The Court of Arbitration for Sport ("CAS") which was created in 1984 as an independent organization to adjudicate spots-related disputes through arbitration or mediation has been increasingly relied on by athletes, clubs and sports federations around the world to settle their disputes. CAS handles sports-related disputes of many different kinds, which for example may be commercial in nature such as sponsorship contracts, employment-related such as contract disputes or disciplinary such as in case of appeals against a disciplinary decision of a sports federation. The arbitral awards that CAS issues have the same enforceability as judgments of ordinary courts and other arbitration mechanisms. For major events such as for example the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA EURO football competition, non-permanent, "ad hoc" tribunals are set up by CAS operating under special procedural rules established on each occasion.
In 1986, there were only 2 disputes that were brought before CAS, while by 2016 that number had grown to 609. Last year, there was a genuine surge in the number of disputes that were adjudicated by CAS as in total 957 disputes were brought before CAS. That is an increase by almost 60% compared to the previous year. In total, the statistics show that CAS handled 7869 disputes since its modest start in 1984, the large majority of which were filed in the last five to ten years. See Court of Arbitration for Sport Statistics ›
White & Case Geneva-based partner Jasper Wauters, who leads the White & Case Sports Law initiative, was recently appointed by the International Council of Arbitration for Sport ("ICAS") as CAS arbitrator. His presence on the general list of arbitrators makes him eligible to adjudicate any sports-related dispute that comes before CAS. To be listed as an arbitrator requires that a person must have, among others, "recognized competence with regard to sports law." Another White & Case partner, Andrew McDougall, is also on the list of CAS arbitrators and has served on a number of high-profile matters, including the recent Manchester City v. UEFA dispute. The presence of two White & Case panelists on the list of CAS arbitrators is a testament to the deep and highly specialized understanding of sports law that our partners at White & Case have built over many years of advising major industry players on important regulatory and disputes-related developments.
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