Cassandra Heilbronn


Membership profile

Position: In-house Government

Type of Occupation: In-house Lawyer, Private Practice Lawyer, Sports Arbitrator, Sports Administrator

Area of expertise: Contractual / Commercial matters, Disciplinary Matters, Dispute Resolution, Governance / Regulatory work

Member of the month: March, 2021

We are delighted to announce our Member of the Month, Cassandra Heilbronn.

Cassandra is a Regulation Legal Manager in Sports & Management. 

How did you get involved in sports law?

I always had an interest in this area. I started by having a number of clubs as clients, representing their players judiciary proceedings, to becoming involved in governance and sponsorship matters.  When I started at a new firm, I developed a clear business plan by identifying synergies within the sports market.

 What is your most memorable achievement in the sector?

When I finally secured a client that I had been building a relationship with for over 12 months. This client was one I had as a target however, initially, I had no relationship with the client. I spent time strategically building a connection and finally received my first instructions from them on Christmas Eve.  It shows the importance of relationships rather than “selling”.

Do you have any advice for someone trying to break in to sports law?

Understand that Sports law is not encompassed  in only one area of law.  It encapsulates many areas of law Such as commercial law, admin law and employment law to name a few. Work out your strengths and what connects with you.  From this, build a business plan with clear action items so you can execute the strategy for (hopefully) success.

What is the greatest challenge that you’ve had to overcome?

Building relationships with potential clients particularly in Australia. Clients will brief who they know even if they are not satisfied with the work.  A client will not simply ‘jump ship’ to a new lawyer based on an initial meeting, and to be honest, I would not want a client to change lawyers so easily.  However, a challenge which may not be unique to sports law, is being able to show your work and worth as a lawyer in order to engage new clients and dedicating the time to building that relationship.

Why did you decide to focus on sports law?

This was an area of personal interest and an area which was not heavily saturated in the market I worked in.  Sports law was a perfect opportunity for me to build a practice while working within two industries I enjoy – law and sports.

How have you found being a part of the WISLaw community?

WISLaw has provided me with an instant overseas network of lawyers I could call on or refer work to.  Prior to this, I would have spent hours searching LinkedIn and tweeting to find a suitable lawyer.

What do you do in your spare time?

My spare time, funnily enough, involves sports.  Living in a ‘dry country’, spare time activities are quite different to the western world and with that means a higher focus on health and fitness. I concentrate on my boxing and maintaining my fitness.