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Joshua Charalambous

Josh is a sports, commercial and IP specialist and a partner at RPC.

His broad practice spans contentious and non-contentious issues, primarily in the sports industry, alongside advising clients from the media and entertainment, retail/consumer and technology sectors.

Josh’s sports experience sees him listed as a Next Generation Partner (The Legal 500, UK) and Up and Coming Partner (Chambers and Partners) in the sports categories, and is regularly recognised as a key individual in the firm’s top ranked commercial contracts and corporate governance teams for his sports experience. Josh advises on a range of sports from football and rugby, to Formula 1, netball, tennis, golf and lacrosse.  

Josh has extensive experience advising on the development and commercialisation of women’s sport, including being part of the RPC team which acted on the establishment of Premiership Women’s Rugby, and the ongoing project to establish a NewCo to own and operate the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship competitions.  He advises on commercial, regulatory, governance and disciplinary matters (including safeguarding).  Josh supports RPC’s full service corporate practice on sports-related transactions and projects, including buy/sell side of football, rugby, cricket and netball transactions, the creation of new leagues and competitions, and JV arrangements.

Beyond sport Josh advises esports and video game clients, retail and consumer brands, and technology businesses (including relating to sports data and betting), and is experienced in providing disputes and commercial advice on the full range of IP rights.  Having spent time on secondment to a major global insurer, Josh supports insurers and their insured clients on defence and pursuit claims, and insurers on policy coverage, monitoring and wording matters across sports, IP, and media and entertainment lines of business. 

Josh’s disputes practice has seen him act for clients on commercial, IP, competition and sports disputes in claims brought in the High Court, Court of Appeal, UK Supreme Court and the Competition Appeal Tribunal, as well as before private sports arbitrations and disciplinary tribunals, and in national and international arbitration matters.  His commercial practice includes broadcast and media rights arrangements, sponsorship, IP licensing, retail supply and distribution, and sports data supply agreements.

Josh is regularly invited to speak at industry events, and contributes to the national media on sports and entertainment matters.  He was a Sport Industry Group NextGen Leader for 2021 alongside leading individuals from organisations such as Real Madrid, PlayStation, SailGP, Unilever, Excel Esports, Fnatic, Formula 1, QPR and more.  

Directory quotes

“Josh Charalambous, who has just become a partner, is superb. He is responsive and clever, with a real gift for focussing on what is important (both in terms of the litigation and the client’s commercial aims). He’s also very fun to work with.” - The Legal 500 UK 2024 (Sport)


“Joshua Charalambous is bound for greatness” - The Legal 500 UK 2024 (Gaming and Betting)


"Joshua is a total star of the future."- Chambers & Partners (Sport: UK-wide) 2024


"Joshua is brilliant in all aspects of his work."- Chambers & Partners (Sport: UK-wide) 2024


Up and Coming Partner– Chambers & Partners (Sport: UK-wide) 2024


Next Generation Partner- The Legal 500 UK 2024 (Sport)


Associate to Watch– Chambers & Partners (Sport: UK-wide) 2023


Rising Star– The Legal 500 UK 2022 to 2024 (Sport)


Recommended / Key Lawyer– The Legal 500 UK (Various, including Sport, Commercial Contracts, Gaming & Betting, Corporate Governance) 2020 to date


“He's one for the future - he's super smart and I'm glad he is working with us.”– Chambers & Partners 2023 (Sport: UK-wide)


“Joshua is switched on and has a great understanding of the sports sector. A good commercial litigator and a rising star in the sports market.”– Chambers & Partners 2023 (Sport: UK-wide)


“Josh Charalambous has deep sector knowledge and exceptional judgement.”– The Legal 500 UK 2023 (Sport)


“Joshua Charalambous is good to deal with, approachable lawyer with sound commercial and legal advice.”– The Legal 500 UK 2023 (Sport)


“Josh Charalambous is exceptionally hard working, super bright, a pleasure to work with. Will surely make partnership soon and will do brilliantly.”– The Legal 500 UK 2023 (Gaming & Betting)


“Josh Charalambous is one to watch.”– The Legal 500 UK 2023 (Sport)


“Josh Charalambous is one to watch on the IP side.”– The Legal 500 UK 2023 (Gaming & Betting)


"Josh Charalambous has a wealth of knowledge in the sports and entertainment sector and is one to watch." - TheLegal 500 UK 2022(Commercial Contracts)


"Josh Charalambous was brilliant. Personable in a sphere where that is not a standout – he showed real understanding of the player and what he did which brought about an immediate connection." - The Legal 500 UK 2022 (Sport)


"Josh Charalambous has ability beyond his years and is a very safe pair of hands to take responsibility for the detail." - The Legal 500 UK 2022 (Sport)


"Josh Charalambous is a standout at the junior level who has everything you want in a litigation lawyer." - The Legal 500 UK 2022 (Sport)


"Josh Charalambous has excellent judgement, both commercially and as to what will matter in court." - The Legal 500 UK 2022 (Sport)


"Joshua Charalambous is a star lawyer in the making." - TheLegal 500 UK 2021 (Sport)


"Josh Charalambous is very mature, the complete package." - TheLegal 500 UK 2021 (Sport)


"Joshua Charalambous is a real rising star in the sports law arena. Very talented. Extremely conscientious and knowledgeable." - TheLegal 500 UK 2021 (Sport)


"A future star, his all-round ability is extraordinary for his level. - TMT: Sports - The Legal 500 UK 2020 (Sport)


Sport Industry NextGen Leader 2021


British Association for Sport and Law

Independent Council Member, English Schools' FA (2017-2020)

Relevant work

Saracens:  acting for the world famous Saracens Group across the men’s and women’s rugby teams and Mavericks Netball team.  Supporting on player contracts, commercial arrangements, and sports regulatory matters since 2021.


Budweiser Brewing Group:  acting for the UK and Ireland division of AB InBev on a range of sports sponsorship, distribution, regulatory and commercial, advertising and marketing matters across the on-trade, off-trade and direct to consumer business.  


NewCo (Women’s Professional Leagues):  appointed as the exclusive advisers to the 24 Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship clubs negotiating the set-up of a NewCo to own, operate and manage the top two tiers of women’s professional football in England.  Leading on the regulatory and commercial aspects of the transaction negotiating with The FA.


Premiership Women’s Rugby (PWR):  acted for the participating clubs in establishing a new company to own, operate and manage PWR, the world’s leading domestic women’s rugby competition.  Supporting PWR post-completion into Season 1 and advising on commercial,

IP and regulatory matters.


Soft Construct:  advising in the high-profile live sports data litigation concerning IP disputes on the use of live sports data, and competition law counterclaims. Successful in the range of published judgments concerning interim applications, before the case settled on confidential terms.  Also represent Soft Construct across a range of advisory, disputes and transactional work relating to live sports data and content distribution, matters involving White Label partners, and high-profile football sponsorship matters.


Sports Direct:  successfully advising Sports Direct in various disputes with Rangers FC concerning football kit supply and retail arrangements (including matching rights).  Successful in multiple injunction hearings, trials, Court of Appeal decision on interpretation of final injunctive relief, and obtained an “undoing injunction” to restrain the club from performing an agreement entered into in breach of rights granted to Sports Direct.  Also act for Frasers Group in matters involving sports and esports.  acting on a range of commercial, broadcast sponsorship, influencer and advertising matters for the well-known consumer brand webuyanycar.


Benchmark Sport:  advising the range of Benchmark group companies including National Student Esports, Sport Industry Group, Beyond Sport, thinkBeyond, The Podcast Group and Square Mile Sport on commercial, sponsorship and IP matters.


Harlequins player:  representing a Harlequins player in relation to RFU disciplinary proceedings concerning the England -v- Barbarian FC fixture cancellation, and COVID-19 rules and regulations (instructed Richard Liddell KC);


Newcastle United FC:  representing the club in relation to the industry wide investigation into agents' fees and player transfers.


Social Media Platforms (world's biggest):  advising in relation to licensing issues concerning football broadcast content and UEFA rules regarding blackout periods.  Also supporting RPC's top ranked advertising and marketing teams in relation to sports ambush marketing and endorsement / passing off related matters for the biggest social media platforms in the world.


World famous drinks company:  advising on sports and esports related matters for a non-endemic brand in the alcoholic drinks space, including advising on new digital fantasy league products, and famous long-standing sports partnership arrangements in the UK.


Sports transactions:  sports regulatory and governance advice, and corporate support on sports media rights and financial regulatory arrangements, in relation to high-profile investments and transactions.


Premier League / EFL club owners / directors:  providing advice to high profile football club owners and directors in relation to various external, FA, Premier League and EFL regulatory matters including D&O insurance, fit and proper person tests, shareholding restrictions, and prospective M&A deals.


Various Market Leading Insurers:  insurers and insureds in a variety of sports (including football agents' professional indemnity policies and content policies), IP and technology matters including defence, coverage, monitoring and policy wording issues.