Former Fulham midfielder now seen as one of football law's emerging stars
A judicial panel member on regulatory and disciplinary issues for the Football Association, Bray & Krais partner Udo Onwere is a lawyer who is more familiar with the challenges faced by professional footballers than most of his peers.
During the 1990s he was an all-action midfielder in England’s lower divisions, turning out for a number of clubs including Blackpool, Lincoln City and, most notably Fulham. He made 85 appearances for the London side, a club he with which he spent four years. Onwere chipped in with the odd goal for Fulham too, in fact, seven in total, including a late equaliser in a 3-3 draw with Hull City, an eventful game that is fondly remembered by some of the clubs die-hard fans.
After retiring from football, Onwere joined law firm Thomas Eggar as a trainee in 2006, before qualifying as a solicitor in 2008. He joined Farrer & Co as an associate in 2013, before becoming a partner at Bray & Krais in 2016.
In 2020, Onwere acted for former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand in a court case related to a motoring offence. Onwere leads the Bray & Krais private client and sports practice, advising professional footballers, managers and directors on all areas of private client matters and general commercial issues.
He currently acts as a trustee for the Fulham FC Foundation and the anti-discrimination organisation ‘Kick it Out’. In his role as a judicial panel member on regulatory and disciplinary issues for the Football Association (FA), Onwere was recently involved in the FA case concerning an offensive tweet posted by Middlesbrough defender Marc Bola.
He had also advised Chelsea's Reece James on sponsorship, sporting endorsement and commercial deals.
His specialisms include advising on all aspects of tax and estate planning for UK-domiciled individuals, wills, probates, Court of Protection matters and powers of attorney. Onwere’s sports practice at Bray & Krais is established a good reputation among clients and is there is an expectation that it will go from strength to strength in the coming years as it wins more high-profile instructions in the football industry.
Highly respected within the game, it is thought that Onwere could potentially in the future forge a career as a top football administrator in the game. Indeed, it is understood that he was one of the main contenders for the role of chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association before the job was given to former Baker & McKenzie lawyer and Brighton & Hove Albion striker Maheta Molango.