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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Friday, May 18, 2007
Another high-profile sporting case for Beachcroft
Jan Levinson, a leading sports litigation lawyer at Beachcroft LLP, is acting for ex-Manchester United footballer Ben Collett, against footballer Gary Smith and Premiership football club Middlesbrough FC in a case which is expected to result in substantial damages.

The case follows a challenge by Smith on Collett in May 2003, which resulted in a double fracture of his leg. After successfully resolving the issue of liability, Levinson will continue to act for Collett to establish the level of damages to be paid to the player with a trial likely to be listed for later this year. 

This is the second time this year that an ex-MUFC footballer has been involved in a legal battle as a result of a career-ending injury. Last month, Michael Appleton was awarded £1.5m in damages against his surgeon following an unnecessary operation to repair his knee after a training ground accident. The Collett hearing will include high profile witnesses such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Gary Neville who also gave evidence at the Appleton case.

Speaking about the case, Jan Levinson commented: "Ben was one of Manchester United's most talented young footballers, but the seriousness of this injury ended his prospects of a promising future in the Premier League at the age of just 18. We expect that the damage to his career and loss of earnings will result in significant compensation."

Manchester-based partner Jan Levinson has successfully represented a number of high profile professional sportsmen, including former Manchester United player, Chris Casper who secured undisclosed damages for a career-ending injury from Cardiff City FC in an out-of-court settlement. Levinson also acted for Gordon Watson in his successful court action against an opponent whose dangerous tackle ended his career.  Watson was awarded over £950,000 - the highest ever award by a Court at the time to be given in such a case.

Beachcroft's specialist sports litigation practice handles the full range of commercial law and dispute resolution issues and opportunities that face clubs, sporting bodies, officials, competitors, spectators, sports goods manufacturers, stadia and insurers.

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