Brabners leads on £19m Balotelli sale as firms score transfer window roles

Brabners Chaffe Street and Walker Morris have advised on some of the biggest football transfers during the January transfer window, with the firms taking roles on multimillion-pound moves involving the two major Manchester clubs.

This January’s transfer window, which reportedly saw Premier League clubs spend as much as £120m, included a £19m deal which saw controversial Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli return to his adopted homeland to join Italian giant AC Milan.

Brabners, led by sports partner Matthew Bennett, advised Balotelli on the termination of his contract at Manchester City in order for him to complete his switch to Milan.

Manchester City was advised by its in-house team headed by lawyer Simon Cliff while Milan used the club’s regular legal adviser Studio Legale Cantamessa led by name partner Leandro Cantamessa.

Meanwhile, the same Brabners team also represented Manchester United on its negotiations with Crystal Palace over the signing and loan-back of up-and-coming English winger Wilfried Zaha for £15m. Crystal Palace took advice from Walker Morris solicitor James Moore.

Brabners also advised on a number of other transfers, including Tottenham Hotspur’s signing of German international Lewis Holtby from Schalke 04, Newcastle United’s acquisition of French midfielder Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse FC and French striker Loic Remy’s move to QPR from Marseille.

Bennett said: “It was a busy January for us – just as busy as previous transfer windows. There were so many loan moves taking place which tend to be more complicated to finalise than transfers but just aren’t as headline grabbing.”

Elsewhere, London outfit Fladgate and Buckinghamshire-based EMW Law have both advised on a deal that has seen Swindon Town sold to a local consortium headed by Banbury United owner Jed McCrory.

The deal, which is subject to Football League approval, will see Swindon Town rescued from the prospect of administration. Under the terms of the deal, the sellers will write off most of the club’s £13m debt.

Fladgate advised sellers Swindon Football Holdings on the sale, led by corporate partner David Robinson, while EMW Law represented the purchaser, with partner Ian Zant-Boer leading the firm’s efforts.