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Sports law: Hodgson calls on trusted legal team to land lucrative FA contract

New England manager Roy Hodgson has praised his legal team, who worked into the night to secure him a four-year contract worth an estimated £3m a year.

His legal team are based at firm Russell Jones and Walker (RJW), and were headed by lawyer Paul Daniels who heads the firm's sports law department and Paul Gilroy QC, an employment law specialist who works under retainer for the League Managers' Association.

RJW have also represented Everton's David Moyes and Aston Villa's Alex McLeish.

The lawyers were responsible for securing Hodgson an £8.4m severance package after he was dismissed by Liverpool after just 31 games in charge.

Drawing up the deal to commit Hodgson to a four-year stint in charge of the national team was no mean feat. The pair started work on the deal at 9pm on Monday night and Hodgson was unveiled as the new England manager at a press conference at Wembley at 4pm on Tuesday.

The pair took direction from Hodgson's agent, Leon Angel, and also received input from League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan.

Speaking after agreeing his settlement from Liverpool, Hodgson said of his legal team: "I was extremely impressed by the level of expertise provided and the speed and volume of work done on an urgent basis, some of it through the night."

It has also emerged that the four FA men charged with picking a successor to Fabio Capello were given a completely free reign by the FA board, and did not even need to secure their approval before announcing the news.

Speaking after Hodgson's appointment, his lawyer Paul Daniels said: "Having acted for Roy Hodgson on his departure from Liverpool I was asked to act again on his appointment as the new England football manager. As retained lawyers for the League Managers' Association we've acted for many leading sports figures and we wish Roy all the best in his new post."

It has been reported that despite signing a four-year deal, the contract includes a break clause after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to allow both sides to review their positions.

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