In a ground-breaking deal, World Athletics and Pinsent Masons have reached an agreement for the global firm to become the sport’s first official supplier of legal services for the next four years.

Despite the uncertain international climate created by the coronavirus pandemic, the two organisations have made a declaration of confidence in their respective futures with this unique agreement, designed to aid their growth as global players.

Pinsent Masons originated as a law firm in the UK in 1769, and has evolved to become a world-leading global professional services business with law at its core.

The firm offers a broad range of legal services covering areas as diverse as financial services, commercial rights, negotiation and arbitration, intellectual property, insurance, employment, brand protection, dispute resolution and technology.

Voted Law Firm of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2019, Pinsent Masons has 25 offices across five continents providing a strong international foundation to support World Athletics around the world. It will also add significant value by, for example, delivering guidance and training on appropriate subjects to raise the knowledge and skills of the sport’s administrators around the globe.

World Athletics President, Sebastian Coe, said Pinsent Masons would be a perfect ally as the sport pursues its goal of strong growth over the next four years.

“In many ways, this agreement represents our ambitions for our sport as a global powerhouse,” Coe said. “We want to have the best partners, ones who can help us deliver – we will need Pinsents’ skillset in a number of areas as we continue to build athletics around the world and I’m delighted that they also see the value in this relationship. Our world is changing rapidly, even more so with the current pandemic, and we need nimble and forward-thinking partners to help us make the most of the opportunities this will present. Like us, they see innovation as a key component of success. Their global presence and relationships will allow us to access their services wherever we are, which is particularly useful for an organisation with 214 Member Federations and major events staged across the world, and their expertise will help us to maintain world-best practice in our governance and commercial relationships.”

Head of Sports at Pinsent Masons, Trevor Watkins, said he was excited by the possibilities of this new partnership.

“We participated in a very rigorous tender process to secure this appointment,” said Watkins. “During it we established that we have shared values and a common purpose of championing change, promoting progress and enabling everyone to ensure business works better, in short by striving to be world-class organisations. We believe we have a strong synergy with World Athletics in its desire to be the very best of sporting federations on governance, regulation and innovation. That message really rings true to us as a firm that embraces innovation, technology and strategic thinking. We’ve had a tremendous response from our offices around the world to the prospect of this agreement and the opportunity to work with a sport that our team finds inspirational on many levels. Many of them are members of running clubs and participate as volunteers within sport and this partnership will allow them to combine their existing passion for the sport and their professional expertise.”

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