The SPFL appoints five new legal advisers

Rod McKenzie – formerly of Harper Macleod LLP – and four firms of solicitors have been appointed to the new SPFL legal panel

The SPFL has announced the appointment of a new team of in-house and external legal advisers.
Following the announcement that Rod McKenzie would be retiring from Harper Macleod LLP but continuing in the law, the SPFL conducted an extensive tender process to identify and appoint future legal advisers.
Following the tender process, Rod McKenzie has been appointed as Legal Counsel to the SPFL, joining the League in a part-time in-house capacity.
The SPFL has also appointed four firms of solicitors to create a panel of external legal advisors, each of which will deliver specialist expertise to the SPFL.  The panel will consist of Brabners LLP, Fladgate LLP, gunnercooke LLP and Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP.
Rod McKenzie, Scottish Solicitor of the Year in 2003 and 2014, said: “When I was retiring from Harper Macleod it was of importance to me to continue my relationship of almost 20 years with the SPL/SPFL, the last 16 years of which has been as its principal legal adviser. This appointment has enabled me to continue the work I have been undertaking for the League and I am grateful to the SPFL Board for allowing me this exciting opportunity at what is a critical time for the game in Scotland.”
Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, said: “I would like to thank the team at Harper Macleod for their advice over the past 20 years.  I am looking forward to working with a new team of legal advisers, which includes some of the best legal minds in sports law from across the UK.”
Maurice Watkins CBE, senior partner of Brabners LLP, added: “We are delighted with the news of our appointment to the SPFL’s new panel of legal services providers.  We are very much looking forward to working with the SPFL Board, the Executive Team and the entire organisation at this very interesting and exciting time.”
Alex Haffner, who will act as Fladgate LLP’s relationship partner to the SPFL, said: “We are extremely excited to have been appointed to the SPFL’s legal panel and are very much looking forward to expanding our long-standing relationship with Neil Doncaster and his team. This is a crucial time for the SPFL as it looks to continue to grow the game of football in Scotland. We are fully committed to using Fladgate’s expertise in the sports industry to contribute to the SPFL’s ongoing commercial success.”
Andrew Price, who has previously advised the English Football League and Premiership Rugby in their media rights deals, and recently joined gunnercooke LLP as a partner, said: “I have considerable experience of working with rights holders in the exploitation of their media rights and look forward to working with the SPFL to maximise the value of their rights and the exposure of their competitions.  This appointment is another recognition of the firm’s innovative market offering.”
Danny Lee, the SPFL’s relationship partner at Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, said: “Our appointment to the SPFL legal panel is a significant milestone for our successful sports practice. We are truly excited at the prospect of working alongside a body which plays such a pivotal role in the development and promotion of Scotland’s national sport.”
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