L’Équipe report that a ruling by the Paris Court of Appeals has overturned a decision by the city’s Bar Association which had allowed lawyer-agents to act as a agents in sport.
The Paris Bar had broadened the scope of the lawyer-agent’s role in a new article of its rules, notably allowing them to gain a signing-on commission when they have a player as a client, and operate as an intermediary.
The appeal by the Paris public prosecutor was based on the regulation indicating that only an individual with the relevant licence could take on the role of an agent in the world of sport, as well as the possible conflict of interest that would arise from such a situation.
As a result, the appeals court judges have now invalidated the new article, in what will be considered a victory for the lawyers working for the French Football Federation and the French sporting agents’ union.
The court had underlined the need to keep the two professions separate. It was pointed out that although legal professionals now have the possibility of undertaking a “complementary” commercial activity following recent reforms, operating as an agent and negotiating between clubs and players constitutes a “primary task”.