Benoît Keane

Solicitor & Avocat

Benoît Keane is a leading European lawyer. He specialises in European law and European competition law in particular relating to the sports sector. Benoît regularly represents clients before the European Commission and European Courts.

Benoît Keane's practice involves a broad range of industries, most notably the sports sector where he is a recognised leader. He often works closely with other law firms, bringing his European law expertise to play in complex cases. Legal directories highlight praise for his creativity, practical approach and friendly manner.

 

European & Competition law

Benoît holds a master’s degree in European law. He provides EU law advice on a wide range of issues, including with respect to media rights, energy regulation and data protection.

His competition practice focuses upon restrictive practices, abuse of dominance, and state aid. He regularly advises organisations on compliance with EU competition law, acting in particular as an independent counsel to trade associations. He has acted on a number of landmark competition matters.

 

European sports law

Benoît is recognised for his expertise in European sports law. He has acted in many of the leading sports cases of the last decade and has appeared as an expert before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

His work deals with a full range of issues relating to the legality of sports organisations’ regulations with EU law. He has been at the forefront of major initiatives to reform the regulation of football in compliance with EU legal principles.

He is currently acting in cases concerning the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations and the FIFA ban on third party ownership. He was counsel to the International Skating Union in the recent European Commission case concerning the authorisation of events held by independent organisers, defending the autonomy of sports governance and negotiating the introduction of a new authorisation system.

Benoît also advises on the commercial aspect of sport relating to ticketing, sponsorship and media rights. He acted in the cases before the EU Courts concerning the EU listed events regime for the broadcasting rights to the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship. He also represented a major sports federation in the ground-breaking Murphy case concerning exclusivity of broadcasting rights.

 

Professional Background

Benoît, who comes from Ireland, read law at University College Cork. He obtained a master’s degree in European law at the College of Europe in Bruges (1999).  He trained in London and Paris at an international law firm before moving to Brussels to undertake a stage in the European Commission (DG Competition).  He qualified as a Solicitor of England & Wales in 2003.

Benoît practised as a lawyer for a number of international law firms in Brussels before establishing his own practice in 2012. Since 2017, he has been admitted as an Avocat of the Barreau de Bruxelles. In addition to his independent practice in Brussels, Benoît is a consultant to Northridge LLP.

He regularly writes and speaks on developments in European law and policy.  He is a trustee of the Institute of International & European Affairs (Brussels) AISBL having previously served as Chair from 2007 to 2009.

 

Qualifications

  • Avocat (Barreau de Bruxelles, Belgium)
  • Solicitor (England & Wales)

Education

  • Legal Practice Course, College of Law Guildford (United Kingdom), 2000 – 2001
  • Master’s degree in European Law, College of Europe, Bruges (Belgium), 1998 – 1999
  • Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) University College Cork (Ireland), 1995 – 1998

Nationality

  • Irish

Languages

  • English (Native)
  • French (Fluent)

Bar Memberships

  • Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • Barreau de Bruxelles (A List)