At MinterEllisonRuddWatts we are privileged to advise on a wide range of sports and major events matters, both in New Zealand and around the world.

Our practice predates the first significant modern sports event in New Zealand, the World Rowing Championships in 2010, which we were the lead legal advisers for. Since then, we have advised on all major sporting events including Rugby World Cup 2011, Cricket World Cup 2015, Volvo Ocean Race, World Masters Games 2017, and the V8 Supercars Australia.  We also advise clients involved in rugby, netball, rugby league, triathlon, athletics and a host of other Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

We are legal advisers to the AUT Millennium Institute (New Zealand’s National High Performance Training Centre) and have been recognised by Chambers and Partners Legal Directory as a Top Tier Sports Law Practice.

We advise on commercial issues, organisational governance, integrity risk management, player welfare, anti-doping, and major events (including under the Major Events Management Act).

We regularly act for high profile sports people and organisations on a range of legal matters, both on-field and off-field.

Recent work

Volvo Ocean Race Provided external legal resources for Volvo Ocean Race’s Auckland Stop-Over since 2011. In 2017/18 we will also be assisting the delivery partners for the Melbourne and Hong Kong Stop-Overs.  Involved at all stages of the event delivery process, we have advised on the appointment of event delivery partners, procuring major event status, assisting with supply and procurement, risk management and regulatory compliance, troubleshooting commercial issues and resolving disputes with external parties.

Rugby franchises Act for all five New Zealand based Super Rugby Franchises – the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Highlanders – along with the Argentinian Super Rugby Franchise, the Jaguares.  We also act for a range of offshore rugby unions (including Wales, South Africa, Italy and Argentina) and leading Mitre 10 Cup/National Provincial Championship sides. We have acted in this area since 2009 representing a host of teams, players and administrators, and are proud to be local legal counsel for the British & Irish Lions for their tour of New Zealand in June 2017.

World Masters Games 2017 Advising the Local Organising Committee for the World Masters Games 2017 (WMG), the world’s largest multi-sport event. We were appointed to a panel to assist with WMG’s partner programme and cornerstone partnerships. We also assist with other sports issues including ticketing, terms and conditions, supply contracts, IT platform development, volunteers, privacy and HR.

New Zealand Racing Board Advised the New Zealand Racing Board since 2005 on a range of matters, including corporate governance, compliance with the Racing Act 2003 and the Gambling Act 2003, major broadcasting and media distribution arrangements, legal compliance of promotion and marketing campaigns, integrity matters, as well as general commercial and property matters.

AUT Millennium Institute Legal adviser to the AUT Millennium Institute (AUTM), New Zealand’s National High Performance Training Centre for sport, and the home of a large part of AUT University’s sports and recreation research facilities.  We advise AUTM in relation to all aspects of its operations, including construction and development of the AUTM campus, HR and commercial contracting, health and safety, and sports integrity matters.

Who can help

Aaron Lloyd

Partner - Dispute Resolution and Litigation

Aaron is a partner in the firm’s dispute resolution division. He advises clients on a range of litigious and risk related matters, with particular expertise in the areas of white collar criminal and regulatory affairs, sports law and employment law.  Aaron leads our sports law practice, and is a member of the firm’s health and safety and public law teams.

Aaron is well regarded by clients for his ability to analyse and strategise complex situations. He is recognised by both clients, and his peers, for being able to implement pragmatic and commercial strategies to minimise risk and create opportunity for our clients. His ability has resulted in clients avoiding significant litigation and commercial consequences.

In 2017 Aaron was named by Chambers & Partners (Asia Pacific) as one of New Zealand’s leading sports lawyers, and has been recognised for his employment and sports law expertise in other legal directories including Asia-Pacific Legal 500 and Who’s Who.

Before joining MinterEllisonRuddWatts Aaron practiced as a barrister with Paul Davison QC, and has lectured at the University of Auckland.

Aaron Lloyd


Dispute Resolution and Litigation

P: +64 9 353 9971
M: +64 21 532 000

Richard Wells

Partner - Corporate and Commercial

Richard is a commercial lawyer with particular expertise in technology, media and telecommunications law, intellectual property, commercial contracting and sport.

He advises clients on issues arising at all stages in the product lifecycle and is an expert legal draftsperson and troubleshooter.  Richard is sought after to help establish new ventures and to commercialise new technology both in New Zealand and overseas.

As well as his technology practice, with a background in commercial and IP law, Richard is recognised as a leading Sports and Events lawyer ranked as Band 1 by international research directory Chambers Asia Pacific. He has broad experience working with event hosts, sponsors and stakeholders to deal with issues arising in relation to major events in New Zealand.

Richard Wells


Corporate and Commercial

P: +64 9 353 9908
M: +64 21 244 0238

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