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Hill Dickinson has lost one of its top sports lawyers. Partner Chris Farnell has left the firm to set up his own sports and media boutique.
Assistant Paul Fletcher went with Farnell and becomes a partner in the new firm, which is called IPS Law.
Farnell said that the time was right to start a specialised sport and media operation: "Over the past five to eight years, contracts have become far more complex and require lawyers on each side of the transaction. We have a huge amount of experience in that sector."
Farnell took much of his client base with him, including Premiership footballers Jermaine Jenas and James Beattie.
One of IPS Law's first deals involved advising Chelsea FC on the purchases of Michael Ballack and Andriy Schevchenko in May.
Farnell will split his time between London and the firm's Manchester base.