England Rugby signs up law firm to take over legal helpline

England Rugby has agreed a deal for law firm Irwin Mitchell to take over the provision of its legal helpline and online legal document services for member clubs up and down the country.

The legal provision will include a Legal and Tax Helpline which allows more than 1,500 England Rugby clubs to access legal and financial advice 24/7, 365 days a year.

A secure Online Legal Support portal will also give those clubs access on-demand to legal document templates such as contracts and GDPR notices.

Irwin Mitchell, which has bases in Sheffield and Leeds, became the Official Legal Partner for England Rugby last year.

Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period Irwin Mitchell and England Rugby have held a successful series of virtual events, where 750 people from the rugby community have accessed advice on topics including furloughing and holding virtual AGMs.

Alex Lloyd, head of the contact centre at Irwin Mitchell, said: “As part of our partnership with England Rugby, we’re excited to be able to support rugby communities and clubs across the country.

“We’re delighted to announce that from August we’ll be stepping up our support as official legal partner when we launch our legal and tax helpline and document services.

“Sports clubs are facing a difficult and demanding situation at the moment – so the extra support we can provide could prove critical to some.”

Irwin Mitchell is also piloting a legal health-check service with several clubs with the aim of rolling the programme out wider over the coming months.

Angus Bujalski, the RFU’s legal and governance director, said:  “The legal and tax helpline, together with the legal document checking service, is an important support to our clubs to help them navigate through challenging times.

“Having these in place, together with the recent legal webinar series, means our clubs have access to the support network of a large full-service law firm when they most need it.”