WISLaw Lunch Talk on legal & regulatory issues in Equestrian Sports hosted by the FEI in Lausanne on January 26!

WISLaw held its first event of 2018 on 26 January 2018 with an informal lunch hosted by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) in Lausanne. The FEI is the international governing body for 7 equestrian disciplines, including the three Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Eventing and Dressage, and two para-equestrian disciplines.

 The FEI Secretary General, the first female secretary general in the over 100 year history of the FEI, Sabrina Ibáñez, was present to welcome the participants. She expressed her enthusiastic support for the WISLaw organisation and went on to explain how the FEI is actively promoting gender equality in relation to participation in sporting and administrative activities such as, by example, recently signing a pledge to become a member of the International Gender Champions Network.


 FEI lawyers, Áine Power and Anna Thorstenson, both WISLaw members, started the meeting by giving some background on the FEI before speaking about some legal issues that are unique to equestrian sport. The topics of ladies only equestrian events (and the related legal considerations) and the FEI’s various interactions with the Court of Arbitration for Sport down through the years were addressed. We had the chance to learn about the specificities of the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping Rules, whereby the human athlete is deemed to be the “Person Responsible” in equine doping cases, and the FEI’s approach to dealing with minor athletes in doping cases. A lively and engaging discussion then followed.

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WISLaw Lunch Talk in Lausanne, November 13, 2017

Our WISLaw members met for an informal lunch talk with our Honorary President Moya Dodd in Lausanne on November 13, 2017.

We had the opportunity to exchange views on the legal challenges arising from the Olympic Games, in particular from a CAS Arbitrator at the Rio Olympic Games Rabab Yasseen but also from Prof. Cameron Myler who was appointed as an Arbitrator at the CAS Doping Division at the PyeonChang Olympic Games. All our members present could participate in the discussion!

WISLaw Sports Law Seminar at the Canadian Olympic Committee in Montreal, November 6, 2017

WISLaw held its first half-day seminar on sports arbitration hosted by the Canadian Olympic Committee in Montreal on November 6, 2017 from 12-5 pm!
The event started with a light lunch and networking opportunity. A number of prominent WISLaw members and/or friends provided semi-formal and interactive presentations. 

After the opening by Dr Despina Mavromati & Janie Soublière, a series of prominent speakers dealt with specific sports-arbitration-related topics, including doping, corruption cases, investigation in corruption, case management of Sport Resolutions (UK) and the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC), mediation in sports, and the principle of deference in sports arbitration. Thank you to our special Guest Speaker and WISLaw Friend Prof. Richard McLaren for supporting WISLaw ! Prof McLaren discussed 1st instance proceedings in corruption cases in sports arbitration.

WISLaw Lunch Talk hosted by Sport Resolutions UK in London on September 6

We had an interesting discussion on sports arbitration and mediation, the conduct of proceedings before Sport Resolutions UK and before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Despina Mavromati (WISLaw Board Member) and Christine Bowyer-Jones shared their insights (from CAS and SR, respectively) and Kendrah Potts, Niamh Cleary & Michele Verroken participated in the discussion. Ashley Ehlert shared her views on sports dispute resolution from her experience as in-house counsel of the IIHF. Thanks to Sport Resolutions UK for hosting the event and to Catherine Pitre, Head of Case Management at Sport Resolutions UK for moderating the discussion! 

Lunch Tak on Brexit and Football in London on June 26, 2017

Thanks to MIshcon de Reya LLP for hosting our interesting lunch talk on Brexit and football and offering the opportunity to meet with many leading women in sports law from London!

We heard from Sports Immigration Partner, Maria Patsalos, on how she thinks football's immigration process should look post-Brexit, but could also exchanged views and perspectives on what challenges and opportunities the sports industry will face.

Evening talk with the CAS SG Matthieu Reeb at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on June 21, 2017

CAS Secretary General (and Friend of WISLaw) Matthieu Reeb hosted our Evening Talk at the CAS Headquarters in Lausanne on June 21, 2017. Matthieu shared fascinating stories from his long experience as the Secretary General of the Court of Arbitration for Sport and discussed the evolving history of alternative dispute resolution in Olympic sports. We also had the opportunity to discuss the issue of under-representation of women in arbitration, including CAS arbitration.

 At the hearing room of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne

At the hearing room of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne

In a CAS hearing room filled with female sports lawyers, Matthieu highlighted the fact that the supervising body of CAS (ICAS) is currently equally comprised of men and women (10/10) but there is definitively some room for improvement when it comes to the number of women on the list of CAS Arbitrators - and even more so when it comes to the actual appointment of female arbitrators by the parties. There was a general consensus that increasing the number of female CAS Arbitrators would be a welcome initiative (e.g. also by increasing awareness through the organization of an educational / training workshop for prospective female arbitrators). We sincerely thank Matthieu Reeb for actively supporting this initiative. Affaire à suivre!   

WISLaw meeting at the SLA Women's Breakfast on May 20, 2017

We met with many of our members at the 43rd Annual Conference of the Sports Lawyers Association that took place in Denver from May 18 to May 20, 2017. The conference - with more than 800 participants - was a great success and covered a wide area of topics related to U.S. and international sports law.

We had an informal WISLaw dinner at the Tamayo Restaurant on May 18.


We could also officially present Women In Sports Law at the Women's Breakfast on May 20, which was a valuable networking event for women active in sports law from different countries of the world.

We are also proud to announce that, at the end of the SLA Conference, our WISLaw Member and General Counsel & VP of Arizona Diamondbacks Nona Lee was elected as the SLA President! We are confident that her election will be a milestone towards enhancing representation of women in sports law!

We will also establish a narrower collaboration with the Sports Lawyers Association and jointly launch our WISLaw events in Europe (as outreach SLA events), in an effort to further develop the SLA at an international level. 

WISLaw Meeting in Bogota, Colombia on 18 May, 2017

WISLaw Board Member Melanie Schärer (CH) had a dinner meeting with our member Elizabeth Gonzales in Bogotá (Colombia) where they discussed the next steps to spread the word about Women In Sports Law in Colombia.

 WISLaw Board Member Melanie Schärer (Switzerland) with WISLaw Member Elizabeth Gonzalez (Colombia)

WISLaw Board Member Melanie Schärer (Switzerland) with WISLaw Member Elizabeth Gonzalez (Colombia)

Dinner with our WISLaw President & Hon. Members in Lausanne on May 12

We had a great dinner with our Honorary President Moya Dodd and our Honorary Members Ms Tricia Smith (CAN), Ms Tjasa Prosenc (SLO) & Prof Margareta Baddeley (AUS). WISLaw Board Members Marisa Rubio Dominguez (ARG) and Despina Mavromati (GR) were also present at the dinner. We discussed, among others, ways to improve WISLaw's outreach.

 From left to right: Moya Dodd, Marisa Dominguez Rubio, Prof Margareta Baddeley, Tjasa André Prosenc and Tricia Smith

From left to right: Moya Dodd, Marisa Dominguez Rubio, Prof Margareta Baddeley, Tjasa André Prosenc and Tricia Smith