Sports legend Townley joins Bates Wells

Charity specialist Bates Wells & Braithwaite has hired athletes1 partner Mike Townley as head of its sports law team.

Townley was a pioneer in the field of sports law. He founded sports boutique Townleys Sports Lawyers from 1991, which later merged with Hammonds in 2001. Townley left Townleys to form athletes1 in 1999.

Townley boasts clients including the UK’s National Governing Bodies of sport as well the UK Sports Council and the International Paralympic Committee.

Townley said: “The move was prompted by my growing client base and the increase in work from existing clients. The 2012 Games has had a huge impact on my governing body client base both in terms of commercial activity and regulatory work. On top of this, my work for the International Paralympic Committee is already becoming 2012 focused.

“Sports law is now a recognised niche, but there are lots of solicitors dabbling in the area. The BWB sports law team has a real long-term involvement in this sector and I believe this can be harnessed to huge effect.”