Law firm's sporting goal

Brian Deane, Rod Wallace, Carly Barnes, Neil Cronin, Andy Cole and Ben Rees.
Brian Deane, Rod Wallace, Carly Barnes, Neil Cronin, Andy Cole and Ben Rees.
Share this article

A Burnley law firm has signed up a host of Premier League legends in a deal which has strengthened the practice.

Southerns has become a limited company and will now be known as Southerns Solicitors following investment from a sports management firm.

Ex-Manchester United and Newcastle United striker Andy Cole, Sheffield United’s Brian Deane – who scored the Premier League’s first ever goal – and former Leeds United frontman Rod Wallace are now the lawyers’ clients after teaming up with Phoenix Sport and Media.

The move has led to role changes within the practice, whose head office is in Bank Parade, Burnley.

Managing partner Neil Cronin has become managing director, while sports lawyer Carly Barnes has been appointed chief executive and Phoenix’s director Ben Rees is now chief financial officer.

The launch of the new venture was celebrated at a glamorous event held at the new Fence Gate Lodge. Neil said: “Our new partnership with Phoenix Sport and Media Group is an extremely exciting one.

“We have a real opportunity to both build a great company for our staff to work at and provide a unique service to our clients.

“We will be helping to service their sports and entertainment client base and will be opening a new VIP sports and media department.

“This will be headed by Carly and will see the likes of Andy, Brian and Rod as clients.

“We expect them to be the first of many.”

“Carly and Ben joining us and leading the broader team will add significant strength to our leadership model and accelerate all that is good about Southerns.

“They will focus on looking to the future and at the wider outlook of the new firm.

“Essentially this will provide a beneficial function for us in a legal marketplace which is undergoing rapid and drastic change.”

Neil added: “Our team should feel great about all that we’ve accomplished in our 200 years of legal service – but we can grow further now and the sporting arena is exciting.”