Wayne Barnes is one of the world’s leading rugby referees.
World Rugby Referee of the Year, Wayne is also a criminal barrister, public speaker and highly sought after in the sports media.
International Rugby Referee
Wayne has refereed 90 international tests and overseen more Rugby World Cup matches than any other official. Having started officiating as a schoolboy, Wayne’s vast experience has taken him to the top of the global game.
A practising criminal barrister since 2003, Wayne balances law with his professional rugby commitments.
Wayne heads up the sports law offering, advising National Governing Bodies, sporting institutions, sponsors and rights holders on all aspects of sports law, governance, ethics and safeguarding.
In addition, Wayne specialises in compliance, bribery, corruption and serious fraud investigation and has acted for many multinational companies.
An experienced criminal barrister and trial advocate, Wayne has conducted numerous complex internal company investigations worldwide.
Wayne Barnes can be seen regularly on TV as a rugby pundit and commentator.
Offering in-depth, expert analysis, Wayne’s experience allows him to explain the technicalities of law, the nuances of the global game and draw on his experience of pressure at the highest level to bring an educational and informed perspective to match day coverage.
Rugby After-Dinner Speaker
Rugby referee Wayne Barnes is a well-established and popular keynote and rugby after-dinner speaker.
A former Rugby Speaker of the Year, Wayne has many entertaining stories to tell. From his grassroots to professional rugby journey, through extraordinary highs to challenging lows and his hard-earned experience of four Rugby World Cups and beyond, Wayne’s stories never fail to delight audiences.
From frozen pitches and abandoned test matches to judgement calls that changed his life, the funniest players (and the most difficult), attempts at bribery and having to leave the stadium in disguise in the back of an ambulance – Wayne has seen it all.
With relationships in football, cricket, tennis and many more, his insight into the challenges faced by global sport is detailed. He shares funny, informative and sometimes unbelievable insight from behind the scenes at some of the sport’s biggest competitions.