Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB<br />
Cologne Duesseldorf Hamburg

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Sports law consulting

As a criminal law boutique, we are equally competent for the defense in all conceivable matters relevant to sports criminal law. In particular, this refers to accusations of intentional or negligent bodily injury, in extreme cases even negligent homicide, corruption and betting fraud, doping and tax evasion.

Furthermore, sports clubs and sports federations are in the very best hands with us. This concerns the law of statutes, as well as legal issues beyond that, including those of outsourced commercial enterprises, such as professional soccer divisions, and of sports institutional satellites, such as anti-doping agencies. Our special focus in sports club law and sports federation law is also on the non-profit status on the one hand and the economic activities on the other, so on sports tax law.

With regard to our expertise in this area we can refer to the Deutscher Fußball-Bund e.V. (DFB) (German Soccer Association) (Der Spiegel, Issue 43/2020 of 16.10.2020; Bild of 15.10.2020) to whom we provide legal advise as publicly mentioned in press media.

Beyond that, event protection, ambush marketing (parasite marketing) and disputes in the marketing of intangible goods, in which personal rights and copyrights can become relevant, play a significant role in practice. In event protection issues Prof. Dr. Dr. Karsten Fehn is especially qualified because of his position as a chair at the Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection of Cologne University of Applied Science. Event protection overlaps with emergency service law as a part of medical law when emergency situations occur. Ambush marketing includes activities that exploit the media impact of a major event without parallel sponsorship. In addition, we deal with other legal problems of sports sponsoring, e.g., the performance faults including the procedural enforcement of claims that arise in this context.

The correct tax allocation of income from the leasing of rights for perimeter advertising in large sports arenas can be highly controversial. The tax authorities are increasingly restricting the non-profit status of clubs and federations in this respect.

See scientific essay published by our partners Dr. Dr. Bernd Josef Fehn (attorney-at-law and tax accountant) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Karsten Fehn (attorney-at-law) ”Allocation of rental earnings out of background advertising in sport arenas to non-taxable asset management of non-profit associations” (“Zuordnung von Einnahmen aus der Verpachtung von Werberechten an Banden in Sportarenen zur steuerfreien Vermögensverwaltung gemeinnütziger Sportvereine“), Die Steuerberatung, issue 12/2021, p. 451).

Furthermore, the professional occupation of infrastructural and personal services for various non-profit and private-sector entities (hospitality) can raise delimitation issues. Closely related to the substantive tax law of clubs and federations is the criminal tax law of the acting persons.

In summary we are providing legal advise in the following areas of sports law:

  • Law of federations and clubs including statute law
  • Law of outsourced commercial enterprises and sports institutional satellites
  • Law of sponsoring
  • Sports liability law
  • Sports criminal law (e.g. body injury, corruption, manipulation and betting fraud, tax evasion)
  • Doping
  • Tax law in sports (e.g. non-profit status, hospitality)
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