Who is Lord Pannick, Manchester City’s law firm?
It is not unusual to see Manchester’s very pleased musical record represented in the stands at the Etihad Stadium on matchday.
Oasis’ Gallagher brothers, Noel and Liam, are usually viewed at Manchester City video games. So is Johnny Marr, who performed guitar in The Smiths.
The stadium’s playlist usually functions music by nearby bands — and Panic, a song from The Smiths’ 1987 album The Environment Won’t Hear, blared out in whole immediately after Sunday’s 3-1 earn around Aston Villa.
But what was unusual was Town enthusiasts increasing a banner (photograph previously mentioned) referencing the opening line of that tune — with a notable tweak to the spelling of just one specific term.
Lord David Pannick, a 66-calendar year-aged lawyer, is an unlikely person to be so celebrated at a stadium wherever previous yr a statue was unveiled of the club’s most famous second, Sergio Aguero’s final-gasp objective to snatch City’s initially Premier League title on the last working day of the 2011-12 year.
City have won 6 Leading League titles, a clutch of other domestic trophies and attained a Champions League remaining since an Abu Dhabi-funded takeover in 2008, but that glittering legacy is underneath critical menace subsequent previous week’s announcement that the league experienced charged its defending and back again-to-back again champions with much more than 100 alleged breaches of regulations. This is unparalleled in the background of English football.
Lots of Town lovers, although, have complete religion in the club’s expensively-assembled legal professionals to supply a different get.
In 2020, a two-yr Champions League ban for breaching monetary rules was overturned by the Court docket of Arbitration for Activity.
But this latest case could carry even larger penalties — up to and which includes expulsion from the Leading League.
Metropolis will need to have a leading law firm — and Lord Pannick is precisely that, according to persons who know him.
Catherine Barnard is Professor of European & Employment Law at the College of Cambridge and is aware Lord Pannick nicely, not too long ago working with him around a preface he had created for a guide conveying legislation to teens.
“Dealing with him, I felt him to be certainly humble and straightforward and (he experienced) none of the airs and graces you may possibly affiliate with a best KC,” Barnard instructed The Athletic.
Pannick was appointed Queen’s Counsel (the name improved to King’s Counsel adhering to the dying of Elizabeth II in 2022) — a best demo attorney in England and Wales — 3 a long time in the past and his speciality is general public regulation, or the rules that govern the connection amongst persons and the governing administration.
“He has a remarkable track record — he is believed of as just one of the very best intellects of his technology,” states Barnard, referencing two conditions in which Pannick was included.
The first associated campaigner and businesswoman Gina Miller efficiently difficult the British isles government in excess of Brexit. In 2017, the Supreme Court docket ruled in favour of providing customers of parliament a vote on triggering the course of action for the United kingdom to depart the EU, instead than basically enabling the governing administration to do so unilaterally.
The next concerned then-prime minister Boris Johnson advising the Queen to suspend the United kingdom parliament in 2019 in an try to split a political logjam above Brexit. The Supreme Court docket dominated that Johnson’s final decision was unlawful.
Pannick turned a slight public determine as the most notable determine in the lawful crew pursuing the two productive scenarios. Court proceedings were being shown on Television and captivated a lot of who had been gripped by the constitutional saga.
“Watching him argue the case on behalf of Gina Miller in front of the Supreme Court was a lesson in tranquil, powerful but ruthless advocacy,” claims Barnard.
But having opposed Johnson in court docket about Brexit, Pannick is now his advocate in an investigation by MPs into alleged wrongdoing relating to events at No 10 Downing Avenue — where by the Uk key minister life — throughout COVID-19 lockdowns.
“He normally takes circumstances for both sides simply because that is what barristers are intended to do,” suggests Barnard.
Pannick has also represented retail chain Topshop’s owner Sir Philip Green as perfectly as Shamima Begum, a British schoolgirl who travelled to are living with the Islamic Point out in Syria.
He also acted for Max Mosley, the former head of earth motorsport (the FIA or Intercontinental Motoring Federation), in a privateness scenario at the European Courtroom of Human Rights in Strasbourg in 2011.
Pannick argued, unsuccessfully, that due to the fact British isles law unsuccessful to compel newspapers to notify their “victims” before revealing details about their non-public life in their internet pages, performing so violated the European Convention of Human Legal rights. In 2008, the Uk substantial court docket had awarded Mosley £60,000 ($73,000) in damages soon after ruling there was no justification for a front-website page post, with pictures, revealing specifics of his sexual intercourse lifestyle in Sunday tabloid the News of the Planet.
The basic principle that barristers just advocate for a client fairly than agreeing with them is an significant a single in English law, although generally the resource of controversy.
Pannick has been criticised for acting for Arkady Rotenberg, an affiliate of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, in 2014 and 2015 in a authorized struggle over sanctions imposed on him by the European Union.
“These critics have lost sight of just one of the primary pillars of the rule of law, which distinguishes our society from Putin’s Russia,” Pannick wrote in a letter to British isles newspaper The Moments. “People are entitled to advice from solicitors and barristers on their legal legal rights and duties, and they are entitled to authorized illustration in court docket, having said that reprehensible their alleged perform. The basic principle applies to oligarchs as it does to alleged murderers.”
Symbolizing City is, of class, fewer controversial. But Pannick may perhaps facial area one more kind of own conflict of desire in this occasion.
In 2008 — the 12 months he grew to become a member of the Home of Lords, where by he sits as a crossbench peer (a non-political part) — a profile of Pannick in The Times’s ‘Law 100’ explained him as an “avid Arsenal fan”.
When the news of these rates in opposition to City initial broke, the club’s supporters ended up quick to obtain out Murray Rosen KC, the attorney overseeing the Leading League panel seeking into the club’s alleged breaches, is an Arsenal supporter. “(Rosen) has participated in activity all his life, is a member of the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) and Arsenal FC,” examine a given that-deleted passage in his biography on the web site of London’s 4 New Square lawful chambers.
But the footballing affiliations of Pannick — born in Islington, the north London borough exactly where Arsenal are dependent — experienced flown underneath the radar.
The existence of two Arsenal enthusiasts in distinguished roles on possibly aspect of this scenario has excess spice, specified that City are hoping to chase down an Arsenal aspect who are top of the league as the sides fulfill tonight (Wednesday) and hoping to earn a initially Premier League title considering the fact that 2003-04. Metropolis can overtake them with victory, however Arsenal have a activity in hand.
An additional attorney extremely acquainted with Pannick is George Peretz KC, who is at present performing in a scenario versus him.
“It’s fairly stellar, I assume he’d be on anyone’s list as a single of the best advocates of his era in general public regulation,” Peretz told The Athletic.
“He’s really dazzling, very concise, very powerful. He’s in a position to acquire what individuals feel of as a quite complex set of concerns and make them available devoid of oversimplifying.”
As journalists and enthusiasts wade by the bewildering array of financial allegations from Metropolis over the coming months and yrs, that will surely be appreciated.
But the essence of the situation is extremely very simple — regardless of whether Town will be permitted to keep on to participate at the major of a domestic game which they have occur to dominate more than the past ten years or so.
Pannick, on the streets of London, will engage in a substantial part in which way that will go.
(Major image: James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Photographs)