Meet the latest Mike Ashley recruit to fight the Premier League in Newcastle United takeover battle

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has repeatedly confirmed his commitment to securing the sale of the Magpies in the last 12 months – while also aiming to ensure the PCP Consortium are the next buyers.

A single action legal fight with the Premier League became double-barreled last week when details of a second challenge to the top flight leaked out.

Ashley is now, through St James’ Holdings, taking action against the Premier League, through a Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) case – the timescales of which will become clearer for Newcastle United fans in the next week or so.

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This runs alongside, at present, his arbitration hearing, which will see Nick De Marco QC and Shaheed Fatima QC go toe-to-toe with PL chiefs over the application of their own owners’ and directors’ test.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley (C), Linda Ashley (L) and managing director Lee Charnley (R) look on from the stand prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at White Hart Lane on December 13, 2015 in London, England.

De Marco and Fatima will, however, not be involved in the anti-competition case – and a new name has emerged from the legal world to take up the fight on behalf of Ashley, Newcastle United and fans.

Here’s a profile of Daniel Jowell QC, the man tasked by Ashley with removing some of the hurdles which remain to the deal passing.

Who is Daniel Jowell?

Anti-competition specialist Jowell is a QC who is a member of Brick Court Chambers, this is the same chambers as Newcastle Consortium Supporters Limited’s QC, Robert O’Donoghue.

What are his qualifications?

Jowell was called to the Bar in 1995 and appointed to silk (became a QC) in 2011.

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He has also been called to the Bar in the British Virgin Islands and in the Republic of Ireland, in 2005 and 2019 respectively.

Jowell has a first class degree in PPE from New College, Oxford, as well as a Frank Knox scholarship to Harvard University and an LLM at the College of Europe (Bruges).

Originally a tenant at One Essex Court he joined Brick Court Chambers in 2005.

What are his skills?

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Jowell is regarded as one of the best in the business when it comes to commercial law and competition law.

One of his most high-profile clients is Roman Abramovich.

His chambers website states: “He is particularly known for his experience in multi-jurisdictional commercial disputes involving conflicts of law or foreign law and has extensive experience in the energy sectors and in joint venture disputes. A veteran of a number of the heavy-weight commercial disputes in the High Court of recent years.”

Jowell is, according to Chambers and Partners 2016, known as “one of the best competition silks around”. He was winner of that particular body’s Competition law silk of the year in 2015/16.

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According to The Legal 500 2021, Jowell is "exceptionally intellectually able and great at distilling complex arguments into the essential points." And the Who's Who Legal - UK Bar: Competition 2019 claim Jowel is highlighted by clients for his “impressive competition law expertise, combined with wide-ranging commercial experience which makes him a real asset in competition damages cases”.

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