Legal Business Blogs

Back of the net: BLP and Fladgate advise on Gareth Bale’s £85m transfer to Real Madrid

It was a busy football transfer window for some of the UK’s leading law firms, with Berwin Leighton Paisner’s Graham Shear and a host of Fladgate partners advising Premier League footballer Gareth Bale on his record-breaking transfer to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur for (€100m) £85m. Slaughter and May and Charles Russell were also both very active on deadline day yesterday (2 September).

Media and sports disputes partner Shear is a longstanding advisor to Bale as well as a good friend of Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy. Shear spent five years as managing partner at West End firm Teacher Stern where he advised Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez’s agent Kia Joorabchian on the player’s move to Manchester City from rival Manchester United in 2009.

Shear also currently advises Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, and negotiated the footballer’s £25,000 phone hacking settlement with the News of the World in 2012.

Legal Business100 firm Fladgate meanwhile, also acted for Bale on the transfer. A cross-firm team advised on various aspects of the transaction, led by the firm’s head of corporate Grant Gordon, alongside sports partner Alan Wetterhahn and tax partner Huw Witty.

Gordon said: ‘Transfer deals of this nature are becoming ever more complex, reflecting the need for advice on a myriad of elements, including corporate, tax, regulatory, IP, image and media rights, and employment.’

‘This matter had to accommodate a number of competing interests and, of course, was against a background of intense press speculation. We are delighted to have been able to act for Gareth and wish him every success in his move to Real Madrid.’

Meanwhile, Slaughter and May partner Andrew Jolly advised Arsenal FC on its club record £42.4m purchase of Germany international Mesut Özil from Real Madrid; the acquisition of Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre; and the transfers of Gervinho to AS Roma, Marouane Chamakh to Crystal Palace, and André Santos to Flamengo.

Charles Russell advised on Mathieu Flamini’s return to Arsenal after five years with AC Milan. The team, led by the joint head of the firm’s sports group, Ian Lynam, also acted on Kolo Toure’s move from Manchester City to Liverpool and Gael Clichy’s new contract at Manchester City.