Barristers and football agents team up to kick off new ‘innovative’ legal business

VII Law becomes the bar’s first licensed ABS

A group of barristers and football agents has joined forces to launch what they describe as an “innovative” new business based in the heart of legal London.

Nestled among the historic cobbled streets of Temple, VII Law is a combination of barristers from 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings and high-flying football agents. Authorised as a Bar Standards Board entity in March 2016, the new outfit, in a first for the bar regulator, was officially granted Alternative Business Structure (ABS) approval last week.

The business’s football expertise is provided by George Gros and Jerome Anderson who have been cutting deals for their clients for many years.

Gros — who will be responsible for VII Law’s strategic and operational football transfer and management business — has held various senior positions at the likes of Charlton Football Club, and has represented big names including footballer Ian Wright and boxer Lennox Lewis.

Anderson — initially training as a banker before turning his hand to sports management — has also represented a number of high-profile footballers, including Arsenal Football Club legends Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars and former Manchester City ace Uwe Rosler. It has also been reported that Anderson acted as key adviser during the takeover of Blackburn Rovers Football Club by Indian meat processing giant Venky’s.

VII Law’s main management team includes Mark Love — who has been head of 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings since 1999 — criminal barrister Steve Mould, and family law duo Kristina Hopper and Jade Earl.

According to VII Law’s website, its “innovative legal structure allows it to employ barristers directly and to draw on the experience of knowledge of barristers in the chambers of Mark Love at 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings.”

Alongside sports management, the business — which doesn’t appear to include any solicitors — will also cover the less glamorous areas of law, including commercial, crime, employment and family.

Commenting on the new combination, director of regulatory assurance at the BSB Oliver Hanmer said:

As the regulator of barristers, we are committed to helping the bar develop new and innovative ways of providing legal services. We look forward to licensing more ABSs in the future.

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