SJ Berwin partner Nicola Kerr advised on the first ever transfer of Chinese football players to a UK side – Crystal Palace.
She had to conduct intensive investigations to provide the UK labour authorities with the evidence to justify the proposed transfers of midfielder and captain of the Chinese national team Fan Zhiyi, and international defender Sun Jihai.
She says: “Although Fan and Sun are superstars in China, it was clear that Britain's football governing bodies – the Football Association, the Football League and the Professional Footballers Association – had insufficient information on the state of the Chinese game.
“Consequently, we had to liaise with the Asian Football Confederation, the Chinese Football Association and China's ex-national coach in preparing Crystal Palace's application to the Overseas Labour Service in London.”
Unlike the huge prices which other stars have attracted, the bargain price for the two – who Terry Venables has said could both play for Manchester United's first team – was a mere £1.35m.
SJ Berwin also recently acted for Chelsea Football Club in their acrimonious dispute with Glasgow Rangers over the Bosman-ruling transfer of Brian Laudrup.