Mayer Brown advises on latest sale of Portsmouth FC

Rob Hamill

Rob Hamill

As reported by The Lawyer in June, Hamill led a team advising Sulaiman Al Fahim on the purchase of the club from previous owner Devondale Investments, which was advised by Taylor Wessing partner Tim Stocks (22 June 2009). Devondale is the investment vehicle of French businessman Alexandre Gaydamak, who was the club’s sole owner and who received separate advice on the that sale from Sherrards partner Jean-Paul da Costa, who also advised the club .

Mayer Brown has now advised Al Fahim on the sale of a 90 per cent stake in the club to Falcondrone Limited, a company owned by Saudi businessman Ali Al Faraj.

Al Faraj turned to West End property boutique Fuglers Solicitors, led by partner Mark Jacob.

Hamill explained that Al Fahim, who will stay at the club as non-executive chairman, had sold the majority of his stake after paying off the club’s creditors, including £35m to Standard Bank.

“The issue was that the club’s bankers and HM Revenue & Customs seized on the opportunity of change of ownership to get paid out,” he said.

“The club has, in effect, had to meet those demands in the last six weeks. That has accentuated the need for further financing, although it was always Al Fahim’s intention to bring in other investors.”

Hamill’s team included finance partner Ashley Katz and associates Rodney Edgerton, Simon Fisher and Aimee Lewis.

As Gaydamak had to consent to the most recent sale, Stocks at Taylor Wessing was again called on for advice.