Watson Burton backs Newcastle sports drive for disadvantaged kids

Newcastle-based Watson Burton has worked pro bono on a project to provide disadvantaged young people with access to sports facilities and coaching.

The firm advised the McCrory Foundation, a Newcastle charity set up by former boxing world cruiserweight champion Glenn McCrory, on the lease of new premises and on a Rocky Balboa-themed fundraising event.

A team led by Watson Burton corporate and sports law associate John Devine advised the foundation on the legal issues behind hosting a premiere of Rocky Balboa at the Empire Cinema in Newcastle on 18 January 2007.

Devine wrote a joint contract for the event between the foundation, the film’s distributor Fox and Empire cinemas, which hosted the event.

He also advised the charity on the tax, trading and VAT issues inherent to the deal, as well the charity funding issues and advice relating to the Government’s Gift Aid scheme of refunding tax paid on charity donations.

Devine was also responsible for representing the foundation to regulator the Charity Commission, demonstrating that it had the correct child-protection measures in place and was only involved in promoting ‘healthy sports’, rather than those such as snooker, darts or go-kart racing. Both are essential requirements of the foundation’s charitable status.

In addition, Devine advised the charity on the lease of its premises at New Biggin Hall, which is also in Newcastle.

Devine said: “Advising the foundation on charity matters has been a non-stop activity. They’re already proving to be successful for local people and it’s a real pleasure to be involved so closely.”

The foundation also recently launched the Glenn McCrory International School of Boxing. The school has installed Frank Bruno’s boxing ring and enlisted coaches Mickey Duncan and Cubans Alberto Perez and Alberto Gonzalez, who coached 1980 Olympic champions Andras Aldama, José Gómez and Armando Martinez.

McCrory said: “I want a Northeasterner winning gold at the 2012 Olympics.”