Blackstone Chambers’ Pushpinder Saini QC will represent West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka at a disciplinary tribunal into his alleged anti-Semitic ‘quenelle’ salute later today.
Saini will lead Tom Mountford also of Blackstone Chambers having been instructed by Brown Rudnick partner Neil Micklethwaite for the footballer.
The Football Association (FA) has instructed New Park Court Chambers’ Paul Greaney QC for the hearing.
The footballer was charged last month with an aggravated offence after making a gesture that was judged to be “abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper”.
Anelka denies the gesture, which happened after scoring during his club’s match against West Ham on 28 December, was anti-Semitic and requested a personal hearing.
Greaney represented the FA in its 2011 case against Luis Suarez in which it claimed the footballer had racially abused Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. Suarez was given an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine after he clashed with Evra during the 1-1 draw at Anfield in October 2011.
Micklethwaite joined Brown Rudnick in 2009 from immigration and human rights boutique Gherson (24 June 2009). At the time he took an associate and two trainees to the Boston-headquartered firm.
He is best known as a commercial litigator acting for hedge funds, corporations and individuals in both disputes and regulatory investigations.
Saini, who took silk in 2008, has acted for a range of high profile clients including Queen, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Simon Cowell and Queen guitarist Brian May.
In 2009 he represented the Indian Premier League in its first prosecution of a cricketer for an anti-doping offence. Mohammed Asif was banned by the IPL Tribunal for one year following a positive sample for Nandrolone.