Andrew Smith

Andrew practises principally in the fields of employment and discrimination law, sports law and commercial law.



Andrew appears regularly in the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and High Court in complex employment claims. He is ranked as a leading barrister in this field by the legal directories Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal. In 2019 Andrew was shortlisted by Legal 500 for employment junior of the year. Extracts from the directory recommendations may be viewed below.

Andrew is regularly instructed to advise clients and to represent them at trial in high value and complicated employment disputes. He has considerable experience of ET claims involving discrimination and whistleblowing, as well as those relating to employment status, TUPE issues, agency workers, holiday pay and unfair dismissal (amongst others).

Andrew’s appearances in the EAT and the Court of Appeal include the high-profile case of Smith v Pimlico Plumbers, which considered the meaning and effect of the CJEU’s judgment in King v Sash Window Workshop regarding ‘carry over’ rights in respect of annual leave. Andrew recently appeared in the Court of Appeal in Mackenzie v AA, which considered the High Court’s decision to apply the ‘least burdensome’ performance rule for assessing damages for wrongful dismissal. He also recently appeared in  Kong v Gulf International Bank, where the Court of Appeal considered what has been described as the ‘separability principle’ and its application to complaints of automatically unfair dismissal by reason of whistleblowing.

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 also has experience of representing a trade union in proceedings before the Certification Officer and Assistant Certification Officer, including in connection with a disputed General Secretary election.

Andrew writes and presents widely on the topic of employment and discrimination law.


Andrew is regularly instructed to act in sports arbitrations, disciplinary proceedings and civil claims, acting for a wide range of clients including players, athletes, managers, officials, clubs, intermediaries / agents and governing bodies. Andrew is ranked as a leading sports law barrister by Chambers and Partners & Legal 500; published comments include:

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.”

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 and has written many articles for the website. Andrew also contributed to three chapters of ‘Football and the Law’ (Bloomsbury Professional), covering the topics of football institutions, ownership issues and 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, in the International Court of Arbitration, representing 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

Lincoln’s Inn:

  • 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 and presents widely on the topic of sports law and a selection of his articles may be accessed from the LawInSport website.

Recent articles

A Legal Guide To Solidarity Payments In Football Under The FIFA Regulations

Andrew contributed to three chapters to 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

Regulatory Information

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Professional title: Barrister

Full name (as registered with Bar Standards Board of England and Wales): Andrew Smith

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Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

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