Field opens up as clubs go public

Expansion at the UK's top football clubs is providing opportunities for law firms. Edge & Ellison advised Caspian, which recently acquired Leeds United for about £50 million.

Newcastle United has recruited financial advisers who will consider taking the club public via a stock market flotation. Legal advisers have not yet been officially appointed.

Chelsea has been listed on the stock market, and commentators expect up to six more clubs to go public before the end of the century. Tottenham, Manchester United and Millwall have also taken the plunge.

Edge & Ellison led Caspian's advisory team in a deal which was the first contested bid for a club in the UK.

It fielded a team of 11 lawyers led by corporate finance partner David Mandell. The firm, which was last year involved in deals worth £1 billion, specialises in advisory work concerning sports marketing and sponsorship.