Tees Law, a top 200 law firm with offices across Hertfordshire, Essex and Cambridgeshire, has been appointed by the International Paralympic Committee to provide legal services in the lead up to next month’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. As part of the global appointment, Tees will advise the IPC on a range of commercial and digital media projects, including global sponsorship deals, TV broadcasting (including with Channel 4) and any legal issues that may arise over the course of the Games, including those related to COVID-19. The partnership will remain in force for 18 months and will also cover the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
The IPC is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement and is responsible for delivering both the Paralympic Games and the Paralympic Winter Games. Founded in 1948 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital after World War II for the benefit of injured service personnel, the Paralympic Games have grown to become the world’s third largest sporting event, with a cumulative TV audience of over 4.25 billion.
The IPC’s General Counsel, Liz Riley, said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics are of critical importance to the Paralympic Movement. Those with disabilities have suffered disproportionately from the impact of the crisis over the past year, and these Games will celebrate the resilience and achievements of the world’s one billion persons with disabilities – that’s 15% of the global population. We look forward to having Tees at our side as we navigate the next few months and deliver a Paralympic Games that will offer a platform for inclusion, as well as memorable sporting action”.
Alastair Cotton, who recently joined Tees Law after a spell working for the IPC in Germany, said: “The next 18 months will be unprecedented in the history of the Paralympic Movement, with two Games to deliver in short succession, presidential elections in December and a global disability awareness campaign that will be launched in the lead up to the Tokyo Games. I am delighted that Tees has been entrusted to advise the IPC during this critical moment in its history”. Alastair will also be part of the IPC’s team in Tokyo helping to deliver the Games this summer.
Alastair joins Tees in its Cambridge office and, alongside his work for the IPC, will strengthen the firm’s offering in commercial and intellectual property law and support its work for private businesses and institutions. Alastair will also help build Tees’ growing sports law practice, joining experienced dispute lawyer Jason Torrance. Jason previously worked for the UK’s National Anti-Doping Agency, UKAD, and worked in doping control at both the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. He now puts his experience to excellent use advising the firm’s sports clients on regulatory and commercial disputes and has represented UK and international level athletes at anti-doping tribunals, as well as retired athletes in contractual disputes.
Ashton Hunt, Tees’ Group Managing Director, commented: “We are thrilled to be supporting the IPC and the Paralympic Movement. As part of our ‘great place to work’ strategy, we are constantly striving to be more inclusive in how we operate as an organisation. There is no better role model for this than the IPC, and we look forward to learning from them as our relationship grows”.