Brabners tops football transfer league with 33

Brabners Chaffe Street has emerged as the busiest law firm in football, advising nine clubs on a total of 33 transfers during the ­summer transfer window, which closed last Monday (1 September) at midnight.

Brabners concluded a busy deadline day advising trophy client Manchester United on the £30.75m purchase of Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur, a deal that was complicated by Tottenham’s failure to buy a replacement and Manchester City’s attempt to gazump its city rival.

“Ninety per cent of transfers are dealt with internally by the clubs, so we’re really pleased to have acted for so many teams,” said Brabners partner Matthew Bennett.

In addition to its work with Man Utd, the firm advised clubs such as Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool, Man City and Rangers on their transfers.

“There were a lot of last-minute deals on deadline day,” said Chris Farnell at Manchester boutique IPS Law. “I had so many more calls this year than last year. It was a day of twists and turns.”

Deadline day was really livened up after Thaksin Shinawatra signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to sell Man City to the Abu Dhabi United Fund.

The new owners immediately set about making a trophy signing and, at one stage in the evening, had bids totalling between e300m (£244.34m) and e350m (£285.06m) lodged at various clubs throughout Europe.

Hammonds advised Man City on the sale to the ­Middle East property fund and Shearman & Sterling advised the fund. In terms of player transfers, Hammonds had a busy summer advising Arsenal, Charlton, Chelsea, Fulham, Stoke and Man City on 10 deals.

Man City concluded the day ;by ;smashing ;the UK transfer record with
the £32.7m signature of ­Robinho from Real Madrid. Teacher Stern managing partner Graham Shear was rushed ;to ;Man ;City’s ­stadium to advise on the deal, which was concluded shortly before midnight, gazumping Chelsea, which had spent much of the ­summer trying to negotiate a deal for the Brazilian ­striker.

According to KPMG, English Premiership clubs spent a total of £468.3m during the summer.