BSCA & Onside Law Agree Legal Services Partnership for members

June 05, 2024

The British Swimming Coaches Association (the BSCA) are pleased to announce a partnership arrangement with Onside Law LLP who have agreed to work with us in relation to certain regulatory requirements of individual BSCA members.

How will it work?

At present, any full financial member of the BSCA may contact the BSCA office to seek advice, guidance or support in relation to, amongst other things, the following matters:

  1. Where they are employed, contractual arrangements with their employers.
  2. Where they are self-employed, contractual arrangements with third parties, such as swimming clubs.
  3. Disciplinary proceedings under the regulations of employers, Swim England or other respective NGB’s.
  4. Safeguarding investigations and/or proceedings under the regulations of Swim England in relation to such.

Where such a matter can be dealt with by the BSCA, the relevant advice, guidance or support will be, or continue to be, provided where the relevant factual circumstances relate to a time period in which the BSCA member was a full financial member of the Association.

Where the relevant matter is considered by the BSCA to exceed the knowledge, qualifications, experience or competency of the relevant BSCA personnel, the BSCA and Onside Law have agreed that the BSCA will refer the relevant matter to Onside Law as the BSCA’s recommended legal services provider for BSCA members.

Onside Law Services

Onside Law would seek to take on any individual BSCA member referred to it as a client of Onside Law, at which time a contractual relationship will be put in place between Onside Law and the individual BSCA member. Identification documents of the individual BSCA member will be required to permit Onside Law to comply with its regulatory obligations.

Onside Law has agreed to provide its services to individual BSCA members on the following basis:

  1. Each individual BSCA member will be entitled to a free initial consultation of up to 45 minutes, so Onside Law can understand their particular circumstances and assess the appropriate approach to adopt.
  2. In the event that the individual BSCA member wished to become a client of Onside Law and receive legal advice from Onside Law in relation to their matter, Onside Law’s fees would be on a discounted hourly rate.
  3. Onside Law will provide a fee quote for each case, or aspect of the case, after the initial consultation. That could involve a combination of the discounted rates but also fixed fees and capped fees depending on the individual BSCA member’s needs and/or the circumstances of each matter.

The BSCA and Onside Law acknowledge that given the circumstances of individual BSCA members, and subject to any conflict of interest considerations, it may be appropriate that the relevant swimming club that the individual BSCA member works for or with, would be the appropriate client of the firm. In such circumstances, the same fee arrangements as set out above will apply.

Once the contractual relationship is in place between the individual BSCA member and Onside Law, the BSCA will cease to be directly involved in the relevant matter. However, the BSCA will remain available to offer assistance to the individual BSCA member or Onside Law as may be appropriate in the context of that matter.

Contacts at Onside Law

To benefit from the above, these arrangements will only apply to members who are referred ‘by’ the BSCA. Members going direct to Onside will not be guaranteed to receive the discounted rate.

Educational Support

In addition to the legal services to be provided to individual BSCA members, Onside Law have also agreed to support the BSCA with its educational initiatives through the Coach out of Water programme and a range of other agreed initiatives such as:

  • Regulatory obligations under the Swim England/NGB regulations, particularly around disciplinary and safeguarding matters.
  • Regulatory obligations relevant to coaches and athletes more generally, including anti-doping, anti-corruption, disciplinary, safeguarding and other areas of sports integrity.
  • Equality and discrimination.
  • Employment law.

Subject to discussions with the BSCA at the relevant time, that educational support may take the form of a module for the Coach out of Water program, an in-person or online seminar or an article for any BSCA newsletters to members.

BSCA Chair Glenn Smith said of the arrangement, “The BSCA are pleased to work with Onside Law in areas of benefit to our membership. We are excited to have them on board to provide swimming coaches in Britain with the support they need & deserve in the current climate.”

Ross Brown, Partner at Onside Law stated, “Onside Law has significant experience in employment matters and regulatory disputes within sport. We are therefore delighted to work with the BSCA and offer its members the legal assistance they may need in these areas”.

The service is available as of now to BSCA members.

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