Graham Stoker is an expert in national and international sports law, including the governance and regulation of national and international sport and sporting commercial rights.
Graham is the former Deputy President for the World Governing Body of Motorsport, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), operating from headquarters in Paris and Geneva. He has extensive high-level experience in international sport governance, commercial rights, regulatory and disciplinary matters, safety, sustainability, social responsibility, equality, human rights and inclusion. Graham has wide experience of sport law and has settled numerous disputes and advised in a range of sports.
In the world of Formula One, Graham appeared at the “Spygate” hearings (which led to the record 100 Million Dollar fine) and the “ Crashgate” hearings, and chaired the investigating panel into “Ferrari Team Orders”.
Graham has been involved in the negotiation of six versions of the F1 Concorde Agreement, and two sales of the Commercial Rights of F1.
Graham is a long-standing member of Sport Resolutions UK. He has a respected reputation and deep experience of Global Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF) and the IOC. He has regularly appeared and spoken at international conferences; appeared at COP 26; has extensive media experience, and has taken part in podcasts.
Other areas covered in Graham’s regulatory law practice include local government, environmental and planning (in which he is ranked as a leading junior in The Legal 500), public law and Parliamentary Bills (Member of the Parliamentary Bar), administration law and judicial review. He also has extensive knowledge of regulatory and corporate law and practice applicable to non-profit organisations both in the UK and Europe.
- Planning and Environment
Energy and Natural Resources
He has advised on a range of issues concerning sustainable energy supplies and natural resources including open cast coal mining; electricity generating plants; power stations; wind farms and other renewable energy schemes. He has appeared at public inquiry and also advised on the formulation of energy policies in Development Planning Documents. In terms of natural resources he has wide experience of minerals plans and also other resources such as ground water from aquifers and boreholes.
He acted in relation to the A45 New Settlement in Cambridgeshire; was long standing adviser to the Locking Castle Consortium (Persimmon and Westbury) at Weston-Super-Mare; has been instructed by RPS, Bovis Homes, GL Hearne, Hunter Page, Mason Richards, Boyer Planning, Cole Easton, and Bell Cornwall on numerous housing appeals; and has appeared in a wide range of housing appeals from prestigious single dwellings up to a 3,500 dwelling new community in East Devon.
He has advised English Heritage regularly, including in relation to the Hill Hall Motorway Service Area Inquiry; Trentham Gardens enabling development Inquiry; Orchard Leigh Estate, Frome Inquiry; Regent Hotel, Leamington Spar High Court challenge; City of Bristol College, Ashley Down acting for Prowting Homes (one of largest group of listed buildings in England); Jumbo Water Tower at Colchester; and a wide range of public inquiries involving listed buildings.
Town Centre Redevelopments and Food and Non-Food Retail
He has been involved in the Cribbs Causeway Regional Shopping Centre Inquiries 1 and 2; Emersons Green RSC; Comprehensive town centre redevelopments in Plymouth, Welwyn Hatfield and Sittingbourne; and a wide range of superstore inquiries including regularly appearing against Tesco, Asda, Safeway and Sainsburys to protect town centre retail. Major town centre redevelopment schemes including Plymouth, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Bristol and Sittingbourne. He has extensive experience of leading teams and carrying out detailed cross examination in Retail Planning Inquiries.
He has acted in relation to the British Aerospace site in Hatfield (the largest employment site in the South East); the Euro centre and Abbey Park inquiries in the Thames Gateway at Swale; and a range of industrial inquiries, including issue of “funding cocktails” to secure development, and dealing with contaminated land.
Thame Service Centre Inquiry; Motorway Service Areas at sites bordering the M25; Kollerdome Stadium inquiry (Luton Town); promoted the new Football Stadium at Barnet FC; Kent Nature Conservation inquiry at Lappel Bank, Sheerness; North of Hertford “Superpit” inquiry; Hertfordshire Minerals Plan; Kent Waste Plan; South Gloucestershire Minerals and Waste Local Plan; and Open Cast Coal Mining inquiries; has appeared for London Business School instructed by Colliers CRE; appeared at Crowfield and Little Gransden Airfield inquiries; and has advised South Northants Council on the production of a Planning Brief to govern the redevelopment of the motorracing Circuit at Silverstone to retain the F1 Grand Prix.
He has promoted for the Planning Authority eleven local plans including the Hamble Local Plan; St Albans Local Plan; Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan; Luton Local Plan; Stevenage Local Plan; South Northamptonshire Local Plan; Review of Welwyn Plan; Swale Local Plan; Welwyn Local Plan Review 2003; East Devon Local Plan; and Swale Local Plan Review.
He has presented objections to Local Plans including Westbury Homes at Stroud Local Plan; Heron Land Developments at South Gloucestershire Local Plan; Bovis Homes at Wokingham, Colchester and Winchester Local Plans; Barratt Homes, Bovis, Persimmon and Westbury Homes at Bromsgrove Local Plan; RPS Nigel Moor at Aylesbury Vale Local Plan; HBF at Chelmsford Local Plan and for the major Locking Castle Consortium at the North Somerset Local Plan.
He has appeared for a number of London Local Authorities at the hearings in the House of Commons into the Crossrail Bill and is a member of the Parliamentary Bar Mess.
Compulsory Purchase and Compensation
He has long standing experience of CPO schemes including land assembly for major retail and housing schemes related to the exercise of planning powers and “back to back agreements”.
He has acted in CPO schemes for Plymouth Town Centre, Brighton Town Centre, the Locking Castle Area Action Plan, the Millennium Bridge in Coventry Town Centre and a broad range of other CPO schemes. He argued a leading case in compulsory acquisition against the Government of Mauritius in the Privy Council, Supreme Court.
- Public Law and Judicial Review
He has a background in Local Government and Administrative Law, and has appeared in many leading cases concerned with Local Authority obligations to the homeless.
He has extensive broad experience of local government law which he has combined with his planning law practice. He has acted in a range of ad hoc public inquiries such as the Home Office: Amalgamation of Magistrates Courts in Yorkshire and Department of Transport: Hovercraft crash in Dover. He has also prosecuted for Local Authorities in issues of Planning and Environmental Law. He has a particular expertise in Senior Office Disciplinary Proceedings within Local Authorities where he has been involved in a number of high-profile cases. He is experienced in local government constitutional and administrative matters, and has wide experience of working with Councillors, and Chief Executives. He has advised upon and appeared in a wide range of cases involving public law issues and local government including the leading case of Cocks v Thanet District Council (1983) 2 AC 286 in the House of Lords concerning the proper practice and procedure to utilise in relation to applications for relief of the Court in public law matters. He also has extensive experience in advising Public Authorities on the extent of and discharge of their statutory powers.
- Commercial and Regulatory
Graham is a recognised expert in sport law, having extensive experience advising at the top level of Sports Governing Bodies. He is a long-standing member of “Sports Resolutions UK” organisation (sportsresolution.co.uk) as a legal arbitrator and has been a member of athlete selection, integrity and discipline panels. Many of his clients remain confidential but he has settled disputes including disciplinary and regulatory matters in such sports as football, athletics, skiing, swimming, racket sports, triathlon, parachuting and judo. He is also experienced in anti-doping matters and the WADA code. He was asked to settle disputes concerning selection for “Team England” at the Commonwealth Games in 2002. He was Chairman of the Motor Sports Council (motorsportuk.org) and was a Member of the Board of the MSA. He remains an honouree member of the Motorsport Council.
At the internationally level, he is former Judge on the World governing body for motorsport, the FIA’s International Court of Appeal in Paris. He was the Titular Member for the UK on the FIA World Motor Sport Council, the body that governs F1 and International Motor Sport, and President of the FIA Antidoping Committee. He was a F1 steward and FIA super licence holder. From 2009 he has been elected to the international office of Deputy President of the FIA (fia.com), elected for three terms, and has advised the World governing body on a wide range of commercial, regulatory and constitutional issues concerning International sports law. He has also Chaired the judging body of the World Motor Sport Council in F1 disciplinary hearings (e.g., the “Ferrari Team Orders” hearing in Paris).
He has unique experience of top-level commercial rights agreements, dealing with commercial rights holders, international and national promoters, and sport venues. He also has unique experience in equality, diversity, social responsibility, and sustainability within the role of sport governance and the drafting of governing statutes, and regulations.
He has provided advice and produced reports for governing bodies, circuits, promoters, teams and drivers in motor sport including the important Report to the FIA on the British Grand Prix in 2001. He also has extensive experience of dealing with Government Departments, MPs, Ministers and the Secretary of State on sports matters.
He regularly appears and speaks at International Conferences.