The Messi case has already claimed its first victim. On Wednesday, FC Barcelona informed the prestigious Cuatrecasas law firm that it was dispensing with its services as legal counsel to the club.
The reason given was that the firm had shown disloyalty towards the club and had a conflict of interests as this same company was also representing Lional Messi as he looks for a ’cost-free’ exit. Cuatrecasas, through Jorge Pocourt, one of the partners who specialises in sports and tax law, is the one who will try to demonstrate that Messi has the right to unilaterally break his contract despite the fact that the communication should have been made before 10 June. Due to the extension of the 2019/20 season because of the pandemic postponement, the club disagree. The law firm has had Barça as a client for many years, and they defended the Catalan club in the Neymar Case. And then there’s the curious fact that it was club president Josep Maria Bartomeu who advised Messi to go to this firm when he had his issues with the Spanish treasury. Since then, Cuatrecasas has represented the Argentine’s legal requirements and this brings us to the present day where those responsibilities are at odds with those of the club. Barça executives believe that the initiative to send the now-infamous burofax came from these lawyers who, until Wednesday, had the lucrative contract of one of the biggest clubs in the world.