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Chris Mort

Partner and Head of Sports Practice

Corporate and M&A

Profile details

About Chris Mort

Chris leads the Freshfields global sports practice. He also advises companies across a range of sectors on raising equity in the public markets and on public M&A.

Chris has had three client secondments during his time at Freshfields – two to work at investment banks and one to be Executive Chairman of Newcastle United Football Club.

Chris has been recognised as a leading lawyer by Legal 500, Chambers, Legal Experts UK and Privatisation International.

While Chairman of Newcastle United, Chris established the Newcastle United Foundation and the club received both the regional and national awards of the Prince’s Trust for its work in supporting the Trust.

Recent work

  • In the public markets Chris has advised on the IPOs of more than 30 FTSE - most recently Dr Martens but also companies such as as B&M Retail, Computacenter, ConvaTec, Hastings Insurance, Georgia Capital, Intertek Testing Services, Jimmy Choo, Merlin Entertainments, Micro Focus and William Hill. He has also worked on the IPOs of companies in numerous other countries around the world, including many privatisations, and on dual track processes leading to sales, such as Blackstone's sale of Center Parcs, the Sky Bet sale and Advent's sale of Priory.
  • His public M&A experience includes advising Entain on the bid by MGM Resorts, Hastings Insurance on the bid by Sampo, Jimmy Choo on its public auction leading to the sale to Michael Kors, Georgia Capital on its take private of Georgia Healthcare, DNO on its successful hostile takeover bid for Faroe Petroleum, Exova on the recommended offer by Element, bwin.party's recommended takeover by GVC and Clarkson's reverse takeover of Platou in Norway.
  • In the sports sector Chris has advised on the acquistion of many large football clubs, such as the last change of ownership at each of Liverpool, Newcastle United and West Ham United, and smaller clubs in financial difficulties such as the recent acquistion of Lommel SK in Belgium and Thomas Sandgaard's purchase of Charlton Athletic. He has advised on proposed investments in sports leagues arising as a result of COVID-19. He also advises on financial fair play and other sports regulation, including the successful challenge of a UEFA ban from the UEFA Champions League. Chris advised CVC on its acquisition of Formula One Administration and on investments in rugby, on aspects of the London 2012 Olympic Games and numerous stakeholders (such as clubs, owners, sponsors, retailers, gaming companies and broadcasters) on their interests in the sports sector.
  • While Executive Chairman of Newcastle United, Chris managed all aspects of the club's operations including player trading, financial performance, media, supporters, sponsorship and stadium operations.
  • Chris is Freshfields country partner for Greece, where he has advised on many privatisations, acquisitions, disposals and capital raisings, in addition to advising international clients on the challenges of doing business in Greece.
  • In 2020-21 Chris has advised many companies on the challenges to their business from Covid-19, including Ted Baker, HSS Hire and Stobart Group on raising new equity from the public markets and numerous companies on disclosure and other issues.