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Leading music and entertainment boutique Lee & Thompson advised David Beckham on the settlement of his dispute with sports agency SFX. The deal, a worldwide exclusive from The Lawyer (revealed on www.thelawyer.com on 5 December) will see the Real Madrid player end months of speculation by splitting with his longstanding agency and his manager Tony Stephens.
The row began in September, when Beckham’s contract came up for renegotiation. The England star refused to renew and began to put in place a structure to manage his own affairs. This included the establishment of his own office in Madrid, Footwork Productions, and the hire of Watford’s former director of football Terry Byrne.
SFX, advised by Hammonds dispute resolution partner Caroline Terry, had threatened legal action, claiming the contract still had two years to run. When The Lawyer went to press on Friday (5 December), a settlement had been reached, with only Stephens, the SFX employee who was Beckham’s manager since he was a Manchester United trainee, yet to sign the agreement.
Lee & Thompson name partner Andrew Thompson advised Beckham.