Martin Budworth | Manchester, Leeds & Birmingham

Martin Budworth Sport Barrister


36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082


5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123


Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570

Clerked by:
Harry Young
Gary Young

Martin Budworth Sport Barrister

One of the most active juniors in this field outside of London with unrivalled experience across many issues in varied sports. Martin is ranked in Band 1 for the Regions by Chambers and Partners UK. He also sits as an arbitrator in sports disputes, appointed by Sport Resolutions.

Significant reported cases


Lugano v West Bromwich Albion FC -Representing the club at an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. Player“s attempt to strike down a unilateral option clause as unlawful. 

Triple S Sports v Brady -Acting for the well-known football agency (which acts for Wayne Rooney & ors) in a High Court claim against a former employee for diverting a large agency commission. 

Cardiff FC v Felicevich & ors -Representing South American football agent defending High Court conspiracy claim linked group actions brought by the club against various agents alongside former manager and club director. 

Jonas Gutierrez v Newcastle United FC - Successful representation of the Claimant in the high-profile claim that the club engineered a termination of his contract following and because of the player's cancer diagnosis

Mario Balotelli v Manchester City Representing the player in the proceedings before the Premier League Board. Very high profile dispute. The PFA considered it a test case on the question of whether on-field disciplinary offences could amount to a breach of the playing contract with the club. 

Yaakov v West Bromwich Albion - FA Dispute Resolution Chamber case brought by agent against club for conspiring to cut him out of a transfer deal. 

McGill v Bolton FC, Phil Gartside, Sammy Lee, Frank McParland, Simon Marland, SEM Sports Management, Jerome Anderson, Dave Sheron and Jeff Weston - Mercantile Court action by football agent alleging conspiracy against then Premier League club and rival agent for cutting the agent out of a transfer deal. 

Middlesbrough FC v Preston North End - £1.5m transfer fee claim

Charlie Adam v Blackpool FC - player/club contractual dispute

Blackpool FC v Leeds United & Simon Grayson - acting for Blackpool suing over alleged poaching of their manager / wrongful termination of contract

FA 'match-fixing' investigation - instructed by 3 players in defence of the charges of betting on League 2 matches in which they participated £1 million permanent total disablement insurance claim for ex-Premiership player

Schulte v Middlesbrough FC - acting for German agent suing for outstanding agency fee

Bent v Plymouth FC breach of contract claim

Blackburn Rovers FC v Huddersfield FC - acting for the Premiership club on a dispute over transfer agreement.

Great Harwood Town v Blackburn Rovers FC - defending Chancery Division proceedings on behalf of Blackburn

Curtis Woodhouse v Birmingham City Football Club [2004] (Before the Board of the Premier League)

Danny Granville v Manchester City Football Club plc [2003] (Football League Appeals Committee)

Sports Management Services v Bolton FC and Jay Jay Okocha (Mercantile Court) - acting for the player

TNS FC v Welsh FA - successful appeal for the club - refusal of promotion / restraint of trade


Dennis Hobson v Team Magee [2012] AIIER (D) 145, [2012] EWCACiv116 - failed joint venture between boxing promoters

Billy Graham v Ricky Hatton - acting for the boxer defending £1.5m High Court proceedings brought by ex-trainer

Frank Warren v Ryan Rhodes - British Boxing Board of Control hearing and then appeal before the Stewards.  Management agreement dispute.

Pat Magee v Kratindaengem - Obtaining a High Court declaration as to the validity of a promotional agreement.

Pat Magee v Dennis Hobson - Trial in a dispute between 2 promoters over television money.

Rugby and other sports

Castleford RLFC v Sale Sharks, Denny Solomona & Andy Clarke -Represented all 3 Defendants in the high profile High Court claim surrounding the England player“s controversial switch from rugby league to rugby union. The BBC labelled the case „the Bosman of rugby“ and it was attracting woldwide media attention. Opposing Counsel Nick Randall QC.

Mason v Huddersfield Giants

Francis Cummins v Bradford Bulls

Tony Puletua v Salford Reds

McGann v Kelly - UFC manager / fighter dispute

LeicesterTigers RFC - advising the club in defence of threatened points deduction for alleged breach of salary cap rules

RFU v Wihongi - doping case.

Mark Foster v Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain (2004) (Sports Dispute Resolution Panel) - Olympics Selection Appeal

Jonny Wilkinson - advising the rugby player on an image rights dispute


Martin is a prominent senior junior dealing with substantial pieces of litigation (often appearing alone against Queen's Counsel). He has appeared in more than 45 reported/published cases which is testament to real strength across broad areas. Martin has been ranked consistently in the directories as a leading practitioner year on year since 2006; Chambers and Partners UK currently ranks him in no fewer than 4 practice areas. He served on the Attorney General's Panel of Counsel for five years. He carries a diverse practice as detailed below. His background in both commercial litigation and employment law made him well suited to issues in the sports law field and he continues to be nationally recognised for considerable experience in all aspects of sports law litigation and is ranked in Band 1 for the Regions. He also occasionally sits as an arbitrator in sports disputes, appointed by Sport Resolutions.

"all that Mr Budworth has so ably submitted" Etherton MR in Clearway v Miles Smith [2016]EWCACiv1258

"I recognise the force of the contrary submissions put by Mr Budworth" Lewis J in ASE plc v Kendrick [2014]EWHC2171


Year of Call: 1999

Areas of expertise


Banking & Finance

Commercial Litigation



International & Offshore


Professional Negligence


Technology & Construction


Inner Temple

British Association for Sport and the Law

Northern Circuit Commercial Bar Association


Arbitrator for Sport Resolutions and the Football League


LLB (Dunelm)


Chambers UK 2022

"Martin Budworth is very straight-talking and explains complex issues very clearly and simply." "His strength is his breadth of ability, he's responsive too and his experience is another strength." "He is a very good cross-examiner and very personable."

Legal 500 2022

"Martin is an exceptional advocate, careful and incisive cross-examination is a particular strength."

"Martin is very client friendly, he sees the global picture in all commercial as well as legal respects and is from an instructing solicitor perspective very easy to work with."

Chambers UK 2021

"Very approachable and has an excellent grip of the facts."

"Behind Martin's calm unflappable exterior is a technically brilliant barrister who is quick on his feet and who isn't afraid to put in the hard graft for his clients." "He is bright, knowledgeable, practical, to the point and good with clients." "He offers an excellent quality of written work and advocates in a calm, assured and persuasive manner."

"Throughout the case Martin was accessible to me and we were able to work more closely as a team at each stage of the process. His approach filled the client with great confidence but also assisted me both in terms of the practical aspects and his legal knowledge and input."

"The go-to sports junior outside of London. He is hugely experienced and well liked by clients." "He is very proactive and user-friendly."

Legal 500, 2020

"Always well prepared and unflappable. Client friendly and very easy to work with."

"Excellent on his feet, very direct and cuts through the issues so that clients have absolute clarity on the strengths and weaknesses of their case or position. Always relieved when Martin is available on a tricky case."

"Martin is an excellent advocate who presents his client's arguments and advances their case in a compelling manner."

"He has an outstanding client care manner which in the vast majority of occasions leads them to trust his judgement after a very short time. He is thorough and although very busy he never attends a hearing unprepared. He is obviously respected by the bench at all levels."

"Good with managing clients' expectations."

"Commercially sound, practical and very user-friendly."

Chambers UK 2020

"He's responsive and has a good manner with clients."

"He always thinks things through and is good at analysing and presenting the case. He keeps a steady head throughout." "He is very impressive in court, has great command of the case and gives clear, pragmatic advice. He's very user-friendly."

"The leading sports junior outside London. He has fantastic experience in the area and clients like his down-to-earth approach."

Chambers UK 2019

"He is excellent with clients, impressive at cutting through issues to get to the key points and unflappable in court." "He is a go-to junior for sports matters in the North West – he's vastly experienced in the field, well liked by clients and quick at getting to the nub of the issue."

"He is astute, approachable and understands the sports industry" "Experienced, no-nonsense, pragmatic and a very client-focused adviser."

"Very knowledgeable and very commercial. He gives concise, targeted advice."

Legal 500 2019

"He is unfazed by challenges in cases."

"He gives good tactical and strategic advice to clients."

Chambers UK 2018

"He is very calm, good with clients and gets to the nub of cases very quickly." "He is very impressive in court and gives clear, pragmatic advice."

"First class and very commercial." "He made everything digestible, his advocacy was second to none and I think he pitched it perfectly."

Legal 500 2018

"A very bright innovative thinker."

"He is very client-friendly."

Chambers UK 2017

"He's technically bright, extremely pragmatic and excellent both on paper and in court." "He gets to the point very quickly and doesn't beat about the bush." "Good on his feet and calm under pressure."

"A real star and a sports nut who gets some great results for players."

Legal 500 2017

"A very bright and innovative thinker, who has the ability to be a real street fighter when required."

"Pragmatic and great on his feet."


Chambers UK Logo 2016

© Copyright 2022 Kings Chambers. All rights reserved.

Scroll to Top