Maria Clarke Lawyers

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Maria Clarke

Principal

ph +64 9 445 2891
mb +64 275 490 043
em maria@mariaclarke.co.nz

Maria Clarke is the founder of MCL and has over 20 years experience in sports law and the not for profit sectors. She is recognised as a leading sports lawyer in New Zealand and internationally.

Maria also contributes to the sport and recreation sector in her volunteer roles as a member of the Juridical Commission of the International Associations of Athletic Federations, the Juridical Commission of the Association of National Olympic Committees and a member of the International Olympic Committee's Sport and the Law Commission.

Specific Experience

  • Assisted many national sports organisations to review their organisational and governance structures including advising on best practice and drafting new constitutions to support the new structures.
  • Commissioned by SPARC in 2002 to identify whether there was a need to establish a Sports Disputes Tribunal in New Zealand and drafting its initial Rules. This Tribunal (now the Sports Tribunal) was established in 2003.
  • Counsel on numerous occasions appearing for national sports organisations before the Court of Arbitration for Sport for appeals by athletes not selected to compete in the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.
  • Assisted in the development of the new Sports Anti-Doping Rules in 2007 which were issued under the Sports Anti-Doping Act.
  • Drafting and advising sports organisations on significant sponsorship contracts with sponsors.
  • Advising several elite athletes on setting up legal structures through which to provide their services on a commercial basis including advice on endorsements, sponsorship, contracts with managers/agents and athlete’s personal affairs.
  • Advising a high performance sport organisation on its 5 year funding contract.
  • Advising parents of a talented youth athlete on ways to grow and protect their son’s potential commercial value and arrangements with his agent.
  • Designing and drafting rules for a national judicial system for a national sports organisation.
  • Establishing a charitable trust for a national sports organisation setting up a scholarship/education programme for its athletes.

Qualifications

  • LLB (Hons) University of Otago, 1990
  • BA (Political Science) University of Otago, 1990
  • Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, 1991
  • Admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Australia, 1998

Career

  • Brandon Brookfield/Simpson Grierson (Wellington) 1991-1994
  • Simpson Grierson (Auckland) 1994-1996
  • Martelli McKegg Wells and Cormack (Auckland) 1996-1998
  • Rigby Cooke Lawyers, 1998-2000

Professional Memberships

  • Member of the New Zealand Law Society - current
  • Member of the Auckland District Law Society - current
  • Member of the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association, 1992 - to date
  • Board member, Netball New Zealand Inc, 1993 -1998
  • Board member, New Zealand Sports Assembly Inc, 1996 - 1998
  • Board members, Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association, 1998 - 2000
  • Board member, the New Zealand Olympic Committee, 2008 - to date
  • Trustee of the New Zealand Centre for Social Innovation, 2009 - to date
  • Member of the Juridical Commission of the International Associations of Athletic Federations, 2007 - to date

Papers and Presentations

  • Not for Profit Organisations: Legal and Operational Issues, seminar for Auckland District Law Society, 2008
  • Structural Challenges in the Governance of Sport and Recreational Organisations, presentation for 2007 SPARC Seminar Programme.
  • Sports Betting, a paper to the 1995 Australia and New Zealand Sports Law Association Conference, New Zealand.
  • Selection of Athletes: Why Not on Merit? a paper to the 1997 Australia and New Zealand Sports Law Association Conference, Newcastle, Australia.

Interests

  • Time with family. Maria is married with two children.
  • Participation and supporting many sports including tennis, mountain biking, running, netball and the various sports of her sons.
  • Enjoying the outdoors including tramping.