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The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has appointed its first company secretary to provide in-house expertise on sports law.
Jonathan Hall joins the RFU from sports marketing and management company International Management Group.
He is currently the international vice president of the company. His role involves dealing with the group's legal affairs.
His new role will see him advising the RFU on commercial and sponsorship issues as well as regulatory and disciplinary procedure.
Spokesman for the RFU Richard Prescott says: "Jonathan will be reviewing all our contractual and legal arrangements in order to help our drive towards greater efficiency, effectiveness and professionalism."
Freshfields sports partner Raj Parker says: "The business of sport is becoming more complex and the money involved makes issues more difficult so there is more work for lawyers. This is probably a very sensible appointment for the RFU."
Another RFU spokesman, Jonathan Duckworth, says: "Sports law is an increasingly complex and specialised field so a forward-thinking organisation like the RFU needs the best advice available."