Legal firm signs former football star as new head of sports

David Winnie (Gilson Gray Head of Sports)

FULL-service legal firm Gilson Gray has appointed former Scottish football player and experienced solicitor David Winnie to lead its service offering in the sports sector.

Combining David’s legal expertise with his experience and knowledge of the sporting world, he will head up the new sports and immigration specialism, working alongside Gilson Gray’s corporate team. David has previously represented players, clubs, sporting associations and governing bodies across football, rugby, golf, motor racing and other professional disciplines. 

Following a career in professional football which included spells in Scotland, England, Australia and Iceland and representing Scotland at under-21 level, David qualified as a solicitor in 2009. Most recently, he was partner and head of sports at London-based firm Burlingtons Legal and held the same position at Blaser Mills Law from 2021 to 2023.

David also serves as an arbitrator for the Football Association (FA) and Scottish Football Association (SFA) and was recently appointed to the panel for Sport Resolutions – an international dispute resolution service dealing with high-profile cases.

In his new role at Gilson Gray, David will offer client counsel in professional sports on matters including contracts and sponsorship agreements, litigation and dispute resolution, immigration, regulation and disciplinary proceedings. The firm’s growing corporate team now spans across locations in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and London.

Glen Gilson, chair and managing partner of Gilson Gray, added: “We are delighted to welcome David to the firm. We have represented numerous sports people and sporting institutions over the years and David’s expertise takes our practice to yet another level. His general corporate and immigration expertise makes David a valuable addition to our team. As Gilson Gray expands across the UK, lawyers like David, who enjoy a UK-wide client base, are an ideal fit for our growing business.”

David said: “Gilson Gray has developed a reputation as a disruptor in the Legal market and has become a go-to for the full suite of legal services. The firm’s leadership, ambition and culture struck a chord with me, and I jumped at the opportunity to join the growing team. I look forward to leading the sports offering and developing this service line.”

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