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Our team

Yury Zaytsev


Sports law, Labor law, Civil law, Corporate law.


Graduated from the Moscow State Law Academy, Specialization “Lawyer in sport, show business and advertising”, Thesis “Features of the employment contract termination in sport”.


Yury Zaitsev is an author of the book “Working life in the world of sports” about legal status of sportsmen and coaches, as well as the author of many publications on sports law.

Professional experience

Yury Zaitsev worked for the Football Union of Russia (FUR) for a long time, where he was executive secretary of FUR Disciplinary Committee, the member of FUR Players’ Status Committee, the member of FUR Players’ Agents Committee, and the expert on clubs’ licensing (legal and staffing criteria).
He participated in creating of FUR Regulations on the Players’ status and transfers, FUR Regulations on Players’ Agents activities, FUR Disciplinary Regulations, FUR Regulations on clubs’ licensing, as well as FUR competitions regulations. After leaving the Football Union of Russia Yury Zaitsev had moved to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Local Organizing Committee.


Mikhail Prokopets


Sports law, Labor law, Civil law.


Russian State University for the Humanities. History, politics and the law faculty.


The author of the following books:
“Football fair. The book about football agents”.
“Football disputes settlement. Analysis of RFU and FIFA DRCs, CAS cases”.
The author of number of articles on sports law. Deputy Editor-in-Chief  and author of the specialized edition «Sports law: scientific and practical magazine”.

Professional experience

2005-2008- Associate in the Russian Football Union (RFU). Author of the amendments to the Labor code!and the Federal law on sports and physical activity in Russian Federation.
2006- spring 2008- Executive secretary (voting member) of the RFU Disciplinary committee (jurisdictional football body).
Member of Football agents licensing body (2006-2008).
From 2006- Arbitrator of the Court of arbitration for sports (Moscow chamber).
From 2007- Expert of the Football clubs licensing and Stadiums licensing committee.
2008-2013- Senior associate and the Head of Sports law department in the “YUST” law firm.
From 2014- Legal adviser to the FC “Metallist” (Kharkov, Ukraine).


Georgi Gradev


  • Football Legal

  • ASSER International Sports Law Journal

  • EPFL Sports Law Bulletin

  • IASL International Sports Law Review Pandektis

  • Еtc.


SILA (International Association of Sports Lawyers) – co-founder

IASL Case-Law Committee (since 2009)

Work experience

Owner & General Manager of GRADEV SPORTS (2004-2017)

Education and training

University of National and Word Economy (Bulgaria)

University of Pittsburgh (USA)

Birkbeck, University of London (England) – International sports law (2009)

Academic experience

Visiting professor at the ISDE, Madrid (Masters in International Sports Law) – 2017

Football law experience

Working in the field of football law since 2007

яковлева к

Ekaterina Yakovleva

Associated partner


  • Litigation and arbitration;
  • Real estate / construction / land law;
  • Environmental law;
  • Administrative law;
  • Contract law.

Experience of legal practice

since 2007


“Dare to notarize you”, changes in registration of real estate transactions (Lenta.ru)
“The Government goes to the far east” (Economic information agency “Prime”)
“Status on replacement: how to transfer an apartment to a non-residential premises” (RIA “Real estate”)
“Oboronenergosbyts discipline is lax” (Kommersant)
“Coordinating of roads construction” (TV-Channel “Russia-1”)
“How to get land for free” (TV-Channel “Channel one Russia”)


Graduate of the Vladimir State University named after A.G. and N.G. Stoletovs (VSU) (2008).

Professional experience

Member of the Commission for verification of trainees’ readiness for the qualification exam at the Bar
Association of the Vladimir Region.
Participates in working groups on complex legal due diligence, including corporate law issues.
Provides comprehensive legal support to clients on issues related to legislative regulation in the field of
urban development, real estate, land relations, energy.
Represents principals’ interests when supporting transactions (structuring of transactions of varying
complexity, processing necessary documentation and coordinating of transactions with regulatory
Represents clients’ interests in court proceedings on issues of application of civil, antimonopoly, town-
planning, land, environmental legislation.
Advises on issues of the participation of companies in tenders for the right to conclude state and
municipal contracts, as well as protects the principal’s interests in conducting trades, disputing their
results, and in disputes arising from transactions concluded on the basis of the results of trading.
Awarded the gratitude of the President of the Bar Association of the Vladimir region for conscientious
work in the legal profession and active participation in the protection of the rights of citizens (2012).


Maria Tokmakova


Sports law, Labor law, Civil law.


Bachelor degree: Law faculty of National Research University Higher School of Economics (2015)
Masters degree: Law faculty of National Research University Higher School of Economics, Excellence
Diploma (2017)

Professional experience

Lawyer of the law firm SILA International Lawyers since 2016
Participates in projects related to disputes arising from civil, labor, transfer and other relations governed
by regulations of international and national federations and leagues (RFU, UEFA, FIFA, KHL, HFR, etc.).
Represents interests of clients in courts of the Russian Federation, jurisdictional bodies of the RFU and
the FIFA, the International Sports Arbitration Court in Lausanne (CAS). Acts for athletes in disputes
related to anti-doping rule violations in bodies of international sports federations, RUSADA.


Ilya Chicherov


Sports law, employment law, dispute resolution.


Bachelor degree: Law faculty of National Research University Higher School of Economics (2015)
Masters degree: «Lawyer in sports» Law faculty of National Research University Higher School of Economics (2017)
Level of foreign languages: English – «Advanced» (C1); French – «Intermédiaire» (В1).

 Professional experience

Prior to joining Legal Sport:
– worked as legal counsel in the holding “Group Acropol”;
– supervised the work with non-profit organizations.
In Legal Sport provides all-round legal support to non-commercial organizations in sports, represents athletes and sport clubs in judicial bodies of sport federations and also represents interests of the company’s clients in arbitral courts and courts of general jurisdiction.


“Several problems of legal regulation of labor of athletes”, I. Chicherov. Compilation of the Eleventh scientific-practical conference on labor law “Peculiarities of the legal regulation of labor of certain categories of employees”, Moscow, 2016.


Darina Nikitina

The head of sports and labor law practice

Professional experience

– civil and advertisement relation matters;
– labor relations of sportsman and coaches with clubs;
– transfer relation and association change;
– intermediaries and clubs relations;
– other maters arise from national and international federations and leagues regulations (FIFA, UEFA, RFU, KHL).


Sports law, Labor law, Litigation and arbitration.


Graduate from Moscow State University of Law
Foreign languages: English “Proficient level”
Participant and winner of competitions and conferences on the matters of sports law. Winner of grant of the Government of Russian Federation in 2013/2014 and of the President of Russian Federation in 2014/2015. Author of a number of publications on Third party player’s ownership (TPPO) issues.


“Third party ownership of economic rights of football players (TPPO). Brazilian scheme”, Nikitina D.P., Research and practice magazine “Sports law” no. 2, 2014;
 “How to join an Olympic national team, compete for the medals and the “Field of play” principle in CAS practice”, Nikitina D.P., Research and practice magazine “Sports law” no. 1, 2014;
“Nine facts about economic rights of football players”, Nikitina D.P., Research and practice magazine “Sports law” no. 6, 2013;
“Olympic ad hoc will not change the result of the competition, even in case of a wrong judgement”, Nikitina D.P., electronic public of “Russian agency on law and litigation information”
“Third party – owner of economic rights of a footballer”; Prokopets M.A., Nikitina D.P., Research and practice magazine “Sports law” no. 1, 2013;
“Matuzalem case” recalled by the decision of the Supreme court of Switzerland”, Nikitina D.P., Research and practice magazine “Sports law” no. 1, 2013;
“Guarantees for employees in dispute resolution of “labor-football” cases by RFU jurisdictional bodies”, Nikitina D.P., Research and practice magazine “Sports law” no. 4, 2013;


Narek Janikyan

Senior lawyer



Real estate, construction and arbitration disputes.

The experience of legal practice

From 2014.

Professional experience

Participated in projects related to disputes arising from civil, land and town-planning relations.


Russian University of Economics named after G. V. Plekhanov (Bachelor’s degree);
Russian State University of Justice (Master’s degree).