Law firms join London’s battle for Olympic Games
24 November 2003
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This month’s publication of London’s Olympic venues for the 2012 games finally gave substance to a bid that promises to generate once in a life time legal work for a select group of firms.
London 2012, the bid vehicle created in August, now has its own legal function and has brought an army of external legal advisers on board.
Ashurst Morris Crisp worked on the formation of the company by virtue of its relationship with chairman Barbara Cassani from her days as Go chief executive. But Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Berwin Leigton Paisner are all supporting the bid by agreeing to contribute legal services. All four firms will be recognised in London 2012’s marketing programme and will receive certain rights of association with the bid.
London 2012 commercial director Charlie Wijeratna told The Lawyer: “There is a large amount of legal work to be done if we are to present a credible bid. Their support enhances our chances of winning the games and demonstrates the commitment of London’s business community to the bid.”
The firms have agreed to work together and will send secondees to the bid offices to create a cohesive legal team.
For all concerned, the next key date is 15 January 2004, when the International Olympic Committee must receive the applicant cities' questionnaires.
|Lawyers shaping London's 2012 Olympic bid|
| London 2012 |
The bid vehicle's in-house team comprises former Clifford Chance lawyer Charlie Wijeratna as commercial director, assistant Alastair Ruxton, who has just joined from Olswang, and Australian-qualified Mitchell Wells. The team's most pressing objective is to complete London's applicant questionnaire.
London 2012 has instructed a host of law firms to assist with the bid: Ashurst Morris Crisp (Jan Sanders) will handle infrastructure projects and will also give employment advice; Clifford Chance (Daniel Sandelson) will advise on IT, intellectual property, venue use, sponsorship and marketing agreements; Freshfields (Tim Jones) is general corporate counsel and will advise on commercial agreements; and Berwin Leighton Paisner (Ian Trehearne) will advise on planning.
London 2012 has three key stakeholders:
British Olympic Association
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
The Greater London Authority
London 2012 has a major funding partner in the London Development Agency (LDA):
London Development Agency