Manchester United has launched its first legal panel, signing up five firms for a two-year term.
Manchester United’s head of legal Patrick Stewart commented: “The panel formalises some relationships that we already had in place. Now we have certainty for a two-year period in regards to terms and conditions and fees.”
Outside of the panel arrangements, Allen & Overy will continue to advise Manchester United and its Red Football parent companies in relation to corporate finance matters. Allen & Overy advised the Glazer family on its takeover of Manchester United, which was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Brabners, whose senior partner Maurice Watkins has been associated with the club since the 1960s, will continue to advise the club on football matters.
Brabners has been appointed to the panel with primary responsibility for advising on many areas, including sports commercial work, general commercial work, dispute resolution and real estate. Brabners’ charity law team will also continue to advise the Manchester United Foundation.
Two other existing advisers, Wiggin and Beachcroft, have also been appointed to the panel. Wiggin will be primarily responsible for advising Manchester United companies, including MUTV, on media law issues. Beachcroft will continue to be lead advisers to Manchester United on employment and licensing work.
Halliwells and Pinsents, are new advisers to the club. Pinsents will be lead advisers on data protection issues while Halliwells will be lead adviser on IT matters and certain commercial work.
“Manchester United is not just a leading football club, but also a dynamic business involved in many diverse activities which requires the support of a strong legal function,” said Stewart.
Stewart sent a request for information (RFI), together with its service level requirements document, to a selected group of firms (including its existing advisers). The RFI outlined the areas which advisers were required for and invited the firms to make a proposal for each area they wished to be considered for. Each firm then submitted a response to the RFI, by way of a proposal document. Stewart then met with each firm to discuss their proposal, before selecting the panel. The panel will be in place at least until June 2010.