Andrew practises in the fields of employment and discrimination law, sports law and commercial law.
His employment practice encompasses complex and high value disputes in the Employment Tribunal, EAT, High Court and Court of Appeal. He is regularly instructed to appear in lengthy whistleblowing discrimination and whistleblowing trials, as well as commercial employment matters. He has recently appeared in the Court of Appeal in the high profile employment cases of Smith v Pimlico Plumbers, Kong v Gulf International Bank and Mackenzie v AA.
Andrew’s domestic sports law practice includes arbitrations and disciplinary proceedings. In addition to his work as an advocate, Andrew has experience of sitting as an arbitrator, an appeal board member and an independent investigator. In terms of his international practice, Andrew has worked on several cases in the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal.
Andrew is ranked by the legal directories as a leading junior barrister in both employment and sports law. The most recent editions describe him as someone who “immediately inspires confidence and puts the client at ease”, “quickly gets to grips with large and complex cases” and is a “very strong courtroom advocate” and “brilliant”. Other recommendations may be viewed below.
Andrew appears regularly in the ET, EAT and High Court in complex and high value employment claims. In 2019 he was shortlisted by Legal 500 for employment junior of the year.
The cases in which Andrew is instructed commonly involve claims of discrimination and/or whistleblowing. He has substantial experience of appearing as the sole advocate in lengthy ET hearings. Andrew also has particular expertise in disputes concerning employment status, TUPE, agency workers and holiday pay (amongst others).
Andrew has appeared in the Court of Appeal in the high profile employment cases of:
- Smith v Pimlico Plumbers  IRLR 347, concerning the nature and extent of ‘carry over’ rights in respect of annual leave;
- Kong v Gulf International Bank  IRLR 854, concerning the ‘separability principle’ and its application to claims of automatically unfair dismissal because of whistleblowing; and
- Mackenzie v AA  IRLR 985, concerning the application of the ‘least burdensome’ performance rule in assessing damages for wrongful dismissal.
Andrew’s High Court practice encompasses a broad range of employment-related litigation, including ‘team move’ cases and disputes concerning restrictive covenants, bonus payments, obligations of confidence and fiduciary duties.
Andrew is regularly instructed to act in sports arbitrations, disciplinary and other proceedings (including before the PFCC), acting for a wide range of clients including players, athletes, managers, officials, clubs, intermediaries / agents and governing bodies.
In addition to his work as an advocate, Andrew has been appointed to sit as a Rule K arbitrator and as a member of an EFL arbitration appeal panel. Andrew is a member of Sport Resolutions’ panel of arbitrators and its panel of pro bono advocates.
Andrew was also appointed by a major sports governing body to conduct an independent grievance investigation arising out of a disputed selection decision for the Olympic Games.
In terms of international work, Andrew has been involved in several cases before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as well as claims in the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal. Andrew’s CAS experience includes being appointed as an ad hoc clerk in the high-profile doping appeals brought by 39 Russian athletes in connection with the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Andrew is a long-established member of the LawInSport editorial board, has written many articles for the website, and acts as a Judge in the annual Sports Law Arbitration Moot competition.
Andrew also co-authored three chapters of ‘Football and the Law’ (Bloomsbury Professional), covering the topics of (i) football institutions, (ii) ownership issues, and (iii) arbitration in football.
Andrew’s civil litigation practice involves him representing and advising clients on a broad range of commercial matters, often with an employment element. His commercial arbitration experience includes complex disputes concerning agency fees/commission payments, joint venture arrangements and start-up businesses. As well as LCIA arbitrations, Andrew has experience of proceedings in the International Court of Arbitration, in which he acted for a foreign government in its defence of a high value commercial claim.
Andrew is an ADR Group Accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator.
“Andrew is brilliant. He quickly gets to grips with large and complex cases and he is extremely responsive.” Chambers & Partners, 2023
“Andrew immediately inspires confidence and puts the client at ease. He is also a very strong courtroom advocate.” Chambers & Partners, 2023
“Andrew Smith is very bright, has a good reputation and is a very impressive barrister.” Chambers & Partners, 2023
“He has great legal ingenuity, he has flawless judgement, he expresses himself beautifully and he is totally on top of every detail.” “He has really good attention to detail, he is good with the clients, he is good on his feet and he is user-friendly.” Chambers & Partners, 2022
“He’s technically and strategically excellent.” “He is really good to work with and he’s always available. He gets to grips with the case very quickly, is very bright and a really good advocate.” Chambers & Partners, 2021
“Fiercely intelligent, detail oriented, responsive, and with a great courtroom style.” Legal 500, 2021
“Guides clients through complex Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and High Court cases. He has notable expertise in bonus disputes and other contractual issues, mainly acting for clients in the financial services sector. He also has a crossover practice with commercial and sports law.” Chambers & Partners, 2020
“Extremely sharp-minded and gets into the case quickly; his drafting is incredible too.” Chambers & Partners, 2020
“A very practical and down-to-earth barrister and a great tactician.” Chambers & Partners, 2020
“A great tactician and always calm.” Legal 500, 2020
“A fantastic junior. He is responsive, incredibly bright and commercial.” Chambers & Partners, 2019
“His advice is pragmatic and sensible.” Chambers & Partners, 2019
“He is able to analyse complex cases, break down the legal issues and communicate them in simple and precise terms. His drafting is extremely concise yet detailed and his advocacy is second to none.” Chambers & Partners, 2018
“An excellent junior who is brilliant on his feet.” Legal 500, 2018
“Andrew Smith is well regarded by football clients.” Chambers & Partners, 2023
“Andrew has a commercial understanding of sport.” Chambers & Partners, 2023
“Andrew is extremely bright and has great attention to detail.” Legal 500, 2022
“He is a good technical lawyer, and his craft of the law is impressive.” Chambers & Partners, 2022
“His knowledge is remarkable.” Chambers & Partners, 2021
“Very bright, pragmatic and user-friendly. He provides clients with the advice they need and cuts to the chase in a way that some other practitioners do not.” Legal 500, 2021
“A dedicated junior who continues to attract attention from the market for the instructions he secures in sports-related employment law. He is active in a range of sports matters and often acts for athletes in disciplinary cases. He has recently been involved in a number of Rule K arbitrations and doping disputes.” Chambers & Partners, 2020
“Diligent, proactive and easy to access.” Chambers & Partners, 2020
“He was great at finding the strength and weaknesses in our case.” “Extremely intelligent and diligent.” “A rising star.” Chambers & Partners, 2019
“He is good on strategic issues and very tenacious on his feet.” Chambers & Partners, 2018
“Extremely intelligent and diligent; open to discussing difficult points in detail.” Legal 500, 2018
Education and Qualifications
LLB, University of Sheffield (First Class)
Bar Vocational Course, Manchester Metropolitan University (Outstanding)
Scholarships and Awards
- Lord Denning Scholarship
- Hardwicke Entrance Award
- Phoenicia Scholarship
- Buchanan Prize
University of Sheffield:
- Sir Basil Blackwell Award
- Tort and Contract Law Module Prizes
- Dibb Lupton Alsop Award
- Taylor-Emmett Award
- Sweet & Maxwell Law Prize (for obtaining the highest overall mark in the year)
Andrew writes widely on the topic of sports law and a selection of his articles may be accessed from the LawInSport website.
Andrew co-authored three chapters for the book ‘Football and the Law’ (Bloomsbury Professional) on the following topics:
- Football Institutions
- Ownership Issues and the Fit and Proper Person / Owners’ and Directors’ Test
- Arbitration in Football