Browne Jacobson wins Fulham FC court case

Updated: May 19

Swansea City footballer sued London club for tackle in under-18s match



Browne Jacobson LLP, acting for Fulham Football Club, has succeeded on appeal in overturning an earlier court ruling that the club was liable for a sliding tackle made by one of its former under-18 players, Jayden Harris, in the course of a competitive match.


The incident occurred at a match on 10 December 2016 at Motspur Park, London between Fulham Football Club and Swansea City Football Club Under-18s.


Towards the end of the first half of the match, Jayden Harris tackled Jordan Jones which resulted in Jones suffering an injury to his right ankle.


Jones issued a claim against Fulham Football Club, as the employers of Harris, for being vicariously liable for his actions, on the grounds that the tackle amounted to negligence on the part of Harris.


In handing down his judgment, Mr Justice Lane, held that the standard of civil liability is set at a materially higher level than a mere breach of the rules of the game of association football, adding that it was absolutely vital for a judge considering a sports injury claim to consider the context and the realities of a fast-moving, competitive game of sports.


A Browne Jacobson statement said: “The judgment in Fulham Football Club v Jordan Levi Jones confirms that the test for civil liability in a competitive sports setting should be set very high.”


Matthew Harpin (pictured, left), a partner at law firm Browne Jacobson who acted for Fulham FC, added: “This is a really significant decision dealing with the circumstances in which a court may reach a finding of civil liability following an allegedly dangerous or reckless tackle in a competitive game of football. We are delighted that the judge found in Fulham’s favour on all four of our grounds of appeal and agreed that civil liability must be a rare finding in this arena”.


Browne Jacobson instructed Luka Krsljanin (pictured, right), Blackstone Chambers, to represent Fulham Football Club at the successful appeal.