The former head of the graduate recruitment program at Blake Dawson has joined a recruitment company dedicated to sports.
Luke Pellegrini joined Sports Recruitment International, an English-based executive sports recruitment company, earlier this year.
"I loved Blakes and it has a great graduate program," Pellegrini said. "However, there is a real gap in the market in this area, with the commercialisation of sport giving rise to these opportunities."
Sports Recruitment International opened its Sydney office last year, adding to the firm's network in London, Singapore and Lausanne.
Pellegrini, an ex-lawyer, spent time practising with Rigby Cooke and ASIC in Melbourne before joining Blakes in 2008 in a non-legal capacity.
Pellegrini told Lawyers Weekly that while he is also placing candidates in non-legal roles, he has spoken with firms such as Lander & Rogers and the head of its Sports Business Group, Ian Fullagar, about recruiting lawyers.
"I have had meetings with firms and sports lawyers who have told me that they would like an alternative to using generic recruiters when looking for a sports lawyer for their teams," he said.
Pellegrini said that internationally, his firm has recently placed in-house lawyers into the IOC, UEFA, The Premier League and BMW Oracle Racing.
In Australia, he has also placed the director of business development for the Newcastle Jets soccer team and the membership manager for the St George-Illawarra Dragons rugby league club.
"Australian sports lawyers are considered amongst the best in the world," said Jim Chaplin, the head of Sport Recruitment International's Sports Law team. "Many of our clients across Europe, the Middle East and Asia have Australian in-house counsel and Luke will play an important role in finding the best sport lawyer talent to assist our Australian and international clients."