Yves Wehrli's practice includes general corporate and commercial matters; mergers and acquisitions, sports & media.
Yves also specialises in media and sports law.
He is the author of a number of published articles and conference papers on various subjects relating to corporate law, computer law, telecommunications law and sports law.
- Advising the French Professional Football League (LFP) on the sale of the French League 1 football championship TV rights (by request for proposal) for the seasons 1999-2001, 2002-2004, 2005-2007, 2008-2012 and 2013-2016 and on sponsorship agreements
- Advising the French Football Federation (FFF) on its dispute with Sportfive relating to marketing rights
- Advising the French Football Federation (FFF) on its bid for the organisation of the UEFA Euro 2016 in France and subsequently the Euro 2016 Organising Committee
Acting for UEFA on litigation matters regarding the exclusion of a Swiss club from UEFA competitions
News and client work
Career and qualifications
- University Paris XI (Masters in Business Law) 1979
- University Paris V (DESS in Business and Tax Law) 1980
- Joined Clifford Chance 1980
- Seconded to Airbus in 1985
- Partner since 1988
- Seconded to Clifford Chance New York 1990-1992
- Managing Partner of the Paris office 2000-2020
- Regional Managing Partner Continental Europe 2014-2018
- Member of the Worldwide Management Committee
- Member of the Paris Bar
- Member of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body
- Association "Le Cercle"
Awards and citations
- Yves Wehrli is "the most experienced French lawyer in the area of sport and media law,"according to one impressed source. He assists high-profile clients with the sale of TV rights and commercial litigation. Clients also say: "I was impressed by his capacity to manage his team and his added value was evident. Great responsiveness and both his knowledge and experience cannot be disputed."
Chambers Europe 2020, Sport - France
- "Yves Wehrli heads the Paris office of Clifford Chance and its sports team, which handles matters pertaining to sponsorship deals, TV tenders, construction and financing issues, corporate deals, and dispute resolution. In recent highlights, the practice advised the French Football League on the invitation to tender regarding the sale of its TV rights for Ligue 1 to Spanish broadcaster Mediapro; the transaction exceeded the symbolic billion euro threshold for the first time in France. In addition to advising on the organisation of the 2018 Gay Games, including providing key commercial contracts and strategic advice, the firm is assisting Racing Club de Lens with an investigation by a local financial court regarding the rent paid by the club to the city owning the stadium for its use. Laurent Schoenstein is also a key name to note and banking expert Benjamin De Blegiers assisted with the financing of a new stadium and the acquisition of new players."
Legal 500 EMEA 2019, Media and Entertainment: Sports - France
- Yves Wehrli is a highly respected lawyer in the market, with interviewees describing him as "the reference in the market." He advises clients on tender processes, often in the football sector, and event organisation. One client says: "He not only has a legal understanding but also a strategic and political understanding. Wehrli knows how to be hard-working and dedicated when there is a lot going on, and he gives good advice."
Chambers Europe 2019, Sport - France
- The sports law team at Clifford Chance is headed by Paris managing partner Yves Wehrli and supported by the firm’s corporate, project finance and dispute resolution departments. Notable work highlights include guiding the French Football Federation through the tender process for the selection of an equipment supplier, and assisting Margarita Louis-Dreyfus with the sale of well-known football club Olympique Marseille to Frank McCourt. Finance specialist Benjamin de Blegiers is advising Crédit Lyonnais, Crédit Agricole and Natixis on the refinancing of the Lille stadium and the financing of the resident football club’s capital needs. On the contentious front, the group defended World Rugby in a commercial litigation case filed by a French club challenging the international rules regarding the release of international players for competition, and Thibaud d’Alès is handling a series of disputes concerning a stadium leasing agreement and alleged losses incurred through the organisation of a major international sporting event. Other noteworthy clients include the French Tennis Association and Paris Eiffel Jumping and UEFA."
Legal 500 EMEA 2018, Media and Entertainment: Sports - France
- "Star practitioner and undisputed leader in this area Yves Wehrli is described by sources as "the most important sports lawyer in the market, especially in the football sector." He represents high-end clients in a range of litigation proceedings, transactions and events organisation."
Chambers Europe 2018, Sport - France
- "Clifford Chance has ‘good knowledge of the different parties involved in the sporting area’. The firm has a prominent practice in football, where it regularly handles the most sensitive matters. It defended Michel Platini in the FIFA-gate case and acted for the Ligue de Football Professionnel regarding governance issues and the commercialisation of the Coupe de la Ligue game broadcast rights. The firm also advises sport federations and event organisers. Paris Eiffel Jumping, the Ligue Nationale de Basketball and the Fédération Française de Tennis are clients. Yves Wehrli and Thibaud d’Alès are the key contacts."
Legal 500 EMEA 2017, Media and Entertainment: Sports - France
- Yves Wehrli remains one of the most respected sport practitioners on the French market. Interviewees say that "he is extremely charismatic" and "knows how to make an impression in negotiations." "He is completely reliable and has great strategic thinking. He is an excellent negotiator and truly a strategist," a source also reports. He recently co-led the firm's representation of the Ligue de Football Professionnel in a dispute between two unions representing professional football clubs.
Chambers Europe 2017, Sport - France
- Managing partner Yves Wehrli's tremendous experience and outstanding reputation in the sports industry makes him a leader in this practice area. Clients say: "He is the most strategic lawyer on the market. Whenever we have anything very sensitive we entrust it to him."
Chambers Europe 2016, Sport - France
- "Clifford Chance advises sports federations, professional leagues and clubs and championship organisers on highly sensitive and strategic regulatory and contentious matters, especially in the football industry. It represented the Ligue de Football Professionnel in proceedings brought by seven football clubs regarding AS Monaco FC’s participation in French competitions. The Ligue Nationale de Basketball is also a client. Key figures in the practice include Yves Wehrli, who is especially recommended for managing strategic cases, Emmanuel Durand and recently promoted partner Thibaud d’Alès".
Legal 500 EMEA 2016 , Media and Entertainment: Sports - France
- "Clifford Chance’s ‘high-level lawyers’ are ‘very expert, responsive and easy to work with’; the 40-lawyer team provides an ‘outstanding service’. It is especially recommended for handling ‘complex M&A transactions in France and abroad’ and has particular expertise in the defence, healthcare, banking and energy areas. Recent work includes handling many strategic public and private M&A transactions, such as advising Airbus on its joint venture with Safran and assisting Jacobs Douwe Egberts with the sale of Carte Noire. Clients include Société Générale, Rexel and Numericable. Mathieu Remy ‘combines perfect technical legal skills and business acumen with added value advice on complex situations’. Fabrice Cohen, Gilles Lebreton, Thierry Schoen and Laurent Schoenstein are also particularly recommended, and Catherine Astor-Veyres, Aline Cardin, Dessislava Savova and Yves Wehrli are other key figures".
Legal 500 EMEA 2016, Mergers & Acquisitions - France
- "Paris office managing partner Yves Wehrli is recognised for his significant expertise in the field of sports law, regularly assisting clients with media-related matters."
Chambers Europe 2014, TMT: Media
- "Clifford Chance advises on the most high-profile matters in the sports industry, particularly in football, where the firm is advising on the organisation of the 2016 UEFA Championship. The French Football Federation is also a client. Yves Wehrli and Emmanuel Durand jointly head the practice."
Legal 500 2014, Media and Entertainment: Full-Service Firms
- Yves Wehrli is the Paris office's managing partner. He focuses mainly on sport-related media law and recently co-advised UEFA on the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship.
Chambers Europe 2013, TMT
- Yves Wehrli is regarded as "one of the top sports lawyers in France" and has an "unmatched knowledge of the sector." He sits as a legal adviser on the UEFA Financial Fair Play panel.
Chambers Global 2012, TMT