Luca Ferrari

Partner | Milan

Secretary Marta Valente


Luca is a partner in our Italian corporate team and heads the sports practice worldwide.

He established his professional practice as an advisor to private companies active in global markets, acting often as trusted advisor in relation to strategies for structuring and growing an international business. Over the years, his practice has spanned the core sectors of the Italian economy, such as fashion, design and especially wine, an industry in which he has gained a reputation as one of the most experienced lawyers acting for Italian household names in foreign markets.

As a business lawyer with an international education and background, from the beginning of his professional career Luca has dedicated himself to sports law and the sport industry. In addition to assisting corporate clients, such as sponsors, manufacturers of sportswear and equipment, sports marketing agencies and media companies, Luca has become a trusted advisor to athletes, coaches, managers and agents.

As the firm's global head of sports, Luca leads a team of lawyers based in Withers' main offices in Europe, the USA and Asia, offering highly specialised sport-related regulatory, legal and tax services in relation to high profile transactions including, sponsorships, international transfers of players, playing contracts, management contracts, direct investments and licensing of audio-visual rights.

He was included in Sport Business International's “World's 20 most influential lawyers” feature and in the top three ranking of the 'top 20' feature of the same directory.

In 2020 Italian legal directory, TopLegal, recognised him as 'Lawyer of the Year - Sports Practice' at the TopLegal Industry Awards.

In 2018 Legal directory, Chambers and Partners (High Net Worth Individuals Practice) describes Luca as follows: 'Luca Ferrari is held in extremely high regard for dedicating his practice to advising clients in the sports industry, including athletes, coaches, managers and agents. Fellow legal professionals report that 'he's very versatile, and he's really able to pull everything together'. Market insiders unanimously agree that he is 'very strong in sport'.

In 2018 and 2015 he received the "Lawyer of the Year - Sports Law" Award at the LegalCommunity Labour Awards.

Luca is a Recommended Lawyer in the international directory Legal500 EMEA.

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Me in a minute

I became inspired admiring my grandfather, an 'avvocato' in the small North Eastern Italian city of Pordenone

As my long-time friend, Oliver Bierhoff (former AC Milan and Germany international and the current director of the German national team) used to say, I'm one of those failed football players who claim they would have had a brilliant career as a professional player, if that knee injury hadn't stopped them. That's me: a frustrated footballer turned lawyer.

After graduating with a thesis in international private law, I began my legal career as a transactional lawyer, helping Italian companies do business all over the world. During these early years, I also took a pioneering step into sports law (fatal attraction), starting by advising Udinese Calcio on the numerous (and successful) international transfers of their players. I soon ended up becoming the advisor to several football clubs, agents and managers and now find myself global head of sports at Withers.