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Bind and drive: Freshfields’ Tim Jones to join England Rugby 2015 as GC

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer corporate partner and former City head Tim Jones has been hired as general counsel to England Rugby 2015 ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Established by the Rugby Football Union, whose current legal and governance director is Karena Vleck, England Rugby 2015 will employ the corporate heavyweight three days a week, beginning on 1 November. Jones, however, will also continue to work on a part-time basis for the Magic Circle firm, and carry on with client matters.

Jones has been a corporate lawyer at Freshfields his entire career, and ran the firm’s Madrid office before taking up the role as London managing partner in 2007 until 2011. He also previously held positions as global co-head of capital markets, and was head of the London corporate group. He is well suited to his new role, having played rugby for Oxford University, London Welsh, Wales B and the Barbarians.

Jones’ recent hefty workload included leading the firm’s effort during its time as official legal services provider to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog), and advising the Department for Business Innovation & Skills on the Royal Mail IPO, alongside pensions partner Charles Magoffin.

A spokesperson for England Rugby 2015 confirmed the move, stating the company was ‘really pleased’ with Jones’ appointment.

The Rugby World Cup, which hosts England kick off on 18 September 2015 at Twickenham, is the third-largest sporting event in the world following the Olympics and the FIFA Football World Cup.

Freshfields’ Magic Circle peer Clifford Chance has made inroads of its own with the event, having been appointed as the official law firm of the Rugby World Cup following a competitive pitch process, in a team led by head of media and partner Daniel Sandelson.