Murray, a renowned QC and sports fanatic, shows no signs of slowing down. He combines his love of law and sport in his role as arbitrator hearing sports-related disputes - when he is not on the real tennis court.
Murray Rosen had only intended to be at Herbert Smith for five years. An eminent QC, he made the jump from the Bar to the other side of the profession in 2004 with the aim of helping Herbert Smith establish its pioneering Advocacy Unit. “I ended up staying with the firm for far longer than I had anticipated (in fact for nine years) because I enjoyed the continuing challenge. It was – and is – a special firm for whom I had acted from the start, with plenty of investment, and I felt very supported in the project.”
But leave he eventually did in 2014, since then he has kept himself plenty occupied. His first thoughts were that after nearly 40 years in practice, he might finish with the law altogether. As someone who had always been interested in culture, he started off down a new track, with a post-graduate diploma in history of art at the Courtauld Institute, as well as curating some sculpture shows.
However, after a year or so, he was pulled back by the lure of the law. That may not have been surprising when you consider his career. Appointed a QC at the age of 39 in 1993, he was a head of chambers and Bencher in Lincoln’s Inn and a Recorder from 1997, and whilst at Herbert Smith was also appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Chancery Division and a Deemster (the ancient name for a High Court judge) in the Isle of Man.
He decided in 2016 to come back to the world of law, and started a practice exclusively as an arbitrator and mediator, with a focus on resolving disputes rather than fighting them. He joined the renowned chambers of 4 New Square and was appointed to series of panels, including the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.
He now spends his professional time sitting as a Deputy Judge, as an arbitrator in London and internationally, and as an enthusiastic and committed mediator. “My reputation at the Bar was as a somewhat aggressive and certainly tenacious advocate. Now that I no longer have to represent disputants, I have tried to adapt those skills to a more obviously constructive end – finding solutions, preferably by agreement. It seems to be working and, frankly, it is what all disputes lawyers should be contributing to, at least later in their careers.”
The culture and sports work is ideal for Murray. Although he spent most of his overall time as an advocate in commercial cases, and still deals with those on a daily basis, he cannot resist involvement in sorting out these more specialised disputes. In sport, with the high profile and money now involved, there are a host of contractual and regulatory issues, as well as a dispiriting number of doping violations, match-fixing allegations and the like, which sport has tried to handle but which Murray thinks would often better belong to the criminal courts (in which he also sits).
His arbitration work includes domestic disputes for Sport Resolutions, a body that he originally helped to set up, and numerous football cases, both disciplinary and commercial, as well as disputes in motor sport, cricket (he is a longstanding MCC member) and almost all others, including even the martial arts. He has served as chair of the British Association for Sport & Law and most recently for the Table Tennis England Board of Appeal.
When not working on sports, culture and commercial disputes, he likes little more than to watch (he is an Arsenal season ticket holder) – and occasionally to participate, real tennis and table tennis being particular favourites.