Herbert Smith acts for BSkyB on Leeds deal

Herbert Smith and Nicholson Graham & Jones are pushing through British Sky Broadcasting's (BSkyB) bid for a 9.1 per cent stake in the company which owns Leeds United Football Club.

BSkyB will pay Leeds Sporting u13.8m to become the exclusive media agent on all deals, except those involving Premier League rights, which are negotiated collectively by all 20 member clubs.

The agreement is expected to kick off similar pacts between UK media companies and sports teams.

Dorothy Livingston, company and commercial partner at Herbert Smith, is representing BSkyB with corporate partner Stephen Wilkinson. Warren Phelops, corporate partner at Nicholson Graham & Jones, is acting for Leeds Sporting with support from corporate assistant Graham Bartlett.

Stephen Ford, football analyst at stockbrokers Collins Stewart, says this type of arrangement is more common on the Continent.

“In order for big English clubs to compete with big European clubs they will have to follow in negotiating big contracts,” he says.