21st December 2014
UCFB Guest Lecturer Profile: Daniel Geey, one of the UK’s top sports lawyers
The beautiful game it may be, but sometimes a legal wrangle or issue can creep into the world of football. Thankfully, there are professional, qualified solicitors specialising in the game to call upon whenever this happens. One of the most prominent of these is Daniel Geey, a senior associate in Fieldfisher’s Competition and EU Regulatory Law Group.
Daniel has plenty of experience in football legality, covering everything from takeover issues to workers’ rights and competition law with regard to broadcasting. Other specific areas of expertise include the Fit and Proper Person Test, the football creditors rule and parachute payments.
In today’s football industry, though, a solicitor’s job isn’t exclusively reactionary – it can also be proactive. Daniel has, over the years, offered advice on the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations, for example, ensuring clubs are positioned to make the best possible financial decisions.
There are plenty of new developments being rolled out across the industry which have huge impacts on the game. Recently this has included the aforementioned Financial Fair Play laws, which Daniel says have changed club behaviour, leading to reduced losses and more prompt debt payments. His role involves not only keeping pace with these developments but relaying them to clubs, students and fellow legal professionals alike.
Daniel also helps those very much at the top of Britain’s football clubs. Specialising in the Owners and Directors Test, Daniel offers advice on individuals or entities looking to invest in football, to ensure they are both suitable and compliant.
Daniel’s experience stretches beyond football to cover the worlds of technology, communications, media and entertainment. These areas of expertise aren’t all mutually exclusive, though, as Daniel combines them to write for sports law journals and to advise law students on future developments within the industry. This wealth of experience was gleaned during his work but also education, with Daniel studying Law and Politics as an undergraduate, before moving on to a Master’s Degree in competition law and football broadcasting rights.
His time at university came during a huge overhaul of European football legislation. With the transfer system in the process of a huge overhaul, Daniel opted to write his dissertation on the Bosman ruling – which enabled players to move freely between clubs if they were out of contract.
For all this, Daniel is not one to focus solely on the serious side of football. Along with various lawyers from Field Fisher Waterhouse, he writes an informal blog covering legal issues in the beautiful game. ‘On The Ball’ sees him weigh up such issues as transfer window deadlines, whether chants go too far, international qualification guidelines and the issue of drug use among footballers.
Daniel has been formally ranked as one of the ‘Associates to Watch’ in the ‘UK-wide Sport’ section of the 2015 Chambers & Partners guide to the world’s best lawyers, and regularly visits UCFB Wembley and UCFB Burnley to give masterclass sessions to the BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Law students.