Deals & Cases | 26 Jan 2017

Froriep successfully represent Doyen Sports Investments Limited before the swiss federal tribunal in a sports-related dispute

Froriep successfully represented Doyen Sports Investments Limited (“Doyen”) in a sports-related dispute against Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD (“Sporting”), before the Swiss Federal Tribunal. Sporting had filed a motion to set aside a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Arbitral Award in favour of Doyen. Our team – who was also involved in the previous CAS proceedings – prevailed before the Federal Tribunal.

At the core of the case were the transfer of two football players and the related economic rights participation agreements, commonly referred to as Third Party Participation (TPP) agreements, concluded between Sporting and Doyen. Sporting had claimed the invalidity of these agreements but the CAS decided they were both valid and enforceable. Sporting then went to request the annulment of the CAS Award before the Federal Tribunal claiming the violation of material public policy.

In a detailed and very interesting decision, the Federal Tribunal fully rejected Sporting’s claims. It disagreed with Sporting’s interpretation of material public policy and its concrete application to the world of sports and particularly, of football. It also did not admit Sporting’s position that such agreements violated material public policy by disregarding the players’ fundamental rights.

The decision was published on the Federal Tribunal’s website on 18 January 2017.

The Froriep team involved partner Jean Marguerat and associate Tomás Navarro Blakemore.