Newcastle-based Watson Burton is giving pro bono advice to Wallsend Boys Club, the amateur football club that produced the likes of Alan Shearer, Peter Beardsley and Michael Carrick.
The firm is advising the club, which organises amateur football matches and gives coaching to both girls and boys, on its relocation to a 20-acre site next to Wallsend Sports Centre.
The Watson Burton team is being led by partner Allan Henderson, the firm’s head of dispute resolution, who is also a trustee of the club. The work also involves lawyers from the firm’s property, construction, tax, charity and company groups.
“Over the years we’ve been brought in to deal with a huge range of legal and commercial issues for [Wallsend Boys Club] on a pro bono basis, from advice on data protection issues… to standard terms for the private hire of the [new] facilities,” Henderson says. “The relocation is an exciting development, which gives [Wallsend Boys Club] its own pitches for the very first time.”
Former Liverpool FC and England player Beardsley says: “I owe a lot to Wallsend – that’s why I’m still involved. Their move to new premises is fantastic news. They’ve never had their own pitches before and they’re going to have them soon, so that’ll be a big bonus.”
Watson Burton also advised Wallsend Boys Club on its first restructuring. This was not completed on a pro bono basis, but the firm did charge a discounted rate.
Led by corporate and sports law associate John Devine, the work involved Wallsend Boys Club’s incorporation as a new charitable company limited by guarantee and the registration of the new company with the Charity Commission and HM Revenue & Customs.
Wallsend Boys Club leader Garry Marshall says: “We’ve been able to call on specialist lawyers in all sectors and get exactly the advice we need. Watson Burton are an important part of the team.”