Slaughter and May has completed the biggest deal of the football transfer window, securing Russian star Andrei Arshavin for Arsenal.
Slaughters ;partner Andrew Jolly advised Arsenal on the protracted £15m transfer from Zenit Saint Petersburg, which was not confirmed by the Premier League until the day after the transfer window closed.
Jolly told The Lawyer: “It’s the same as the corporate and commercial deals we do. If everyone has a deadline you can be sure it will go right to the wire.”
The other big deadline-day deal was Robbie Keane’s £12m return to Tottenham Hotspur from Liverpool after only six months at the North West club. The clubs are understood to have worked on the deal in-house.
The sports team at Brabners Chaffe Street advised on the most glamourous deal of the window, with the loan of David Beckham from LA Galaxy to Italy’s AC Milan.
Brabners sports partner Matthew Bennett bagged a new client in the shape of the US professional football league Major League Soccer (MLS), which owns the registrations of footballers based in the US.
“They came to us because we did the Henrik Larsson loan from Helsingborg in Sweden to Manchester United two seasons ago during Sweden’s close season,” said Bennett.
The Beckham deal led MLS to instruct Brabners on a number of international loan transfers that allowed its star players to play in Europe during the US close season.
Bennett and Brabners senior partner Maurice Watkins also advised Manchester City on the purchases of Wayne Bridge from Chelsea and Nigel de Jong from Hamburg, as well as completing deals for Blackburn Rovers, Manchester United and Wigan Athletic.
Other busy sports lawyers included Graham Shear of Teacher Stern, who worked on eight Premier League transfers, four in the Championship and 11 abroad.