Commercial law and sports specialist Couchman Harrington Associates has replaced Hammonds as adviser to leading sports sponsor Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide sought a new firm because of a conflict of interest arising from Hammonds' prior relationship with the Football League, which is sponsored by Nationwide. Former niche sports practice Townleys brought Nationwide along as a client when it merged with Hammonds. Hammonds sports partner Andy Korman has since been the main contact partner. Hammonds stopped acting for the Football League in March, which effectively ended this conflict of interest. However, a Nationwide spokesman said that the building society did not want to interrupt the process of transferring the instruction to Couchmans, which started before March. Hammonds will continue to act for Nationwide in relation to the England football team, which is one of its key sponsorships. Couchmans pitched for the Nationwide work alongside several City firms with sports practices. The lucrative deal means that Couchmans will be involved in all of Nationwide's sponsorship as well as related television requirements, including advising on contracts and intellectual property rights. Nationwide sponsors the Football League, the FA Cup, the Scottish and Welsh football teams and the Irish Cup.