John Shea: Acted for Bola in tweet dispute

Updated: Jan 9

Lewis Silkin lawyer is building a reputation as a leading expert in international sports disputes




Middlesbrough defender Marc Bola recently won a legal case to have the wording of an offensive tweet he sent as a 14 year-old kept out of the public domain.


Bola was represented in the case by Lewis Silkin lawyer John Shea.


Last year, Bola was charged by the Football Association (FA) for the tweet, which was posted ten years ago


Earlier this month, Bola was warned by the FA and ordered to complete a mandatory face-to-face education programme by an independent regulatory commission after admitting to breaching FA rules by posting the tweet, which was described as “insulting and abusive”.


Prior to the FA ruling, Bola’s legal team successfully argued that the details of the hearing published on the FA’s website should not include the wording of Bola’s now deleted 2012 tweet. The player and his representatives accepted that the content of the tweet was “abhorrent” but argued it did not reflect his current views.


Here we profile Bola’s lawyer John Shea…


Name: John Shea


Role: Lawyer at law firm Lewis Silkin


Track Record: Shea has been a senior associate at Lewis Silkin since 2018, prior to that he was an associate at Shoosmiths.


Shea has advised Premier League clubs, players and intermediaries on numerous international football transfers and player contracts. He has also advised clubs, managers, players and intermediaries in relation to regulatory compliance and disciplinary investigations related to alleged regulatory breaches and on-field misconduct.


Shea is widely recognised in the football world for his expertise in international sporting-related disputes.