The Canadian Olympic Committee has announced its first-ever legal services partner ©Getty Images

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) has announced a deal with Fasken which makes the latter its first-ever legal services partner.

The five-year deal with the law firm has been brought forward to begin immediately in light of the issues sport is facing because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Value-in-kind legal services - including legal support and consultations being made available to all Olympic athletes and national sports organisations (NSOs) - will be at the centre of the partnership, according to the COC.

"Since March, we’ve had frequent calls with NSO leaders and our sport partners to work through their concerns and the severe impact of COVID-19 on the sport community cannot be overstated," David Shoemaker, chief executive and secretary general of the COC, said.

"This partnership with Fasken will provide the NSOs with much needed legal services and help navigate complexities including eligibility for government assistance programs such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. 

"We are so incredibly thankful for the team at Fasken for fast-tracking these services for the immediate benefit of the NSO community and Olympic family."

Fasken has offices in numerous Canadian cities including Vancouver ©Getty Images
Fasken has offices in numerous Canadian cities including Vancouver ©Getty Images

Fasken employs more than 750 lawyers across 10 offices worldwide, including in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.

It already has a partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and managing partner Peter Feldberg says it shares "shares Team Canada’s values of respect for people, fairness, excellence and high ethical standards."

Feldberg added: "Combined with the Firm’s partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, this new partnership demonstrates our strong commitment to the nation’s athletes and our strong belief in the power of amateur sport to unite and inspire. 

"Canada’s athletes continually strive for excellence as they push towards the highest levels of achievement, as our firm members continually bring excellence and expertise to our clients through the leading legal services that we offer."

Earlier this month, Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault announced a CAD72 million (£41 million/$51 million/€47 million) investment to support the country's beleaguered sport sector.

In a joint statement, the COC and CPC said they were "sincerely grateful" for that support.