The managing partner of a national firm has been installed as the chair of A-league club Adelaide United.
Greg Griffin, the Adelaide-based managing partner of Griffins Lawyers, was part of a consortium that purchased the club for an undisclosed sum from Football Federation Australia (FFA) yesterday (8 November).
The consortium is led by former Reserve Bank board member Robert Gerard, with other members including Dr Richard Noble and South Australian businessman Bruno Marveggio.
Noble is currently studying law at Adelaide University after a long medical career.
Griffin, who was previously a partner at Ward & Partners and Phillips Fox before starting his own firm 15 years ago, has a long interest in Australian Rules. He is a life member of the North Adelaide Football Club, a former player / manager and was one of the lawyers acting for the clubs of the South Australian Football League in legal action that prevented Port Adelaide joining the Australian Football League in 1989.
Griffin told Lawyers Weekly that he has long been a fan of soccer and is passionate about developing the game "at the grass roots" in South Australia.
"These days I watch more soccer than Aussie rules, and you can quite often find me on the couch watching Fulham in the Premier League," he said.
Griffin, who has coached soccer at the junior level, said the consortium was formed around three months ago, with Gerard and Noble friends of many years and Marveggio a client of his firm.
The FFA had owned Adelaide United since May 2009, after the previous owner relinquished control of the club.
"This move will see Adelaide United go from strength to strength and be transformed into a true community club owned by Adelaide business people," FFA CEO Ben Buckley said.
Griffins Lawyers has additional offices in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, and has a total staff of around 50 people.
Gerard, one of the wealthiest businessmen in South Australia, was last in the public spotlight after he resigned from the Reserve Bank board in 2005.
Gerard, who was a Liberal party donor, was appointed to the RBA board by Peter Costello in 2003. He stood down from the board after questions were raised concerning a 14-year battle he had with the Australian Taxation Office.