Chelsea Football Club‘s legal team secured the In-house commerce and industry team of the year award, sponsored by EY, at last week’s The Lawyer Awards for the way it handled touting, a serious problem in the football industry.

The judges praised “an impressive entry, demonstrating thought leadership across a number of diverse challenges and a real desire to share learning across the sector and drive change for good.”

Legal counsel Richard Berry led a squadron that involved the Club’s security and safety operations as well as the police. The collective gathered enough evidence to persuade the High Court to grant civil injunctions against 14 touts. This resulted in the enforcement of costs orders against the applicable individuals, with the imprisonment of one. The effort contributed to a reduction in the unlawful sale of tickets in the area of Stamford Bridge, one of the oldest UK football grounds which has housed the Chelsea Football Club since its creation in 1905.

Womens’ football has also been a key priority for Chelsea. This time, senior legal counsel Rob Hamblin took the lead by working with the Football Association (FA) to drive forward reforms across many industry levels. The team was involved in reshaping the FA’s stance on financial regulation and salary caps alongside a wide-ranging five-year strategic plan. In addition, they drove forward reforms in youth development, scholarship opportunities, training compensation, and home grown player quotas.

In the men’s game, the club relaunched a full-service legal support panel for players which helps academy starlets, many of whom come from the poorest parts of the community, free of charge.

As part of the service, the lawyers provide advice on areas of law including commercial, criminal, family, property and finance and tax. One judge summed up the rationale behind the award by highlighting the “clear credentials and support” to corroborate the entry, which came across as “well led, making change and principled in sensitive areas.”

A message from our sponsor, EY

In this time of unprecedented change, businesses are needing to change more than, and at a faster pace, than ever before. Changes in demand patterns, supply chain and operations, meeting the new needs of customers, innovating, managing risk, all at the same time as  operating in a world that has demanded major changes in the way we work and communicate.

Within this construct, the budgets available to continue pivoting your business in accordance to regulatory or event-driven changes has meant that in-house teams must be creative in solving the dilemma of doing not just ‘more for less’, but “more for less, quicker than ever before”. Legal teams are therefore modernising  their operations and platforms to deliver meaningful value to the organisation.

EY’s Legal Managed Services (LMS) have a strong track record of helping clients create a future vision and then achieve it, enabling clients to leverage technology, process and efficient resource management. Our LMS team customise and support the technology and data-driven processes to control costs, better mitigate risk, and deliver value to the business.  Our core LMS offerings include:

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With 3,500 professionals in 80+ jurisdictions, including LMS delivery centres around the world, EY law offers broad global coverage for legal matters wherever you need it. Our ambition is to create the future of legal services, further broadening the ability to help corporate legal departments around the world transform their practices and help deliver meaningful value to their business. Find out more here.