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Fladgate boosts sports practice with appointment of specialist sports business team

Fladgate LLP is delighted to announce the appointment of a specialist sports sector team. Partner James Earl has joined from Pinsent Masons, together with senior associate David Quinlan and associate Muhammed Bhaimohmed. It is anticipated that the client base of the incoming team will add significantly to Fladgate’s extensive sports practice.

James joins as head of Fladgate’s Sports Business Group and will lead the next phase of development as the team targets areas of high value and investment in the sports sector. The enlarged team of ten partners and associates will focus on the following key areas:

  • Commercial rights exploitation
  • Sport investment and finance
  • Major sport and entertainment events
  • Sport governance and dispute resolution
  • Infrastructure and stadia

Fladgate’s Chairman, Charles Wander, commented: “Fladgate has a wealth of experience in the sports sector, delivering commercially focused and practical solutions to a wide range of legal issues. As such, we are a natural fit for James, his team and their clients. We expect the enhanced Fladgate team to be recognised as one of the leading sports business practices in the UK”.

Head of corporate, Grant Gordon, added: “James is a leading individual who has been operating in the UK and international sports sector for over a decade. We are delighted to welcome James and his team to Fladgate, and we are very confident that their track record and dynamic approach will add real value to our sports business clients”.

James Earl said: “The Sports Business Group at Fladgate already offers significant experience and insight of both the national and international sports sectors. Indeed, it was through recently working with Fladgate on the acquisition of a Premier League football club, that I was able to appreciate their understanding of, and commercial approach to, the sports industry. As such, the opportunity to lead the Sports Business Group and to play a key role in helping the team to fulfil its ambitions presented a compelling opportunity and challenge, and one I am truly excited about”.

Fladgate’s sports sector experience spans a wide range of sports including motor racing (where we have advised teams and drivers in Formula 1, A1 GP, World Rally, Cart, Indy Car and Moto GP), football, cricket, golf and cycling, together with numerous stakeholders in the supply chain. Earlier in the summer, Fladgate led the legal team advising shareholders who sold a majority stake in Swansea City FC to a consortium of US investors led by Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan. Other high profile transactions on which the Fladgate team has advised include Gareth Bale’s world record £85m transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid and his multi-million pound football boot and merchandise agreement with Adidas.

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