The founder of Couchmans will join the new firm as head of sport, and the rest of the staff will join on 22 January.
By combining its sports law offering with Couchmans’ sports law boutique service, Charles Russell Speechlys will be placed to advise clients internationally on all the legal and strategic issues that they may encounter in the sports and related technology, media and lifestyle sectors, the firm said in a statement.
Couchmans has been involved in sports law for nearly two decades. Its 11-strong team advises clients operating in the sports, media, technology and lifestyle sectors around the world. It was founded in 2001 by Nic Couchman, who will become head of sport at Charles Russell Speechlys.
The arrival of the Couchmans team coincides with the appointment of Darren Bailey as a consultant. Bailey was previously director of football governance and regulation at The Football Association, and is a leading expert in sports law, integrity and regulation.
“The addition of the market leading Couchmans team is a bold and innovative step forward for both firms and creates what we believe will quickly become the pre-eminent international sports sector legal practice,” said James Carter, managing partner at Charles Russell Speechlys. “We firmly believe that through this combination, we will stay at the cutting edge of the sports business as it becomes increasingly global. Clients will have access to a commercially orientated, sector specialist service on a full service international platform, but will continue to benefit from the personal attention that is the hallmark of both firms.”
Couchman added: “Charles Russell Speechlys provides the perfect platform for us. Both firms are immersed in this sector and have a track record of innovation and working on ground breaking projects. We have helped to shape and guide the change and growth in the sports sector over two decades. This exciting next step in our development allows us to meet the needs of our clients who want sector specialist advice across the full range of legal disciplines with a global outlook.We intend to set a new standard for sports law firms, not just in the UK, but internationally.”