‘A Practical Guide to Personal Injuries in Sport’ by Adam Walker & Patricia Leonard


Paperback: 978-1-911035-04-6

Published: November 2016

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Sport has become increasingly commercialised, which has in turn led to an increase in the financial stakes for participants and clubs in particular and greater financial loss should a participant suffer injury. As a result, there has been a significant increase in recourse to the courts when things go badly. Parties seek new and inventive ways to recover damages from a variety of sources for injuries sustained in the sporting context. The area of negligence in sport has moved a long way since 1985 when it was observed that there was no reported authority as to the applicable standard of care.

This guide provides practical and straightforward guidance for all lawyers conducting personal injury cases in a sports law context. It is aimed at solicitors, barristers and those who might have an interest in sports injury law including sporting organisations, professional and amateur clubs, schools and local authorities and insurers. It is intended as a useful reference tool for sports lawyers and personal injury practitioners in respect of the sort of issues that they are likely to meet on a regular basis in the course of their busy practice and it provides an efficient introduction to what points should be considered at the earliest stage.

The general principles in respect of liability in negligence, trespass to the person and contract are discussed in the first two chapters when considering the liability of the sporting competitor or participant to other participants and to spectators. Later chapters consider the liability of those responsible for the sporting venue, of the event promoter or organiser, of the sports official, of the sporting governing body or licensing authority and also that of the sports physician, while the available defences and the question of the assessment of damages are dealt with in separate chapters. An exposition of the current state of the law relating vicarious liability is dealt with in a separate chapter, as is the subject of abuse in the sports context.


Adam Walker is a Barrister practising from chambers at 7 Bedford Row in London and is a specialist in clinical negligence and personal injury, sports law and inquests.

Patricia Leonard is a barrister at 7 Bedford Row and specialises in clinical negligence, personal injury and sports law. She has acted in two of the largest group actions in the UK and has appeared in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. She regularly speaks lectures and contributes to legal journals.