The Premier League’s sole in-house lawyer Oliver Weingarten has doubled the size of the in-house legal function with his first hire of a commercial lawyer.
Wragge & Co’s Kevin Plumb, an associate with sports experience, will be joining Weingarten at the end of the month as a commercial solicitor.
Weingarten has been the sole in-house lawyer for the league, which represents the top 20 clubs in England, for the past three years. He took over the position following the departure of Simon Johnson, who is now the director of corporate affairs at the Football Association.
Weingarten said the bulk of legal work for the league centred on IP issues, sponsorship and ticket touting. The Premier League, along with sheet music publisher Bourne Co and a number of other musical and sporting groups, is currently leading a class action against YouTube and Google over the usage of unauthorised clips. The league has appointed Proskauer Rose and Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman on the case.
Although non-contentious matters dominate the team’s workload, it is the league’s handling of the Carlos Tevez case that has grabbed the headlines. It may also become embroiled in Sheffield United FC’s claim against West Ham United FC for compensation for relegation.