28 April 2020 - Article
Advises sports personalities and brands in various jurisdictions. He has assisted, amongst others, Wojciech Szczesny, Ilkay Gündogan, Manolo Gabbiadini, Alexandre Pato, Fabio Borini, Mario Gómez, Pavel Nedved, Jürgen Klopp, Roberto Donadoni, Alberto Zaccheroni, Andrea Mandorlini and Roy Hodgson. He acts as global legal counsel to Novak Djokovic.
Amongst his corporate clients, Luca is counsel to Santa Margherita, one of the leading wine producers in Italy; Arena, a major Italian swimwear manufacturer; Gruppo Umana, leader in staff leasing services, Adidas and the Italian maison, Krizia.
Luca has authored over 50 articles on sports law and sports management, including analysis on sports image rights and football transfer deals and contributes frequently to major Italian newspapers, such as ‘Il Sole 24 Ore’, ‘Corriere della Sera’ (including ‘Corriere Economia’), ‘Milano Finanza’,’ Italia Oggi’ and online magazines.
Amongst his publications:
‘Sports Law Manual’ – (‘Manuale di Diritto Sportivo’) – Chapter on image rights, Giappichelli, 2020’
Sportlervermittlung & sportlermanagement’, StämIy - Beck, Mainz, co-author
‘Sports Image Rights in Europe, Player’s Agents Worldwide - Legal Aspects’ and ‘TV Rights and Sport - Legal Aspects’, T.M.C. Asser Institut, The Hague’, co-author
Listed in the Qatar Sports Arbitration Foundation list of arbitrators as a lawyer specialised in sport law
Luca is regularly interviewed by sports newspapers and radio programs.
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.
I was lucky enough in my early years to learn my trade, professionally speaking, on matters involving such famous names as Alessandro Del Piero, Gianluca Vialli, Roy Hodgson and Kaká. A kind of Nirvana, if you are passionate about sport.
After many years in the sector, dealing with big names and celebrities from all walks of sport, there is still a special place in my memory for the successful challenge brought against Italian match participation restrictions affecting non-EU players, when, in the summer of 2000, I managed to obtain a full assimilation for Czech Pavel Nedvĕd to the EU players (at that time the Czech Republic was not part of the EU).