Halebury hire brings England football team to client list

Freelance solicitor firm Halebury has sealed the England football team as a client after Kingsley Napley corporate partner Michelle Harris joined the firm.

Harris brings the national team with her to the sports and TMT firm, having been its retained legal advisor since 2006. She has acted on a number of commercial and contractual matters including multi-million pound rights deals between the Football Association and Nike.

Harris is being joined by Alex Stewart, former head of legal at Arqiva Broadcast & Media, the company behind most of the UK’s television, radio, satellite and wireless communications infrastructure, former Virgin Media senior legal counsel Paula Jackson, and Dylan Jones from investment firm Ingenious Investments.

Halebury, led by director Janvi Patel and co-shareholder Denise Nurse, has made a series of hires in its ongoing recruitment drive as it nears conversion to an ABS.

The firm’s model means there are no partners and so no capital injection is needed from new lawyers. Fee-earners earn a percentage of what they generate.

Harris’s addition complements the firm’s sports law practice, following last year’s recruitment of ex-Fifa lawyer Raj Koria (20 September 2012).

TMT specialist Stewart has also worked for NTL as a senior legal advisor, having trained at Charles Russell, and will continue to advise venutre capital funds investing in parts of East Africa.

Jackson used to be senior legal counsel at Virgin Media.The digital provider recently lost assistant general counsel Toni Vitale to rivals YouView (7 February 2013). She has also worked at NTL, Telewest and Google UK as a commercial lawyer. Jackson will keep her strategic legal consultant role with Royal Mail.

Jones, who was in private practice with Denton Wilde Sapte, will sit on Halebury’s board from April 2013. He will continue to act as a consultant with Ingenious Investments where he currently runs the firm’s sport, leisure and real estate divisions.He was previously a director in the Royal Bank of Scotland’s global banking and markets division, where he led a structured lending business focused on major international film and television clients.

Patel said: “These latest appointments demonstrate the quality of the solicitors that join Halebury, while welcoming someone of Dylan’s experience to our management board signals our clear growth intentions.”

Its clients now include BSkyB, Informa, FremantleMedia, Ericsson, Royal Mail, and the national football team.