to host a Formula One race, and it will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, which is expected to cost as much as US$220 billion.
Based in Doha, the sports practice will service public and private sector clients across the region. It will be led by Steve Bainbridge, former General Counsel at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The sports practice will be able to draw on Al Tamimi’s full range of legal services and expertise, including its construction and employment practices, whenever necessary.
Given its extensive legal offering, unrivalled regional footprint, and its deep knowledge of the Middle East, Al Tamimi believes it is well placed to provide expert counsel to international and local companies, as well as associations and governments, as they seek to operate and grow within the sports industry.
Commenting, Steve Bainbridge, Regional Head of Sports at Al Tamimi, said: “The potential of the sports industry across the Middle East brings vast opportunities and challenges, and it will most certainly act as a catalyst for sustainable development. Al Tamimi’s new practice stands ready to support both public and private entities with all of their sports-specific legal requirements.
“The region already hosts successful Formula One races, as well as world class golf, tennis, swimming, horse racing, cricket, and rugby tournaments throughout the year. These events will combine with Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, which will revolutionise the GCC’s sports industry, creating an even greater appetite for sport in the future.
“Our ambition is for this practice to lead the way in improving the quality of legal service provided to the Middle East’s sports industry.”
Husam Hourani, Managing Partner of Al Tamimi, added: “We are delighted to have launched the region’s first dedicated sports law practice. The Middle East is emerging as one of the world’s capitals for sport and this offers opportunities for both domestic and international companies.
“Al Tamimi’s sport offering has evolved from client demand for a dedicated legal counsel in a growing and increasingly complex industry. The practice has been structured to provide a combination of international knowledge and experience from across the sports industry, with an unmatched regional presence, local expertise and Arabic capability.”
Al Tamimi’s sports law practice was officially launched to coincide with this year’s Aspire4Sport Congress, the region’s leading conference focused on the business of sport, which Al Tamimi is also sponsoring as the headline B2B partner.