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Lawrence Graham has been instructed for the first time by the Football League to act on the £178.5m ITV Digital-related claims
The league's main corporate adviser is Hammonds Suddards Edge, but there is currently a split function between the two firms, with Lawrence Graham's corporate recovery team, headed by John Verrill, and commercial litigation team, headed by Andrew Dobson, working with Hammonds on the case against Granada Media and Carlton Communications. Lawrence Graham will take over the claim completely in due course. Hammonds has been forced to share the limelight because several key partners from Edge Ellison, which put together the original bid between the league and ITV Digital, will be called as key witnesses in any legal proceedings. "The process of the negotiations involved in the original bidding is a key part of the recourse of the Football League against Carlton and Granada," a source within Lawrence Graham said. "It would be impossible to proof up one's own partners and fight the case." Another law firm had to be appointed in order to bring a degree of independence to the case. The work came via a referral from financial recovery consultancy Kroll Buchler Phillips, which is also advising the league. Lawrence Graham has also actioned its entertainment rights lawyers. Clifford Chance is advising the administrator Deloitte & Touche, which had funding from the parent companies until Friday evening (12 April). Deloittes is to appear in court today (15 April) to report on whether a planned closure of ITV Digital is inevitable. The other option is that a deal is struck with the league and a restructuring of ITV Digital goes ahead.