Welsh Rugby Union hires FA man as legal chief

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has named former FA senior solicitor Rhodri Lewis as its head of legal affairs.

Roger Lewis and Rhodri Lewis
Roger Lewis and Rhodri Lewis

Lewis takes over the top job from Mike Jeffries, who died after being diagnosed with cancer last year. Lewis was appointed senior solicitor at the FA in November 2009. The FA has not yet named a replacement.

Before joining The FA, Lewis was legal counsel at the European football governing body UEFA. At the WRU he will oversee the organisation’s multi-million pound broadcast contracts, commercial and sponsorship agreements, player agreements and personal employment negotiations.

He will also have a place on the WRU’s executive board, which will give him a say in senior management decisions.

Lewis trained and qualified as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where his work involved advising the London 2012 Olympic bid team.

At the WRU he will report directly to group chief executive Roger Lewis, who said: “Rhodri’s sporting and legal credentials speak for themselves and he joins us armed with a true understanding of the day-to-day and long-term demands a governing body has to face.”

He added: “The WRU now operates corporately to a five-year strategic plan and Rhodri will play a vital role in ensuring we continue to deliver on our aspirations and opportunities with proper legal diligence.”