Former Premier League star joins Glaisyers ETL Liverpool office

Gareth Farrelly

Former Premier League footballer, Gareth Farrelly, has joined the litigation and sports law team at Glaisyers ETL.

He will be based at the national firm’s Liverpool office, which opened in The Plaza, on Old Hall Street, in June this year.

His practice will focus, in particular, on litigation relating to sports law and financial mis-selling.

Republic of Ireland international, Farrelly, spent five years playing for Aston Villa but is best known in the North West for his time at Everton and Bolton Wanderers.

He scored the goal that saved Everton from relegation on the final day of the 1997/98 season and, in 2001, scored for Bolton in the playoff final, helping secure the team’s promotion to the Premier League.

Following his retirement from professional football through illness, he returned to education and, in 2018, qualified as a solicitor. He joins Glaisyers ETL from the Liverpool office of Bermans, where he spent more than five years, latterly as a senior associate.

Sitting within the commercial litigation team he will also work closely with Glaisyers ETL’s sports law department. Glaisyers ETL has, since 2018, been part of ETL GLOBAL, an international network of accounting, tax, legal and audit professionals whose member firms employ around 20,000 people across more than 50 countries worldwide.

Mr Farrelly has experience in a wide range of white collar crime matters, including SFO and HMRC investigations, and he has developed niche expertise in complex high value tax fraud litigation and associated negligence actions, as well as claims relating to mis-sold financial products.

He also has significant expertise in sports law, and has been involved in a large number of player transfers and disputes relating to current and former players.

He has been an independent football member of the FA Judicial Panel for almost 10 years. He has also previously been an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, a member of the Premier League Judicial Panel, and a specialist arbitrator on the Sports Resolution Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators.

Another of his roles is as co-founder of Player 4 Player, a consultancy service that focuses on the wellbeing of professional footballers and he is also a co-founder of the Union of European Clubs (UEC), an organisation formed to promote a fair, sustainable and balanced football ecosystem where clubs of all sizes can thrive.

Mr Farrelly said: “I am thrilled to have joined Glaisyers ETL, a firm that offers the perfect base for me to build all areas of my practice. I look forward to doing this not only in collaboration with my colleagues in the firm’s litigation and sports law practices, but also with the wider ETL GLOBAL network, which includes some of the UK’s most highly respected specialist sports accountancy and tax advisory businesses.”

Glaisyers ETL advises a wide range of clients throughout the sports sector, including some of the biggest football clubs in the world, and overseas investors requiring corporate advice on the acquisition of UK sports clubs.

It also advises individual players and athletes on a range of contractual, intellectual property and tax regulation matters.

David Jones, executive partner at Glaisyers ETL, said: “It gives me huge pleasure to welcome Gareth to the team. He brings with him valuable niche skills and an incredible network of contacts, and will help us take our sports law and litigation offering to the next level.

“Sports law is a strategic priority for us as a firm, and Gareth’s other specialist area – the mis-selling of financial products and negligent financial advice – is, sadly, also a major issue for professional sportspeople.

“There are considerable synergies between this area of his practice and the market leading work carried out by our colleagues at WRS ETL – Wealth Recovery Solicitors – who specialise in recovering funds lost to negligent or fraudulent investment and crypto schemes.”