Petra Pocrníc Perica


Membership profile

Position: In-house Olympic Committee & Arbitrator

Type of Occupation: Legal Counsel

Area of expertise:

Member of the month: August, 2021

How did you get involved in sports law?

I was first introduced to the sports law through my father’s work. Our family law office is one of the oldest law offices in the country passing through from my granddad to my father. My father’s passions were always Sport and the Law. When I was young, he would represent athletes and coaches. In those days, International Sports was very different but the purpose was the same as that today – to protect your client’s rights as best as possible.  When I started working as a lawyer, the younger generation would turn to me for legal assistance especially because my brother was a professional football player. This was the beginning of my career in sports law. It was a great platform for me to use the knowledge I gained as a child playing in my father’s office and my preference towards Transnational/ International Law.

What was your most memorable achievement in the sector?

My most memorable achievement would be establishing and contributing to the development of the Croatian Centre for Sports Law under the auspices of the Croatian Olympic Committee. This advanced into a national hub for Sports law such as being an avenue for dispute resolution, academic research and international co-operation to name a few. Even though Croatia is big in sports, prior to the establishment of the Centre, there was no platform for practitioners in the industry to exchange knowledge nor for athletes to learn about procedures available to them. The Centre for Sports Law includes associations such as the Appeal Committee and the Disciplinary Committee of which I am honoured to say that I serve as the Secretary General. The Centre for Sports also includes the council responsible for drafting procedure and enforcement and supervision hereof.

Any advice for someone trying to break in to the sector?

Advance yourself – Life Long Learning.

Sports is a live organism and a wheel that never stops turning. The laws regulating sport is just the same and with jurisprudence being such a crucial part of it, you should always be up to date with the changes that develop. A practical way to start would be to start small such as taking a pro bono client on and making yourself familiar with the sector.

Greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Definitely time management because a lot of time is allocated to research.

Why did you decide to focus on anti-doping and safeguarding?

As I was appointed to the CAS ADD list, Anti-doping is my primary area of focus. My interest in this area stems from a combination of Public and Private Laws which regulates doping in sports and also, the fascinating features of Lex Sportiva which I consider most recognisable in the Anti-doping regulation and jurisprudence. On an everyday basis, I deal with various areas of Sports Law. This not only keeps my interest peeked but it also, allows to me to engage with various fields while not losing perspective.

How has WISLaw helped you in your career?

WISLaw is a great way to meet people who have the same interests. It provides you with an opportunity to always learn something new. There is no better place to be than to be surrounded by the brilliant women who hold similar interests and who support one another.

What do you do in your spare time?

I spend time outdoors with my kids and family, playing golf or running. For me, this is a true meditation.

If you weren’t a sports lawyer, what profession do you think you would have?

I would probably work in tourism. I have always been fascinated with travelling and meeting new people and cultures.