* Christopher Stoner QC

Year of call: 1991 | Silk: 2010

"An excellent team player, who is great with clients and really good on his feet."
Chambers UK

* Christopher * Christopher QC

Chris specialises in both property litigation and the regulatory/disciplinary aspects of sports law.

Chris undertakes work in all aspects of property litigation encompassing real property, and both residential and commercial landlord and tenant work.

In the field of real property Chris has developed a particular specialism in the law relating to canals and water, which work often involves consideration of difficult issues relating to riparian rights and ancient title documentation as well as the understanding and application of aged private Acts of Parliament. Chris has acted extensively for British Waterways, now known as the Canal & River Trust, but also for other public authorities, including the Port of London Authority, as well as for private individuals on canal and water based matters.

Chris also regularly advises and litigates on registration, option, easement and covenant issues. As a corollary of his work relating to waterways, Chris also has expertise in advising on Human Rights issues relating to property interests.

In the field of landlord & tenant Chris has particular expertise in service charge disputes (especially in the context of representative actions for large numbers of tenants) as well as extensive experience of matters such as the 1954 Act, dilapidations claims, options and the construction and enforcement of tenant covenants.

In sports law Chris has many years of experience in appearing before various tribunals, from small domestic disciplinary hearings to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland as well as in High Court litigation.

Chris is particularly well respected for his work in relation to selection issues and Paralympic classification issues. In respect of both he has drafted, litigated and presented at conferences.

Chris has acted for numerous governing bodies in sports as diverse as football, swimming, diving, cricket, tennis, rugby and boxing and as well as prosecuting (or defending) regulatory and disciplinary matters, Chris has extensive experience of drafting many regulations covering matters such as anti-doping, on field etiquette and selection matters.

* = Door Tenant.

Professional Negligence

Chris has extensive experience of acting in a number of property related professional negligence claims, principally against solicitors and surveyors. Chris has acted for both claimants and the indemnified in such actions.

Regulatory & Disciplinary

As a corollary to Chris' extensive experience in the field of sports law on regulatory and disciplinary matters, Chris also has experience of acting in non-sports matters, including in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and before the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Royal College of Psychologists and the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

Administrative & Public Law

As a corollary to Chris’ work for British Waterways/the Canal & River Trust and also his Regulatory & Disciplinary work Chris has been instructed in a number of Judicial Reviews.

Recent cases include R (on the application of David Frank Devere) v Land Registry and Canal & River Trust (Interested Party) [2013] EWHC 2477, acting for the CRT in resisting the grant of permission and R (on the application of Nick Brown) v Canal & River Trust (unreported), acting for the CRT in an application where the Claimant discontinued after the first morning of argument.

Property & Litigation

Chris has considerable experience of litigating both real property and landlord and tenant matters in the High Court, the County Court and forums that now form part of the First - Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

Recent Cases

  • Leigh Ravenscroft v Canal & River Trust [2017] EWHC 1874: the principal issue was as to the meaning of ‘main navigable channel’ for the purposes of the British Waterways Acts and the consequent management of the inland waterways by the Canal & River Trust.
  • Port of London Authority v Mendoza [2017] UKUT 146 (TCC): established that the ‘mere’ mooring of a vessel, without more, was insufficient to establish adverse possession of the river bed (namely the River Thames).
  • Jones v Canal & River Trust [2017] 3 WLR 516: consideration of the correct approach to article 8 claims by the courts when boaters raise an article 8 defence to a claim for removal of a vessel from the waterway.
  • Stapleford Frog Island (Rainham) Limited v Port of London Authority [2017] UKUT 444 (TCC): proper construction of a lease and whether that prevented a claim for adverse possession.

Sports

  • Appointed as arbitrator and also appointed as investigator in disciplinary matters.
  • Acted on numerous classification matters and appeals in Paralympic Sport, including before the Board of Appeal of Classification.
  • Numerous major games selection appeal hearings.
  • CAS 2015/A/4189: Acted for British Swimming, Adam Peaty, Francesca Halsall, Jemma Lowe and Chris Walker-Hebborn against World Governing Body FINA and successfully obtained ratification of world records which FINA had previously refused to ratify because of administrative errors.
  • Retained by British Paralympic Association to assist on any matters arising during the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016 and the Winter Paralympic Games in PyeongChang in 2018. 
  • Acting on various CAS matters, including the drafting of Appeal Briefs; advice on interlocutory applications and drafting in respect of the interlocutory applications.
  • Funding Appeals: acting for NGB in respect of challenges to the withdrawal of elite level funding.

Recent work

  • Club Eskisehirspor v Kris Boyd (CAS 2012/A/2910): successfully upheld decision of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber relating to the termination of Kris Boyd’s contract and the sums due to him consequent upon that termination.

    Leeds Rugby Limited v Iestyn Harris (1) Bradford Bulls Holdings Limited (2) [2005] EWHC 1591. Preliminary issue on whether agreement between the Claimant and Iestyn Harris was unenforceable as being an unlawful restraint of trade.

    International Tennis Federation: Chairman of Appeal Panels on issues of classification in Wheelchair Tennis.

    FA Premier League - successfully prosecuted an agent for regulation breaches.

    FA Premier League - retained by the FA Premier League to investigate the alleged breach of regulations relating to the transfer of a player and thereafter to (successfully) prosecute the player and buying club for breach of FA Premier League Regulations.

    Korda v International Tennis Federation (t/a International Tennis Federation) The Independent 21st April 1999 CA. Whether there was a contract between parties relating to anti-doping provisions. Ability of ITF to pursue appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Wilander & Anor v Tobin & Anor (No2) [1997] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 195 CA. Enforcement of anti-doping provisions.

    Wilander & Anor v Tobin & Anor (No1) The Times 8th April 1996 CA. Amendments/Strike out application.

    Various unreported domestic doping cases.

Sports work (advice/drafting)

  • Advising NGB on potential selection appeals re World Championships.

  • Various advice given to NGB’s on Regulatory & Classification Issues.
  • Various advice given to IF on code of conduct issues.
  • Advice given to a Premier League Club relating to regulatory implications of new investment.
  • Advice to IF on anti-doping regulations.
  • Various advice given on the application of the Football League Insolvency Policy.
  • Various advices on the application of regulations to F.A. Premier League contracts.

Other

  • Author of numerous published sports law articles in Sport Law Administration & Practice and also on LawinSport.
  • Joint author of the chapter on Selection Disputes in Lewis & Taylor – Sport: Law & Practice (3rd & 4th Editions).
  • Sport Resolutions Arbitration Panel Member
  • Judge of the FIA Cost Cap Adjudication Panel