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Sports Mediation

Sport, no less than other activities, is more and more involved with professionalism, sponsorship and contracts. Disputes among and between those involved in sport have always occurred, but now can be more difficult to resolve. Resolution can be an expensive exercise, both in monetary terms and in the erosion of goodwill around those involved.


The assistance of a third party or mediator can help those involved to define and agree what the problem is, and talk it through to reach a workable and preferably “win win” solution. Our organisation can offer a prompt, cost effective form of mediation which ensure confidentiality, and practical, workable solutions. We have a mediation team with extensive sporting knowledge from player, manager, coaches and administrator perspectives. The team has sports law experience, and has dealt extensively with the sponsorship and media issues which surround sport, as well as having worked successfully in the commercial world outside sport and leisure. Let us assist you to get ongoing problems off your desk by a practical mediation procedure.


The key principle of mediation is that parties to dispute, having agreed on the nature and extent of the problem, work together, assisted by a mediator, to formulate their own solutions.

The aim of mediation is to facilitate the creation of workable long term solutions to problems which are acceptable to all parties involved.

The process operates within an agreed timeframe, normally one day.
Clear definition of what is causing the dispute is the key issue.

If the parties can agree in advance on what the problem is, the mediator can have discussions in advance with both parties, and put forward a definition of the problem for the parties to consider.

Confidentiality must be assured at all times during both consultation and mediation.

1.  Before the mediation:

Both parties must sign an agreement which sets out:

The nature and extent of the problem as agreed on by both parties, OR
A request for the mediator to consult with both parties and put forward a definition of the problem for their consideration and acceptance.
The parties’ consent to use one of our mediators.
The specific timeframe contracted for the process to take.
A neutral location where the mediation will take place.
The cost of the mediation
How the parties have agreed to pay costs.
Rules agreed to by the parties.
  If the problem is agreed on, the mediator shall not discuss the issues with either party prior to mediation day.  
  2.  At the Mediation

A copy of the agreed nature and extent of the issues in dispute shall be supplied to all parties and the mediator.
The parties work through the issues with the help of the mediator (aiming to complete the process in one day).
Solutions agreed on, details of how these will be achieved, and a timeframe for achieving them will be recorded by the mediator, and provided to and signed by the parties. The document will be binding on the parties.

  The mediator facilitates parties to reach their own solutions to disputes by:  
Ensuring there is agreement in advance on the nature and extent of the issues in dispute.
Keeping parties focussed on the key issues during the process.
Ensuring parties keep to the rules of the process
Assisting parties to generate practical options for resolving issues
Encouraging a partnership approach to resolving issues
Providing an objective perspective during the process

Enduring and workable solutions, as the parties have formulated the agreement between themselves.
Improved relationships between the parties.
Having worked through the process, the parties will have learned some practical steps for handling future conflicts.


Lawyer with extensive commercial and sports law experience
Extensive experience in acting in legal and managerial capacity for a number of sports people and organisations.
Lecturer in sport and leisure law at the University of Waikato
Member of Australia and New Zealand Sports Law Association
Started Waikato Sport Promotions with John Parker
Executive Director of Waikato Sport Promotions
Captained representative cricket and hockey sides
Extensive coaching experience
Mediation skills

Mediation is ideally suited to parties who

Have an ongoing relationship with each other
Both have a strong interest in resolving the dispute.
Both agree to use mediation to resolve the dispute.
  The types of issues that might be mediated include:  
Player/parent body disputes
Contractual disputes
Sponsorship disputes
Selection decisions/processes
Organisational structural/disputes
Commercial disputes
Inter-code disputes
Interpretations on a raft of issues
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