Entertainment & Sports Law

Overview

The entertainment and sports industries continue to evolve at a rapid pace, with artists, talent, athletes and the companies that interact with them facing unprecedented challenges and exploring new possibilities every day. With one of the world's leading entertainment and sports law groups, we offer a tailored, comprehensive full suite of legal services to clients doing business in the entertainment and sports industries.

Whether we are providing strategic advice on business deal terms or counsel on ever-changing industry standards, we have the specific skills, resources and contacts to protect your interests. Whether your business focus is directly or indirectly related to the entertainment and sports industries, you can count on us to help you tackle any legal issue that comes your way.

From innovative technologies and platforms to new regulations and industry players, the Gowling WLG team is here to help you navigate complex legal issues, negotiate and draft your deals and maximize your success.

Entertainment and sports law services

Meet our international team

As entertainment and sports business is often global in nature, we are able to leverage our extensive network of professionals across Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, applying local legal knowledge to deliver innovative and commercial solutions quickly and efficiently.

Canada

Whether it's music, television, film, theatre, fine art, book publishing, video games, sports, e-sports or the metaverse/NFTs, we know what it takes to protect and market your talent and content  in a field that's full of competition and opportunity. By leveraging the experience of our top-ranked professionals, we help entertainment and sports businesses and talent achieve their desired outcomes – from securing the best deals to winning contentious disputes.

Featured insights

film crew on set behind the scenes Videos
Influencers in Toronto: Spotlight on Susan Abramovitch

In this interview with partner Shelagh Carnegie, Susan shares her story of how she became a lawyer in the competitive entertainment industry and the approach she takes to connect with her clients to learn about who they are and understand what is important to them in order to reach their business goals.

Maximizing the value of your creative works and talent

Because Gowling WLG is a global leader in intellectual property (IP) law, we'll work with you to defend your IP protected works and ensure you're well-positioned to commercialize your rights. Our reputation as the trusted ESL law firm is supported by our experience working internationally with musicians, actors, professional athletes, sports teams and organisations, record labels, film and television producers, production companies, managers, agents, publishers and charities across all entertainment and sports media.

Growing your business and commercializing your content

We serve as key advisers to our clients, applying our talent and connections to help them grow and succeed in the ever-changing entertainment and sports markets. Understanding that your goals and needs are unique, we can assist on a diverse array of legal matters, including commercial transactions such as negotiating and drafting production agreements, talent agreements, licensing agreements, record deals and merchandising arrangements; finance and investments; employment issues; sponsorship negotiation; real estate transactions; estate planning; personality rights; and more.

Resolving your complex disputes

From arbitration and litigation to negotiation and mediation, we have the high-level experience needed to resolve – and help you avoid – even the most contentious disputes in the entertainment and sports worlds. Our lawyers have appeared before all levels of courts and tribunals, representing clients on numerous cases ranging from civil and commercial disputes for large entertainment and sports organizations to litigation relating to licensing and sponsorship.

Client work

Awards and recognition

We are recognized as a "leading" law firm for our work in the entertainment and sports law fields by several legal directories, including Chambers Canada, Legal 500 Canada and Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. Susan Abramovitch, leader of our Entertainment and Sports Law Group has also been named as a leading lawyer in all those directories as well as in The Best Lawyers in Canada and Who's Who Legal, which ranked her as one of the world's top entertainment lawyers.

Team Canada

We are proud to be the official legal adviser to – and major sponsor of – Commonwealth Games Canada, supporting the organization as it prepares its Team Canada athletes for competition at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in the UK.

Contact our team in Canada

Susan Abramovitch
Partner, Head - Entertainment & Sports Law Group (Canada)

UK

The commercial value of sports clubs, persons and brands is ever increasing meaning day-to-day commercial and strategic arrangements like image rights, events and brand protection need managing alongside the delivery of ambitious projects such as sponsorships and stadia developments.

You need a trusted legal adviser to help you achieve these goals and navigate the legal challenges (old and new) faced by the sports sector. We have the sector experience and global network to support your business in doing this and to help you achieve commercial success.

Success in sport is achieved with a high-performing team, with those taking centre stage supported by technical excellence behind the scenes. Our team of proactive, commercially focussed lawyers regularly advise sports agencies, clubs, teams, governing bodies, regulators, sponsors, sportspeople, investors and wider stakeholders, using our sector insight and pragmatic approach to become a trusted and valued part of their team.

We are proud to have sports lawyers on our team well versed in matters such as stadium redevelopment, sponsorship, naming rights, regulatory compliance, funding, brand protection, mergers and acquisitions, group reorganisations, joint ventures, employment and disputes. We are able to offer a comprehensive sports law service, using our experience to anticipate challenges and provide clear advice and solutions.

Client work

We've used Gowling WLG for a number of projects …every time we have received nothing but a slick, detailed and professional service. James Williamson, The Sport Partnership

We are proud to advise some of the biggest brands, teams and organisations in the global sport business. Some of our past and current projects include:

Awards and recognition

As a full-service law firm, we are frequently recognised in the market for our experience and knowledge. We are ranked across multiple categories by the legal directories, including Band 1 for Corporate/M&A and Intellectual Property by Chambers & Partners.

We are proud to be the Official Legal Advisers and first sponsor for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, as well as first sponsor for Team England and Official Legal Advisers to Commonwealth Games England.

Contact our team in the UK

Sarah Riding
Partner

Ragi Singh
Partner