Pro bono legal advice now available to participants subject to BHB disciplinary proceedings

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on Wednesday announced that those subject to a Disciplinary charge who are not able to obtain their own legal advice will now have the opportunity to access pro bono legal advice and representation through Sport Resolutions, the independent not-for-profit dispute resolution service for sport in the UK.

This is to ensure participants who cannot afford the full costs of legal representation, or do not benefit from the existing methods of procuring legal advice provided by the Professional Jockeys’ Association (PJA) and National Trainers’ Federation (NTF), still have access to suitably qualified legal professionals. Sport Resolutions will provide access to the service for a nominal administration fee, payable by the participant.

Information on the service and contact details are now included in communications to participants who are charged with breaches of the Rules of Racing. This development was recommended by the Integrity Review in early 2016 and the subsequent review undertaken by Christopher Quinlan QC later that year.

The BHA will not be informed when a participant chooses to use the service, and will have no involvement in the relationship between the adviser appointed by Sport Resolutions and the participant, nor knowledge of the advice that passes between them.

Catherine Beloff, Director of Legal and Governance at the BHA, said: “It is of vital importance that there is no perception of an ‘inequality of arms’ when participants are subject to a Disciplinary procedure.

“This gives an option for participants to have access to independent, experienced legal professionals for a fraction of what the cost would be otherwise.”