Martin Budworth



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
Paul Clarke


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


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

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


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."

Chambers UK


Martin is a busy senior junior who has progressed to dealing with substantial pieces of litigation (often appearing alone against Queen's Counsel). Martin has been ranked consistently in the directories as a leading practitioner year on year since 2006. He served on the Attorney General's Panel of Counsel for five years. He carries a broad practice as detailed below. His established background in both commercial litigation and employment law makes him well suited to issues in the sports law field and he is nationally recognised for considerable experience in all aspects of sports law litigation and 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.

Year of Call: 1999


Areas of expertise

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 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."

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."

Chambers UK 2015:

"He's very hard-working and really understands the sports sector."

Chambers UK 2014:

Martin Budworth “is best recognised for his expertise in football and boxing”

Chambers UK 2013:

Martin Budworth "maintains a broad commercial litigation practice, and has carved out a considerable niche in sports disputes. Instructing solicitors speak highly of the commercial approach of this experienced junior, who continues to receive notable instructions in sports cases."

Legal 500 2018:

‘A very bright innovative thinker.’

‘He is very client-friendly.’

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.'

Legal 500 2015:

"An excellent cross-examiner"

Legal 500 2014:

"Very commercial and client friendly"

Legal 500 2014:

"Presents his case in a very bench-friendly way"


Chambers UK Logo 2016

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