World Rugby Referee of the Year and a barrister specialising in criminal law
A leading international sports official and World Rugby referee, Wayne Barnes is also a criminal barrister, public speaker, and sought-after sports media personality. Equally comfortable in both the boardroom and on the pitch, he has been involved with numerous high-profile legal cases and blue-chip clients throughout his law career.
His career as an international referee has seen Wayne Barnes referee ninety international tests and oversee more Rugby World Cup matches than any other official. He started out officiating while still at school, but his vast experience over the years has seen him rise to the top of the game.
Wayne Barnes, besides his rugby career, has been a criminal barrister since 2003. He has managed to balance law with his rugby commitments and is a founding Director at Fulcrum Chambers, London. Heading up the sports law section, he advises National Governing Bodies, sports institutions, sponsors, and rights holders on various aspects of sports law, governance, ethics, and safeguarding. Specialising in compliance, bribery, corruption, and serious fraud investigation, he has represented many multinationals prosecuted by the largest international law enforcement agencies. He has also conducted complex internal company investigations and delivers training to both companies and individuals to help them avoid regulator intervention. In addition to this, Wayne Barnes also has experience in mediation and arbitration.
Someone regularly seen on media as a rugby pundit and commentator on the UK’s main broadcast channels, Wayne Barnes is uniquely placed to explain the technicalities of law and global game nuances, drawing on his own experiences to do so.
As a sought-after, well-established speaker, Wayne Barnes draws on both his lengthy sports career and legal background to deliver interactive talks. He has hundreds of corporate and fundraising events under his belt. He lives in the UK and presents in English.