Uefa ‘beefs up’ legal team in readiness for Euro 2008

Uefa is radically overhauling its in-house legal function in preparation for Euro 2008, to slash the amount of work it outsources to external advisers.

The move follows the promotion of Gianni Infantino as the football governing body’s new legal services director at the start of
the year. It will result in the creation of two new senior positions: head of corporate legal services and head of events legal services.

Infantino told The Lawyer that the restructure was “an evolution and not a revolution”. “We want to bring as much work in-house and only outsource the standard stuff to external advisers,” he added.

Switzerland-based Uefa has relationships with law firms in a number of jurisdictions. Its advisers in the UK include Hammonds and Bird & Bird.

The new head of corporate legal services will take over some of the responsibilities of the head of commercial legal services, a position currently occupied by Richard Verow. The lawyer will also handle matters relating to Uefa’s relationship with the EU and the legal work arising out of preparations for Euro 2008.

“The commercial legal services workload is getting bigger, so we have to beef up the department,” said Infantino.

Meanwhile, the new head of events legal services will also be responsible for matters relating to Euro 2008, including drafting contracts with stadiums.

Uefa is hoping to make the new appointments by Christmas.