ANZSLA Members

Conference Day 2: Speakers

Brendan Schwab LL.B MBA

Australian labour and human rights lawyer Brendan Schwab is the Executive Director of the World Players Association, the global collective of 85,000 players across professional sport through 100 player associations in 60 countries.

He has 25 years’ experience in the collective representation of professional athletes.

He played an instrumental role with FIFPro, the world footballers association, in protecting the rights of professional footballers, especially within Asia and Oceania, serving in various capacities including as a board member, Vice President and Chairman of FIFPro Division Asia/Oceania.

He is a co-founder of the Australian Athletes’ Alliance (AAA), which represents eight player unions and over 3,500 athletes in sports such as Australian football (AFL), basketball, rugby union, rugby league, cricket, netball, horse racing and football. He also co-founded Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), serving as Chief Executive and General Counsel while advancing its progression and the reform of Australian football during the past 20 years. He is the current PFA Chairman.


Sarah Kenny LLB (Hons), GAICD

Current Vice-President and Director of Australian Sailing. Elected World Sailing Council Member in 2016, representing Oceania. Chair of World Sailing Events Committee 2017-2020. Olympic selector for sailing for 3 Olympic Games and member of Australian Sailing’s High Performance Advisory Committee.

Professionally, a consultant following 20 years as a corporate partner at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney in a broad corporate and sports related practice advising sports, team owners, venues, event organisers, broadcasters, sponsors and licensees across a variety of sports and events.


Maria Clarke

Maria is the owner of specialist sports law firm, Maria Clarke Lawyers, in Auckland, New Zealand.  Over her 25 years in the law she has acted for national sports organisations and athletes from nearly every sport on the programmes of the Olympic and Commonwealth Games and beyond. Her place in sports law was recently acknowledged by her ranking in the top band of sports lawyers in New Zealand in the 2017 Chambers Asia Pacific rankings.

Maria has been a member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Legal Commission for 10 years and since 2016, has chaired that Commission. She is also a member of the Legal Commission for the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and the IOC Marketing Commission.

In recent years Maria's focus has been on governance and integrity in sport. In February 2016 she was appointed by President of the IAAF, Lord Sebastian Coe, to be the Chair of the IAAF Working Group for Governance and Integrity Reform. This Working Group designed, promoted and are now implementing a new structure of governance for the IAAF (including a whole new constitution) and the establishment of an independent Integrity Unit for Athletics. These changes were approved by the 215 Member Federations of the IAAF at a Congress meeting in December 2016.

Maria is a longstanding member of ANZSLA and the recipient of ANZSLA's Denis Callinan Award in 2015.


Kim Brennan

Kim is an Olympic Gold medallist in rowing and a lawyer. 

An outstanding youth athlete, Kim had to cope with the burden of quitting her chosen sport of athletics (she was a World Youth silver medallist in the 400m hurdles) as the result of a career debilitating foot injury. In learning about herself through this disappointment, she channelled her determination into recovery and then into her new sport of rowing.

Kim won herself a seat in the Australian women's eight within eight months of starting rowing, and went on to win a World Championships bronze medal that year. She has since raced internationally in all Olympic boat classes, culminating in an Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games. Four years earlier she won a silver and bronze medal in the double and single sculls respectively at London 2012. She was the only rower from any country to attempt two rowing events at the London Olympics.

Kim has been crowned World Champion in the single scull in 2013 and 2015 and was voted world female rower of the year in 2013.

Throughout her dedicated and arduous training regime, Kim has maintained her study and career, graduating from her Melbourne University with a Media and Communications / Law degree (first class honours and awarded the prize as top female graduate). In 2009 she interned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland and in 2012 she was elected chair of the Australian Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission. She currently fills the deputy Chair role, and also sits on the AIS Ethics Committee, the AOC Selection Committee and the Rowing Australia Athletes’ Commission.

While rowing, she worked as a lawyer both in private practice where she specialised in Intellectual Property Law, Commercial Law and Sports Law and then as in-house counsel at Basketball ACT. Recruited by Ernst and Young in 2016, Kim now works in IT & People Advisory Services.

While rowing Kim was involved with various charity initiatives including the Good Sports Program and the Kafue River and Rowing Centre in Zambia. She was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2017.

Hayden Opie

Hayden Opie is a Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Law School where he established and led the teaching of sports law from 1987 to 2017.  He has taught and researched in all areas of sports law and is recognised internationally for his work in the field.  He now concentrates on sports integrity and has extensive experience in anti-doping, having served as a legal member of the Australian government’s Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel from 2010 to 2015. He is the founding President of the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association and is a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ben Hartman

Ben Hartman is a lawyer who is Managing Director, Asia Pacific, of global sports marketing firm Octagon, where he is responsible for offices in Australia, Singapore, Japan, Korea China and India. His marketing role has seen him deal with major sponsorships involving sports including cricket,  rugby,  rugby league and motor racing. He has represented or dealt with many high profile athletes. He was named as one of the top ten future global leaders under the age of 30 of the sports business industry by SportPro Magazine in 2012.


Miriam Stiel

Miriam is the head of the IP practice at Allens. Over the past 20 years she has acted for Australian and international sporting bodies including the Australian Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee, World Rugby and V8 Supercars on sponsorship deals and enforcement matters.

She also has experience helping companies derive the greatest value out of their sponsorship arrangements and regularly advises on ambush marketing and brand protection for major sporting events.


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