Paul Harris QC and Michael Armitage act for nine Barbarians players charged with COVID-19 breaches in high-profile rugby disciplinary case

09 Dec 2020

An Independent Disciplinary Panel appointed by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has given judgment in a high-profile case concerning breaches of COVID-19 protocols by 13 professional rugby players which led to the recent cancellation of the Quilter cup match between Barbarian FC and England.

The 13 players were charged with various breaches of RFU rule 5.12, on the basis that their conduct was prejudicial to the interests of the Union / the game.

In recognition of the very substantial mitigation that was advanced by the players, the Panel significantly reduced the sanctions that it imposed. The Panel’s judgment addresses a number of points of principle that will be of wider significance to practitioners in the field of sports disciplinary matters, not to mention players and clubs.

Paul Harris QC and Michael Armitage, of Monckton Chambers, acted for the 8 Saracens players who faced charges, as well as former England international Richard Wigglesworth.

Links to the Panel’s judgment can be found here.

You can also read the detailed case note here.