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Sporting Officials and Leaders Gather for KhattarWong Symposium On Legal Framework for Sporting Excellence in Singapore.

24 October, 2011

 
More than 50 leaders from public and private sector sports-related organisations, government and sports bodies’ officials, athletes, and legal practitioners gathered today for a symposium on the establishment of a legal framework to support the development of Singapore into a regional sports law hub and sporting city.
 
The “Priming Singapore: The Sports City” seminar was organised and hosted by KhattarWong Singapore, a leading Singapore law firm widely regarded for its specialisation in sports law.
 
Singapore has accelerated the development of a world-class platform for major sporting events, having hosted the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 and being part of the global F1 circuit. Singapore is developing the Singapore Sports Hub, and is planning other major sporting venues.
 
However, significant aspects of the current legal framework may trail the development of the physical infrastructure in the city which – if left unaddressed – could inhibit the potential of Singapore’s ambition to become a leading sporting hub, or fail to protect the financial well-being of the athletes, their teams and sports organisations, said Ms Annabel Pennefather.
 
KhattarWong’s Managing Partner, Mr. Gurbachan Singh, in his address, said: “In the context of Singapore Income Tax, sportsmen are considered to be “public entertainers”. While some sportsmen may not take too kindly to being defined as entertainers, there are some tax advantages in being classified as an entertainer. “
 
The seminar featured presentations by Mr Steven Townley, a foreign consultant to Khattarwong with extensive involvement with sports law and the sports industry internationally, Mr Poh Yu Khing, Assistant General Manager with the Singapore Sports Hub and Global Spectrum Asia and Ms Annabel Pennefather, KhattarWong’s Senior Consultant and its head of Sports Law practice.
 
In her opening address, Ms Pennefather highlighted the observation of international experts that “the on-going commercialisation of sport has generated new legal problems. Sport has some unique peculiarities which distinguish it from ‘normal businesses’. Therefore courts are increasingly faced with the difficult task to consider these peculiarities of sport and to separate the sporting aspects from the economic aspects of sport.
 
Mr Townley, the keynote speaker, outlined how Singapore can remain competitive with other leading sporting nations and increase its role in the region following the completion of the Singapore Sports Hub. Mr Townley also serves as an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) – based in Switzerland which handles appeals in a wide range of sports-related disputes including cases involving “restraint of trade” which affects athletes and competition laws as applied to sports.
 
Ms Pennefather, a widely regarded expert on sports law in Singapore who has served as Chef de Mission for the Singapore contingent at the Doha Asian Games in 2006, the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, said: “As Singapore formulates its Sporting Vision 2030, it cannot afford to overlook the need to properly consider and implement a sports law regime not only to be attractive to businesses considering setting up here but also to create a sports law industry hub that can serve the region.”
 
For further information, please contact:
 
Chan Boon Wah, KhattarWong 

 

chanboonwah@khattarwong.com

 

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