Luca Ferrari


Luca is a partner in corporate and leads our sports law team.

He established his professional practice as an advisor to companies active in both Italian and international markets, with a particular focus on identifying the most effective strategies for growing an international business, as well as on the contracts and transactions necessary to make this happen.

Along with his preparation as an international lawyer, from the beginning of his professional career Luca has dedicated himself to sports law. Over the years, this has enabled him to grow and extend his practice in this sector. In addition to assisting corporate clients, such as sponsors, manufacturers of sportswear and technical equipment, sports marketing agencies and media companies, Luca has become a trusted advisor to athletes, coaches, managers and agents.

Luca leads a team of lawyers based in Withers’ main offices in Europe, the USA and Asia, who offer highly specialised sport-related services. This covers all the legal and fiscal aspects in a wide range of areas including business operations, sponsorship contracts, international transfers of players, playing contracts, management contracts, direct investment, asset management, competition and league regulations, reputation management and arbitration in commercial and disciplinary matters, intellectual property and licensing of audio-visual rights.

Luca has published numerous articles on commercial and sports law in Italy, England, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden and is a contributor to ‘International Sports Law’ and ‘Taxation Review’, and a member of the Editorial Board of ‘World Sports Law Report’.

Secrétaire Jessica Longi


Football management is a high-pressure job. Luca and his team help by taking care of all the legal aspects, leaving me to concentrate on what I do best.

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool Football Club Manager

Luca Ferrari understands the specific culture and issues, unique to the world of football and knows how best to resolve them. Over the years, he has consistently demonstrated his professional competence, attention to detail and total trustworthiness.

Oliver Bierhoff, Founder of Projektb and General Manager of the German national football team

The professional competence, professionalism and dedication of Luca Ferrari were of fundamental importance in the creation and growth of Serie B.

Paolo Bedin, Direttore Generale - Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie B (Italian Football League Serie B)

When it comes to sportsmen he is a star, very strong. Luca is one of the most skilled professionals in that area.

Chambers HNW 2018, Italy






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, Zanellato, high fashion handbags and accessories and Italian maison, Krizia.

Italy, 1997

‘Sportlervermittlung & sportlermanagement’, Stämfly - 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

‘Comparing how image rights laws apply to sport in the US, UK and Europe’, Law in Sports, 22 December 2015

Listed in the Qatar Sports Arbitration Foundation list of arbitrators, as a lawyer specialised in sport law

Milan Bar

Circolo Canottieri Aniene, Rome

‘Effetto Giorno’, on the ‘Calcio Catania scandal’ - 30 June 2015, interview for Radio 24

‘Expert Panel su Calcio e Sostenibilità’, interview by Dott. Cominetti, CSR, 22 June 2015

‘A tutto campo’, on latest Italian football betting scandal, ‘Dirty Soccer’ inquiry by Procura della Repubblica di Catanzaro, 21 May 2015, interview by Radio Rai 1

Moi en une 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).



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