Lausanne, Switzerland, is home to the highest legal body for international sports disputes. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) settles disputes in cases relating to the Olympic Games, all types of contractual disputes, anti-doping, governance, ethics, employment-related disputes, match-fixing and all sorts of disciplinary proceedings.
Dennis works as a clerk (legal secretary) for CAS and that takes up a significant part of his practice. In this capacity, he has been involved in more than 200 arbitrations, including some of the most high-profile international sports disputes in recent years:
Internationally, he is seen as a highly skilled lawyer. Despite his relatively young age, he has been recognized by the influential website Who's Who Legal based on feedback from clients and peers as an international authority (Global Leader / Thought Leader) in the field of international sports law since 2016, with the following comments:
“Dennis Koolaard is ‘a highly skilled sports lawyer’ with ‘brilliant knowledge, skills and experience’ of the industry.” (2021)
“Dennis Koolaard garners praise as ‘a truly excellent sports lawyer’ who is deeply experienced in CAS arbitration.” (2022)
In addition to his activities for CAS, Dennis also regularly advises and represents clients as a lawyer in the field of sports law, as well as in the field of international commercial arbitration. For example, he was involved in the following procedures:
Dennis also regularly decides disputes as an arbitrator/disciplinary judge.
At international level, he is the Disciplinary Judge of Euroleague Basketball, where he rules as a single judge on a broad range of disciplinary proceedings under the remit of the Euroleague Basketball Disciplinary Code. He is also a member of the Disciplinary Tribunal of World Athletics, where he ruled on seven cases as a single arbitrator and/or co-arbitrator.
At a domestic level, Dennis chairs the KNVB Pool Committee that decides on disputes between professional football clubs concerning training compensation, he is a member of the Anti-Doping Sanctions Compliance Committee of the Dutch Anti-Doping Authority, and he is a member of the Anti-Doping Chamber of the Institute of Sports Judicial Administration (Instituut Sportrechtspraak – ISR) and a member of the Code of Conduct Compliance Committee of ProAgent.
Finally, Dennis regularly publishes on international sports law and lectures on sports law at various national and foreign universities, including the Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE), the UEFA Football Law Programme, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tilburg University, the University of Amsterdam, and SSBM Geneva.