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Top sports consultancy breaks new ground with ABS launch

London 2017: The Sports Consultancy client

Specialist sports and events agency The Sports Consultancy (TSC) has launched an alternative business structure to add to its services for rights holder, major event, venue and city clients.

It described The Sports Consultancy Legal as “the next step in the evolution of the business’s offering and the first ABS of its kind.

TSC was founded by two former City solicitors: Robert Datnow, also one-time head of legal of the British Olympic Association, and Angus Buchanan. Mr Datnow still holds a practising certificate.

The London-based company’s clients include the likes of the London 2017 World Para Championships and IAAF World Championships, European Professional Club Rugby, RFL England 2021 – which is trying to bring the rugby league world cup to England – and the Volvo Ocean Race.

It said having a standalone law firm “provides the opportunity for the business to offer a far wider range of commercial, operational, governance, contentious and investigatory legal support” to its clients.

To date, the legal department has only been able to offer ancillary support as part of the consultancy’s wider project work.

The firm is headed by TSC’s general counsel, Ashley Blake, formerly a solicitor at City firm Bird & Bird and in-house at various media companies such as the Financial Times and HMV Group.

He managed a legal team of five, including associates Dan Bowden, who qualified at DAC Beachcroft and joined TSC from England Rugby 2015 – the organising committee of the 2015 Rugby World Cup – and Nicole Isherwood, who trained at Bird & Bird and worked in-house at London 2012 (LOCOG), England Rugby 2015 and the Football Association.

Mr Blake said: “The launch of The Sports Consultancy Legal provides a truly unique offering within the market.

“By embedding a law firm within our market-leading agency of commercial consultants and salespeople, we will enable our clients to benefit from expert legal services incorporating our deep understanding of their commercial, operational and regulatory challenges and those of the wider sports industry”.

“As far as we are aware, The Sports Consultancy is the first sports marketing and consulting agency to launch its own specialist law firm.”

Mr Datnow added “Legal expertise has always been central to The Sports Consultancy’s offering with lawyers fully integrated across the business allowing us to combine technical excellence with unrivalled commercial and strategic know-how and expertise in the sports industry.

“Our expanded offering further showcases our innovative approach to providing smart solutions to the complex commercial challenges of our clients.”