Rowe & Maw in Celtic sell-off

Rowe & Maw is the latest law firm to score for a football club client, picking up work on the sale of Celtic at Legal Monte Carlo, the in-house international legal conference held by The Lawyer.

It is the latest in a string of high-profile football deals, providing lucrative work for an increasing number of firms.

Last week alone, Rowe & Maw and McGrigor Donald were involved in the Celtic sell-off; Dibb Lupton Alsop and Clifford Chance acted in a Newcastle United refinancing deal; Hampshire firm Paris Smith & Randall advised Southampton over its new stadium; and Taylor Joynson Garrett acted for Charlton Athletic over a ground-breaking deal with Italian team Inter Milan.

Rowe & Maw and financial advisers Williams De Broe advised Fergus McCann, who made a £30m profit on the sale of his controlling interest in Celtic to season ticket holders, players and other employees of the club.

Stephen Bottomley, who led the Rowe & Maw team of four, says he picked up the work after meeting Gary Levin of Williams De Broe at last year's Legal Monte Carlo, which is run in association with Axxia.

Bottomley says: “The offer was to current shareholders and season ticket holders, employees and playing staff. It was nothing unusual legally, but quite complex as an offer to various people in terms of numbers.”

He says that although Rowe & Maw's insolvency group has done some work relating to football clubs, this is the firm's first major corporate transaction in the field.

“It's a reasonably sexy area at the moment,” he says.

McGrigor Donald partner Paul Davidson and assistant Paul Pignatelli advised Celtic. The firm acted for Fergus McCann when he was battling to win control of the club and has since advised the club itself.