Russell-Cooke has advised on the purchase of Leyton Orient Football Club from Barry Hearn.

The purchase was effected by the transfer of the 90% shareholding in the club held by Hearn's company Matchroom Sport Limited to Francesco Becchetti, head of the Becchetti Energy Group, an Italian renewable energy and waste management firm.

Russell-Cooke acted for the purchase vehicle, Leyton Orient Holdings Limited. Advice included not only the transfer of shares but also sports law issues arising with the Football League's 'fit-and-proper-person' test and vetting of player contracts as well as property aspects in relation to the Club's ground.

The multi-disciplinary team from Russell-Cooke included  Jonathan Thornton and David Webster, both partners in the corporate & commercial teamPeter Cadman and Matt Bosworth, both partners in the regulation team, and James Harris, associate solicitor in the commercial property group.

Mischon de Reya acted for the sellers.

Peter Cadman, head of the sports law team said "English clubs continue to be in high demand from foreign investors and it was exciting to be involved in this latest transaction. The world of sport, and in particular football, has proven an interesting market for Russell-Cooke as we continue to expand our client base of clubs at a variety of levels from the Premiership downwards".