Sports, Entertainment and Venues

The sports, entertainment and venue industry sectors are significant contributors to New Zealand’s economy, and play a major part in our communities.

Simpson Grierson is the only national law firm in New Zealand with a specialist team providing legal services to a broad range of sports, media and venues clients.

The team, led by Ashton Welsh, New Zealand’s leading commercial sports lawyer, provides clear, pragmatic and timely legal advice. We are a trusted adviser to many of New Zealand’s leading sports organisations.

The team specialises in the following:

  • sport/corporate governance
  • commercial/media rights exploitation
  • host broadcast production
  • stadia/venue ownership and management
  • intellectual property rights protection
  • sales and marketing
  • gambling and gaming
  • drafting of rules, regulations and policies
  • employment and disciplinary matters
  • tax and charities matters
  • health and safety/risk management.

Work Highlights

New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC)

Developing and managing NZOC’s rights protection programme around the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games (including the management of infringements under the Major Events Management Act 2007).

New Zealand Rugby (NZR)

Acted for NZR in relation to the $200 million investment by Silverlake, a world-first transaction in the field of private investment in sport.

Netball New Zealand (NNZ)

Advised NNZ in respect of its successful bid to host multiple editions of the FAST5 Netball World Series in New Zealand.

Hockey New Zealand (HNZ)

Acted for HNZ on its involvement in the development/construction of a National Hockey Stadium at North Harbour (Auckland).

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ)

Developing, protecting and commercialising PNZ’s “Spirit of Gold” initiative.

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) - America’s Cup

Advising RNZYS in respect of its decision to host AC37 outside of New Zealand (with Barcelona being appointed as the host city).

ASB Classic (ATP 250 & WTA 250 Tournament)

Advised on the exploitation of sponsorship and broadcast/media rights with the relaunch of the ASB Classic after two event cancellations due to COVID.

Yachting New Zealand (YNZ)

Developed nomination/selection criteria for YNZ to nominate/select sailors to the NZL Sailing Team for World Sailing regattas and the Olympics.

Golf New Zealand (GNZ)

Provided pragmatic legal advice to GNZ in respect of nuisance, negligence and related matters (including damage to property and noise complaints), with GNZ disseminating our advice to its member clubs so that they were made aware of liability risks and could develop mitigation and elimination strategies.

Major events

Acting across a range of major events including: Rugby World Cup, Cricket World Cup, FIFA U-20 World Cup, Rugby League World Cup, ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, Women’s Rugby World Cup, America’s Cup, 49er/49erFX/Nacra17 World Championships and the ASB Classic.

Our Experts