Adidas resorts to High Court over clothing clash with tennis bodies

With only weeks to go before the start of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, sporting goods company Adidas-Solomon has challenged the dress code of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in the High Court.

Adidas wants an injunction against the rules, claiming that they infringe European competition laws. The rules allow for a logo of four square inches on players’ clothing, which could exclude Adidas’s iconic three-stripes design.

The Vice-Chancellor Lord Justice Morrit heard applications for three and half days in a courtroom packed with solicitors, barristers and silks. The judgment is expected to be handed down this week.

Adidas levelled its charges against the ITF and the organisers of the four Grand Slam tournaments: the Lawn Tennis Association, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Tennis Australia, the Fédération Français de Tennis and the US Tennis Association.

Jamie Singer, a partner at sports boutique Onside Law, scooped a role advising the Fédération Français de Tennis, the organiser of the Roland Garros tournament.

Partner Romano Subiotto and associate Fouzia Javaid at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advised the organisers of Wimbledon and the Australian Open. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom partner Jeff Mishkin acted for the US Tennis Association.

The ITF brought in Hammonds partner Alasdair Bell and solicitor Stephen Sampson, while Adidas instructed partner Michelle Boote at Addleshaw Goddard.

Monckton Chambers’ Peter Roth QC and Julian Gregory joined forces with Kelyn Bacon of Brick Court Chambers for Adidas. Counsel for the six defendants included Charles Hollander QC and Nick Green QC of Brick Court, Rhodri Thompson QC of Matrix Chambers, Richard Spearman QC of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square and Blackstone Chambers’ Adam Lewis.