Lawyer Liam O’Donnell is a driving force behind the Player Representation Service now offered by PFA Scotland as he explains
“Our law firm were assisting PFA Scotland in sorting out a number of complaints and disputes between Players and their Agents. We decided the simple solution going forward was to start our own Agency wing working alongside PFA Scotland. Importantly, and uniquely, the agency is not run by Agents, but by Lawyers working alongside ex professional football players at PFA Scotland.
This concept brought safeguards for the Player:-
- Lawyers are governed by Law Society Codes of Conduct. Lawyers must put the Client/Player first at all times. A lawyer is not allowed to benefit from the client without the client knowing.
-All contracts entered into by our Players are reviewed by a Specialist Employment Lawyer and by PFA Scotland.
-These safeguards are important. Significantly, no money will ever be taken out of a deal to improve the Agents deal or to look after unnecessary middle men
-Lawyers are trained negotiators
-Senior Players using the agency also get complete legal cover from some of the top Lawyers in the country
Furthermore, there are three separate strands to the Agency which make it unique:-
1.The football knowledge and contacts. This comes from all of PFA Scotland’s own team of experienced former professionals.
2.Pro Legal’s Director of Operations Ricky Gillies is another experienced ex professional covering all Players day to day issues and general liaison.
3.The legal input-there are four registered FA Lawyers in the team led by Liam O’Donnell and John Paul Mowberry. All contracts are negotiated by the Lawyers and then reviewed by Margaret Gribbon. Margaret has been PFA Scotland’s lawyer for a number of years and is an Employment Law Specialist accredited by the Law Society of Scotland.
4.PFA Scotland-Players have the comfort of knowing that PFA Scotland is a founding member of the Agency and the reason for their very existence is the protection of the Player at all times.
Word is now beginning to spread about the Agency and the various services it offers. It’s first major client was David Goodwillie, handling his transfer to Blackburn Rovers and this was followed by the representation of Murray Wallace as he moved to Huddersfield Town from Falkirk.
Further players to have seen the benefits and joined up are the likes of Lee McCulloch, Sone Aluko, Gregory Tade and John Baird with all welcoming the partnership between PFA Scotland and it’s lawyers.